As Lara Stone appeared on the Atelier Versace catwalk, it was clear that this couture collection was going to be something a little different. While we’re used to the brash, bold, flesh-baring dresses and jumpsuits that Donatella Versace usually parades down her runways, instead we were met with a tribe of fairy queens including Kendall Jenner and Karlie Kloss, dressed up to look like the most ethereal festival-goers we’ve ever seen, parading down a catwalk littered with 26,000 orchid petals.
There were wispy, trailing gowns with delicately frayed edges, winding their way around models’ bodies. Maestro of hair, Guido Palau, created loose, festival-ready waves for all the supers, while each one wore a dainty crown of petals. That’s right, the floral garland is back, big time, only now it’s about delicate, carved shapes in dusky hues. Pat McGrath created the make-up looks for the girls, dusting eyes with a golden-green eyeshadow.
Of course, the usual Versace elements were present. Patent platform go-go boots were teamed with the dresses, while cut-away panels, corsetry and plunging necklines ensured that there was no question Donatella was behind this. But then there were the dresses that looked as though they were barely held together by fragile strands of petals. Yep, this was a romantic interpretation of Versace’s vamp, there’s no doubt about that. The designer herself spoke about her brand having ‘two faces’, and wanting ‘to show the softer side of Versace.’
With a powdery colour palette, billowing skirts and woven strips of chiffon and silk encircling gowns, we’d say she succeeded. Of course, all the supers turned out for the couture show, including Kendall Jenner, Karlie Kloss and Naomi Campbell (although the latter sat FROW-side rather than walking), making for one typically A-list affair. And as the fairies made their final turn on the catwalk, they all headed over to the amfAR dinner with Donatella in tow. Joined by the likes of Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Irina Shayk (who had both been watching from the front row), Karlie Kloss even kept her dress on for the event.
As couture week continues in Paris, one thing’s for sure; Versace’s new direction is one we want to follow, flower crowns and all.