The mood was baroque-deco - fusing the neo-rococo razzmatazz Gianni made his own with something a little more Modernist and geometric.
Who knows quite what it is that feels so right about early-nineties Versace - beyond contemporary fashion's fickle longing for constant revivals- but whatever the reason, for S/S 2010 Donatella Versace tapped into the buzz tenfold. The mood was baroque-deco - fusing the neo-rococo razzmatazz Gianni made his own with something a little more Modernist and geometric. Witness the laser-cut show invite, which showed up as an intricately cut silver-and-pink strapless leather dress, with similar painstaking cutwork fretting a suede trench and any number of taut little skirts. Versace's print legacy was very much in evidence - indeed, everything from wooden-sole platform-toe upwards was smothered in graphics, sometimes four or more jostling for attention on said shoe alone. Scarf-snaffled graphics of elaborate arabesques tumbled across short silk dresses in hot purple and neon-yellow, or as bodysuits under transparent PVC skirts - pelmet long printed with mis-matching geometrics and sat proudly on the hips. Granted, the latter won't be coming to a high street near you, but their boundless energy is something to be admired. Donatella also got busy with the hardware, slicing frocks open and piecing them back together to delineate her seams with metallic-mesh piping. Sometimes, those scissored gaps were left open with triangular perspex segments joining the fabric fragments, or sometimes the metallic piping became armourlike, coiled heavily against the body in thick panels - such as the formidable, Valkyrie breastplate that adorned a full-length chiffon frock. This was just one in the usual Versace cavalcade of Oscar-roster gowns, rendered in a hibiscus, pomegranate and cassata-coloured froth of Valley of the Dolls pastels, slit to the tit and pieced with chainmail, diamante and leather. It was this time exactly ten years ago that the Versace palm-frond frock was the choice for the back of every A-lister. Donatella should justifiably have similar demand on her hands for this stomping success-story of a collection.