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Versace AW15 Dazed runway womenswear finale
Anna Ewers (Women) at Versace AW15Photography Virginia Arcaro

Versace AW15

Dare to share: an ode to the empowerment of the emoji generation, complete with crystal hashtags

Initial reaction:

“No memories,” said Donatella Versace backstage, after a show that throbbed with energy. “We decided not to look at the archives. I want to think of the Versace for the today and the tomorrow.” The today and the tomorrow according to Donatella means DIGITAL, spelt out with the new Versace emoji, a remixed take on the Versace Greek key and the letters of VERSACE also jumbled up with hashtags. Apparently young peeps need things spelled out to us, alphabet soup style. It also meant jolts of primary colour pulsating throughout the collection, sometimes in head-to-toe ensembles in canary yellow and bright red. They were supposed to grab your eyeballs from a computer screen as our image and text intake increasingly speeds up to an indistinguishable blur. No chance you’d miss this Versace collection coming at you as Donatella dares you to wear.  

Donatella’s design DNA:

Donatella may have said that she turned her back on the archives for this collection, but Versace design DNA runs through her. Pinstripe suiting, putting patent booted thighs forward in asymmetric skirts and bold prints are all well-tread Versace territory. Even the primary hues reminded you of AW91 when Linda, Cindy, Naomi and Christy walked in unison. What Donatella did do was tap into her younger self – the one that would get her older brother to stage shows with rock bands, and injected a youthful energy into today’s Versace with quilted stitched bombers, rasta coloured Greek key prints and displaced “V” cut-outs. For those unaware of Versace lexicography, it will all read fresh.

Going digital:

Donatella had already dabbled with made up emojis for her Atelier Versace collection, encrusting symbols in crystal on gowns. She and her team came up with an official one this time – a round circle derived from Versace’s Medusa head and simplified with inward spokes. It’s supposed to represent “Dare” for Donatella – dare to be bold, dare to be audacious and dare to share. No need to dare this generation to share their life away, of course, but you might need a bit of Dutch courage to wear the crystal remixed V.E.R.S.A.C.E. mini dresses with a #Greek thrown in there, just to get the message fully out there. There’s more to this digital spin than a simple social media call-to-action. “Today, with the digital world, women can be empowered,” said Donatella. “It’s us! It’s everyone. I feel empowered!” Donatella could have been pointing about the self-starting modus operandi that the internet has brought about, the way women can express themselves (for good or for worse…) online and how we have bridged communications as the world becomes a smaller place.