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Show Report

Show Report: Versace S/S 14 Menswear

by Lou Stoppard on 22 June 2013

Lou Stoppard reports on the Versace S/S 14 menswear show.

Lou Stoppard reports on the Versace S/S 14 menswear show.

We all know that Donatella likes her men toned and tanned, so it seemed perfectly appropriate that she was giving the boys in the room a lesson in fitness for S/S 14 with a collection focused on athleticism and idealism.

The most obvious realisation of this inspiration came in the colourful wrestling tape that decorated both the models' skin and the clothes, giving the illusion of body paint. Beyond that, other than in the signature nudity, the looks strayed widely from the given starting point of 'the athleticism of the body'. Maybe that dressing gown, worn wide open to reveal a pair of micro trunks, was symbolic of a man relaxing, post work-out. But those military outfits seemed to take us to a new place altogether, as too did those more subdued suiting looks. At points it looked like the collection was going to be about the Versace man's mental tussle between propriety, hence those buttoned up shirts, worn with tailored trousers and leather bags, giving the illusion of man rushing off to work, and hedonistic fun, hence the colourful stickers protruding from underneath rolled up sleeves, but this was thrown askew by the inclusion of four eye-popping paint-splattered outfits that looked like they'd come straight from an experimental artist's studio. Restraint, freedom, discipline and precision all seemed to be jostling for space on the same runway. The only uniting factors were that familiar mining of the Versace archive in those studs and baroque prints, and the predictable focus on - or maybe make that fetishisation of - the male form, see both the model clad in a zip-through jumpsuit unfastened to point our eyes towards a pair of micro speedos and the phallic shape of those stickers. 

All in all it was hard to see the connection from look to look. The collection felt somewhat confused, made up of several ideas that seemed to compete for space and which were only held together - or make that stuck together - by that tape.

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