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Versace SS17
Versace SS17Photography Virginia Arcaro

What went down at Versace’s SS17 show

Donatella served up a sporty take on Versace classics this season – here’s what happened at the show

With her all-star casts and signature glamour, Donatella Versace’s shows are always one of the high points of Milan Fashion Week. Yesterday saw queen of the courts turned queen of the catwalk Serena Williams sit on front row once more, and Donatella wrap her collection around the idea of female empowerment. Here’s what went down at the show.


Serena Williams has become something of a front row regular this season at Milan Fashion Week. So far, she’s attended Gucci, Fendi and Armani, and yesterday she rocked up at Versace. As you can see from her Instagram photo above, she also spent some one-on-one time with Donatella before the show, watching her put the finishing touches on the collection. Given the show’s theme of female empowerment, the presence of the six-time Wimbledon champion felt somewhat fitting.


Since the Gianni days, the Versace woman has been all about strength and power, and Donatella has continued this legacy. At yesterday’s show, this was reflected in the soundtrack as well as on the catwalk. A voiceover resounded throughout the show space, encouraging women to live to their full potential, “The the leap / If we do nothing we get nothing / Take the leap / We’ve got it all if we look for it deep inside.”


After the show, Donatella took to Instagram to explain this soundtrack, as well as the wider feminist theme of the show. “Yesterday's show celebrated the strength of women, and the power of the female future,” she said. “It was dedicated to every woman who believed in herself enough to take a leap of faith. We should all remember that we’re standing on the shoulders of giants: Coretta Scott King, Esther Lederberg, Donyale Luna, Gae Aulenti, Margherita Hack, Nilde Iotti, Rita Levi Montalcini... extraordinary women who made history with their vision and undying dedication. We love you, we thank you, we’ll make it up to you. We will not forget you, and together we will take the leap.”


Donatella invariably enlists a stellar cast of models to embody this idea of a strong, powerful Versace woman – and this season was no exception. The show was opened by Edie Campbell, who was followed by fellow Brit Jourdan Dunn, two Hadids, several Victoria’s Secret Angels including Adriana Lima, Taylor Hill and Stella Maxwell, as well as a crop of fresh talent and original supermodel, Naomi Campbell.


As for the collection itself, for SS17 Donatella injected a dose of sportiness into the strong and sexy Versace signature. There were t-shirts and leggings; coats, jackets and even evening gowns fitted with drawstrings, bright colours and a lot of nylon. Of course there were some of Donatella’s trademark sexy numbers too: tight mini dresses, skirts split the the thigh and dresses slashed across the chest.