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Versace Couture AW13

Susie Bubble on Donatella's cinematography-inspired show and Naomi Campbell's return

PhotographyLea ColomboTextSusie Lau

"Naomi is Naomi!" said Donatella Versace with a casual shrug of a gesture and a laugh that said there was no better moment for the supermodel great to return to the Versace catwalk than this particular Atelier show. It's been fifteen years since Campbell walked for Versace and it was fitting that she should do so in a Versace Atelier collection that was honed, perfected and thoroughly well researched. Much like Campbell herself then.  

"I was really inspired by black and white photography and cinematography. I really wanted to bring back that perfection and precision into the collection," explained Donatella backstage. If Atelier's clothes had always had the film starlet in mind then this collection really took inspiration from cinema's bygone golden era, where the contrast between light and shadow and precise chiaroscuro lines were projected on to the clothes.  In a peek-a-boo game of conceal and reveal, hook and eye fastenings would open body conscious dresses up like windows, revealing silk tulle bustiers, mink yarn sweaters dangerously cropped and what appeared to be banks of flesh coursing through dresses aided by net mesh.  The nods to the silver screen continued to sparkle across minuscule sequins and minute crystal embroidery.  This was highly accomplished workmanship combined with what looked to be a newly reached zenith for Donatella and her Atelier team.    

As we spilled out after the show into the garden cocktail, star-struck eyes followed Donatella and Naomi around the room, where Versace's Atelier jewellery glistened and gleamed with black and white diamonds - entirely fitting, as was everything about this show.