Change Has Arrived: Donatella Versace On Fashion’s Digital Evolution - Lookbook

Ahead of Versace’s most recent collection, Fall-Winter 2021, the designer talks about how fashion pivots to the times.

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“I have realized that this is the future, the new way of communicating collections,” says Donatella Versace. The creative head of the luxury Italian fashion house is speaking ahead of the presentation of their Fall-Winter 2021 lines, which, like collections in the past year, were presented digitally.   

The maze-like show space for Versace’s 2021 F/W presentation

Versace believes that while there are limitations in presenting clothes by way of a camera, and not in a packed room, a performance is still a performance. “Models are like actors, they bring the designs to life, just like when a performer portrays a character,” she says. “During the filming of this show I saw how important it is to give the models time to ‘feel’ the clothes they wear on the runway.”

Evolving With The Times

More careful, innovative thought should be given to these presentations, Versace emphasizes. “Despite living in a digital era of immediacy, taking this time is crucial to form a genuine connection. This is what the present and future look like to me,” she says.

Last September, Versace did admit to Elle that the virtual is not the same as the physical. “The emotion of a fashion show cannot be replaced digitally. That’s for sure,” she says. “I don’t think you can ‘visit’ emotion from your laptop; that’s impossible.”

But being “a digital event has its advantages,” Versace relents in an interview with Harper’s Bazaar. “One of them is the possibility of connecting with your audience whenever you think is the right moment.”

“Models are like actors, they bring the designs to life, just like when a performer portrays a character,” Versace says

The 65-year-old designer knows that fashion needs to be a representation of whatever is happening today, and evolutions such as this digital shows is an example of that. “While I like to remain true to the brand’s heritage and codes, it’s only natural that an evolution is necessary,” she says in an interview with Fashion Week Daily.

She believes that fashion has transformed to something completely different from what it was two decades ago. “When I began working, the Internet did not exist, pre-collections did not exist,” she continues to explain to Fashion Week Daily. “There were two fashion shows a year and that was your collection, that was your moment.”

Keys and Patterns

For Fall-Winter 2021, Versace is going Greek with the introduction of its La Greca code. Featuring the Greek Key along with the Versace logo in various sizes and color combinations, the geometric pattern has sharp angles, clean lines and a strong palette that represents power and self-confidence.

In womenswear the silhouettes are reduced in volume with rounded shoulders, cinched waists and A-line skirts. The trousers are cropped and there’s a cleanness that lets La Greca do the talking. The new code features on modern daywear, signature metal mesh dresses, sensual eveningwear, bold sheepskin outerwear and is embroidered on denim. Harnesses are created that cross the chest like armor and add sharp detail through embellishment and contrasting shades.

Men’s cuts are slim and refined with a twist, with the tailoring hugging the body. La Greca features in different ways from all-over jacquard suits sometimes mixed with lurex thread, to small rubber patches on the chest like soccer badges. The fabrics jolt from shiny vinyl to matte wool.

FW21 also introduces a graffiti Medusa smiley that champions the brand’s sense of humor and rebellious character. Considered a symbol of celebration, freedom and dancefloor communities, it is framed by La Greca borders and appears on foulards, men’s outerwear and women’s shirts.

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