This weekend, Versus Versace held their first runway show at LondonFashion Week, placing a silver medusa imprint on the capital as Anthony Vaccarello presented his third womenswear collection for the offshoot label. Guests including FKA twigs, Lottie Moss, Mark Ramone and Paloma Faith turned out for the event, which took place in the depths of the Victoria House basement. Irish four-piece The Strypes provided the guitar-heavy soundtrack for the show, heralding the runway return of model Erin Wasson. She walked alongside Malaika Firth, Binx Walton and Lily Donaldson, each decked out in PVC, leather, bomber jackets and printed denim.
Operating a ‘See Now-Buy Now-Wear Now’ strapline, the collection was available to buy immediately on Versus Versace online store or via the slick new Versus shop in Shoreditch, radically defying the industry’s six month waiting time for a collection to arrive in stores. It’s a concept that Versus experimented with back in May for the AW15 collection, which saw high slits and silver lions sell quicker than you can say safety pin. Versace believes that the current format of fashion week operating half a year ahead of sales is outdated – believing that our instant, digital age requires instantly shoppable fashion.
“Operating a ‘See Now-Buy Now-Wear Now’ strapline, the entire collection was available to buy immediately online or via the slick new Versus shop in Shoreditch, radically defying the industry’s six month waiting time for a collection to arrive in stores”
Versus was originally gifted to Donatella by Gianni Versace in 1989, who quickly established its rock-rebel codes, with a penchant for leopard print, bare chests and PVC. After closing in 2005, it rose again in 2009 under the helm of Donatella and Christopher Kane, followed by J.W. Anderson in 2013, but only now is Versus really showing its full force. Donatella and Vaccarello easily align on their seductive LBD vision, packing glamour and sex appeal in youth-charged rock chic measures. Vaccarello walks a fine line that blends Viva Versace gusto with his own sharp take on tailoring – there were plenty geometric cuts, asymmetrical hemlines and deconstructed garments, as he chopped into sheer skirts and masculine tailored jackets. Elsewhere palm tree and pineapple prints floated on sheer tops, zip-up bombers and wafting fabric, while strapless dresses and halter necks were punctuated with silver Versus hardware.
With a pre-show playlist this year including Joy Division and Elliott Smith, we got a glimpse into the studio soundtrack that inspired the collection, closing on “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll” by Joan Jett. The show was immediately followed by the after party, which included a surprise performance from Australian rock band Howling Bells, before Isaac Ferry took to the decks.