The menswear season came to an end on Sunday night with the Saint Laurent show, where cool kids from Los Angeles dressed in skinny jeans sat cross-legged on the floor swaying to the music and admiring the twig-thin teenage models on the catwalk. Immediately afterwards, couture kicked off with Atelier Versace. The change of scenery couldn’t have been more radical: the Italian brand welcomed its A-list guests (among them Riccardo Tisci, Kate Hudson and Goldie Hawn) at a baroque townhouse on Avenue de Friedland, where mirrors and golden mouldings were lit in acid yellow and purple tones. As the show started, the spotlight fell by chance on a small spider climbing one of the oversized crystal chandeliers, a fitting metaphor for the untamed, unapologetic femininity Donatella Versace is famous for.
‘I wanted to go back to the shape of a woman’s body,’ said the designer backstage. The show began with a series of curvilinear-cut, body-hugging suits in a striking palette of black, white, red and Klein blue with asymmetrical necklines progressively becoming more and more revealing. Simplicity was key: embroideries and embellishments didn’t make their appearance until look 14. Instead, clothes were adorned by strategically placed cutouts, a sort of hide-and-go-seek game that became more and more provocative and risqué until, by the end, Natasha Poly, Karlie Kloss and Eva Herzigova sashayed wearing tight, half-transparent dresses seemingly held together by sheer willpower. The looser pieces (such as the impossibly glittery number worn by Isabeli Fontana) didn’t have the same punch though, while the bigger volumes (a set of skirts paired with over-the-knee beaded boots) added a certain sweetness to an otherwise dominant, sensual silhouette. But then again, that all-out feminine spirit is what makes Donatella Versace fierce.