Donatella Versace's penchant for a motivational soundtrack sounded again this season, with the opening words: ‘if we do nothing we get nothing.’ This collection was confirmation that this is a designer who is definitely ‘doing something.’
Continuing to push Versace forward into a more sporty, active realm, this collection is also reminiscent of the work she was doing at Versus in the 1990s.
Anoraks, large backpacks - even tracksuits - were all part of Donatella's mission to modernise this house. Nylon was the fabric of choice. It felt utilitarian - and aligned itself with a more intellectual take on functionality. Prada overtones were present via the aforementioned - and some boot cut trousers - whilst a colour palette of purple, emerald green and acid yellow keyed in with the peacock times we live in.
The platform sandals looked comfy and elevating - like the collection. A magnificently oversized hood on a bomber jacket was lined with a wavy baroque print. The other print in the collection - a checkerboard - didn't work so well on a tight fitted dress. Lightness is the key here. Anything too graphic and fitted starts to feel too heavy-handed.
The hemlines were mostly asymmetric and easy. An athletic yet graceful style of construction saw fluidity drop from the waist, whilst harness belts and drawstrings keyed into an idea of perseverance and agility. Speaking about the show, Donatella said: 'Sportswear is the future of fashion; to make it unique and luxurious is the challenge I took this season. This is a collection that is all about a woman’s freedom: freedom of movement, freedom of activity, freedom to fight for their ideas, freedom to be whomever you want to be.'
The words 'take the lead' were read out over the audio. With Serena Williams sitting front row, and Naomi Campbell walking tall, these are two women who are the best at what they do. With the exception of Jordan Dunn, most of the other identical Barbie doll tressed models looked like they were simply foot soldiers from another era. Although I am a big fan of Donatella's love for a woman's strength - and that she is starting to soften it's aesthetic - maybe it's time she starts to blend her casting with the modern world too. Like at Prada this season, with her film and runway, there seem to be two disparate approaches here when it comes to the representation of women.
For the final section, eveningwear really sparkled. Haberdashery appliqués added a hand touched feel, whilst a long, billowing nylon hooded anorak, worn over a dress, closed the show as an evening gown. This is a label that is on the move.