Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Atelier Versace, Fall/Winter 2012-13

PARIS, July 1, 2012
By Nicole Phelps
"Donatella should've modeled." That was Christopher Kane, a Versace acolyte, following the Atelier Versace show at the Ritz tonight, a few moments after the platinum-blond designer took her bow in a black patent corseted dress with a waist so tiny it rivaled those of the teenage models. The point being, this haute couture show was as Versace as Versace gets: the pastel chain mail, the hip-high slits, the scarf prints, the Medusa emblems, the bared skin. If a few crystal beads fell as models strutted down the catwalk, that kind of thing's bound to happen at the dance clubs these dresses are destined for.

"It was very emotional. I had to get up my courage to come back," Versace said after the show. Not that you'd know it from this fearless display. First off, she'd booked the Ritz hotel, home to her brother Gianni's couture shows for eight years, and not just for a show in the pool room, but also for a dinner in its restaurant, L'Espadon, followed by a disco party. Then, she recruited a celeb-packed front row: Christina Hendricks, Fan Bingbing, Pierce Brosnan, Lea Michele, Matthew Morrison, and M.I.A. had the photographers lunging across the runway for their shot. And as for the dresses, Jessica Alba put it best: "sexy, strong, warrior." Or maybe Elizabeth Banks: "Donatella's not afraid to show off a woman's body."

Lindsey Wixson opened the show in an A-line trench constructed from thin strips of ivory patent woven through rose gold buckles and cinched with a boxing belt that looked like a riff on her recent men's collection. Versace elaborated on the process for short corseted dresses made from tarot-card-print silk laminated with PVC and cut into narrow lengths; bits of flesh were visible through the slits. Later on, that game of peekaboo became even bolder. Slashes on beaded evening dresses were sutured together with strands of crystals; another dress was patched together with silk chiffon lacing from pieces of leather that were hand-cut with tiny circles and hexagons. For colors, Versace favored nudes and jewel tones that matched the cocktail rings made from yellow diamonds, emeralds, and topazes the models wore on both index fingers.

A couple of hours after the last model hit the catwalk and Donatella took her bow, the Ritz's pool had been converted into a disco, complete with a set from M.I.A. "Can you feel the spirit of Gianni in here?" a reveler asked. "I can, I can feel it." With Versace and her daughter, Allegra, grooving with Dita Von Teese and Alba in the VIP section and everybody else looking on, it was some party. Donatella's party.

Lindsey Wixson

Kasia Struss

Kolfinna Kristofersdottir

Kinga Rajzak

Anna Selezneva

Ginta Lapina

Zuzanna Bijoch

Frida Gustavsson

Sigrid Agren

Caroline Brasch Nielsen

Ella Kandyba

Nimue Smit

Julia Nobis

Aymeline Valade

Josephine Skriver

Vika Falileeva

Stef van der Laan

Andreea Diaconu


Karlie Kloss

Bette Franke

Kate King

Iris Egbers

Ava Smith

Elza Luijendijk

Katie Nescher


  1. This is my favorite collection hands down. There is just so much I love about it I don't know where to start.

    I love the styling, even if it is a little retro.
    I love the fact that the gowns and models look good together, there is a harmony through out this show. I love the drama and the movement.

    That sheer gauzy material is gorgeous. This time the sheer works and doesn't dominate the clothing.

    Fave gown is the pink piece Jac is wearing.

  2. This is your favorite, eh? The part that amazes me is the piecework. Look at how all those strips and strange shapes of material are sewn together to make such a flattering shape? That's pretty impressive.

    I'm not a Versace girl, but I don't hate this collection as much as I usually do. It's definitely couture for the Victoria's Secret woman. I'm not a big fan of the sheer skirts, they remind me so much of Barbie clothes. And the dress on Julia Nobis is already falling apart, which makes me worry about the construction. I'm also worried about the clientele. It pains me to think that couture dresses are going to be worn to clubs, where they're going to get all sweaty, stepped on, and possibly covered in drink. I don't feel like these dresses are going to be cherished for life, but are almost disposable.

    However, this was a great show to watch. Totally glamazon, super sexy and lots of drama. Between Versace and JPG, I can almost pretend I don't miss Galliano. I do though. Galliano was theatrical drama that always stayed close to sophisticated even if it pushed a lot of limits. Donnatella is theatrical in a very L.A., new (trashy) Hollywood sort of way. And JPG is theatrical in a sort of off-kilter, down the rabbit hole kind of way.

  3. I think the Barbie, glamazon look is what I like about this collection. It's superficial, fun, glamorous and beautiful but shallow. I agree with you about the clientele. A gown like this is too "pretty" to be worn to a club. I like the show for the runway quality and the Impossibility of the clothes.

    Galliano was a master and I miss him as well. There is a brilliant touch of crazy and sophistication to his work.

    A lot of the couture shows had sophistication but the drama was lacking, or like this one, the drama was there but the sophistication, not so much.


Liana Loves...

Liana Loves...
Take a peek at my favorites!