Donatella Versace is not one to do things by halves. She is the master of extravagance, opulence and OTT and we love her for it. The Versace house is not built on whispers but bangs. So, many were surprised to see that she was seemingly holding back for A/W 15 and making a more discrete, pared-back proposition to her shopper. Gone were all those graphic prints - the migraine-inducing medusas we've become accustomed to. Surface was not the story for A/W 15. Instead Donatella was reaffirming and re-promoting the Versace codes when it comes to cut, silhouette and, to an extent, colour. When it came to the latter she opted for hues that were neutral; en mass they looked like the moody tones of a bruise. She arranged them in a tone-on-tone fashion, sending out head-to-toe hues that moved from brown to blue, to beige and back to blue again.
When it came to form and fit Donatella was pushing a new suit cut, one that had less bulk, a neat shoulder and a sharp, slightly shorter jacket length. She may have been cultivating crispness and precision here but it was curves not angles that dominated this collection. It was soft, snug even. The Versace man was bedding down rather than going out. Padded parkas enveloped models like duvets while fur - a key feature of the collection - was used to craft cosy hooded outerwear that almost resembled hangover hoodies. The notion of layering and wrapping came through in those bland-tone rib knits, cabled cardigans and - wait for it - leggings, which turned the usually macho Versace man into the male version of Marc Jacobs' medicated sci-fi spa-frequenting female from A/W 14. If it all sounds a bit wholesome and pure fear not, for Donatella defined the new direction in her signature, saucy way. 'Versace stripped,' she declared - 'stripped' may have referred to the lack of decoration, but nevertheless it was a welcome hint of something erotic.