Ode to Gianni, by Donatella: Versace revisits its roots for Autumn

Filed under: Catwalk, Fashion Week

WHO? The incomparable, all-Italian Versace.

IN A NUTSHELL: In an interview prior to the show, Donatella revealed that she'd finally found the courage to revisit her brother Gianni's vision: the show he was working on before he was so tragically shot and killed back in 1997. "It's taken me 15 years to revisit that collection," she told the Telegraph. "I always carried it around in my head as a reference but I didn't feel I could go there, because it was too painful, and it was too private." Well, it seems that finally, Autumn/Winter 2012 was the time.

Versace Autumn/Winter 2012 collection: Milan Fashion WeekThe Versace Autumn/Winter 2012 show finale during Milan Fashion Week. Photo:Getty

At first, we thought the Versace girl was having some form of religious epiphany for the new season: 90% of the opening looks were covered in crucifix symbols. The show notes revealed Donatella's (or even, Gianni's) influence from Byzantine crosses: "striking a noble note between rock and regal."

(Potential) religious symbolism aside, the show opened with a series of monochrome rock-chick cocktail frocks and separates, which were quickly joined by the odd pop of neon yellow, before developing into a quite simply spectacular finale of uber-sparkly, super-sexy eveningwear.

The feel? "A sexy rock vibe," says Donatella. "Against a backdrop of seduction." Enter velvet, leather, corsetry, figure-huggin bustier dresses, mesh panels, cut-outs, lashings of glitter and embelishment and a striking new take on chainmail...

BEG, BORROW OR STEAL: While no doubt the controversial crucifix emblems will divide the masses, we defy anyone not to fall head-over-heels for the beautiful finale frocks. (If only we were invited to events worthy of wearing one to...) We also loved the fierce caged boots, and are tempted to grab the scissors and cut ourselves a ridiculously blunt fringe in homage to model Lindsay Wixson and co. Oh, and well and truly establishing it as the trend of the season, even Donatella worked a peplum (albeit small, structured mini versions.) Obviously this now means we're desperate to get our hands on some form of be-peplumed design.

F-ROW: Christopher Kane (creative brain behind Versace's sister line Versus), Anja Rubik, plus Carine Roitfeld and any major international editor you care to think of.

VERDICT: What a spectacle. It's true what they say: even though we're only half way through the Milan schedule, we can well believe that the Versace show was a definite highlight, if not the highlight of the week. Seductive, glamorous and utterly covetable, it's the stuff young girl's dreams are made of, and everything one would expect from the House of Versace - potentially more. The fact that it was heavily influenced by an original Gianni collection, is testament to the enduring longevity of the brand.

Viva Versace.

More from the Versace collection below: