It came close for the Versace fashion show not to take place. Whose fault would that have been? The weather, surprisingly fickle for the past two months in Los Angeles. Originally scheduled for Friday, March 10, the Italian fashion house’s Fall-Winter 2023/24 show changed the date at the last minute (due to expected rain) to finally take place the day before, on Thursday at 5 p.m.
Warned 48 hours before the show, guests and press gathered at the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood. A building with spectacular architecture, the one signed in the mid-1970s by architects Cesar Pelli and Norma Merrick Sklarek for Gruen Associates, and consisting of three huge red, green and blue buildings, where today showrooms and workshops of the world’s biggest design brands are concentrated.
Led to a huge parking lot, guests then had to enter the sixth floor of one of the buildings, pass through a tunnel under a black light, and then enter a red corridor where the traditional photocall took place. A giant catwalk, nearly 50 meters long, littered with some fifty photographers and cameramen waiting for the parade’s guest stars.
All this happy little world then found itself in an immense structure with gilded walls with powder-pink carpet, set up especially for the occasion of the parade, which opened onto an arena surrounded by three majestic stairways, at the top of which one could enjoy a sublime panoramic view of the city.
A good hour later than originally scheduled, the Versace parade was able to begin. To the notes of the operatic music of artist Perquell, punctuated by techno sounds, star Gigi Hadid opened the first part of the show in black-on-black, wearing a loose-fitting, wide-shouldered gown and a pair of black gloves.
The star accessory of the fashion show, the glove was found on all the silhouettes of the show, declined in black and in color, paired with a few high boots, accompanying very short dresses, suits with double-breasted jackets, shorts, leather coats with alligator prints, quilted capes, puffy shaped coats and faux fur, or sublimating with subtle simplicity an outfit composed of an oversized white shirt and denim pants.
To the music of Vladimir Cosma, quickly followed by a few tunes by Prince, “one of my closest friends at the time, for whom I felt a lot of love and friendship,” Donatella Versace confided before the fashion show, color made its appearance in candy pink skirt suit versions with slightly puffed sleeves, in short orange dresses with retro Sixties accents, and in conical-shaped bustiers.
Then, rock-chic silhouettes pairing denim shirt and leather skirt took over. Followed by others that evoked Roman-style draperies. European fall brought brown in all its variations to the runway, down to camel and caramel mixed, finding dead leaves a leading print, declined in all colors on some short silk dresses.
At intervals, masculine silhouettes appeared, all in leather, getting sexy in black leather vests and pants, while other creations showed sequin jackets paired with a pleated skirt reminiscent of Jean Paul Gaultier, and found in a series of effect prints, camouflage and crocodile, some splashes of color.
This was followed by volcanic dresses embroidered with light, a second pass by Gigi Hadid, sublime in an evening gown, iconic bustier and disco necklace, followed by a stunning Naomi Campbell, while it was Kendall Jenner who closed Versace’s Fall-Winter 2023/24 show.