I always said I would review the collection in the future, and I guess this is it. Since the new year, not a week has gone by without me watching the 2020 spring summer Versace show or listening to the soundtrack. The Versace shows are becoming very iconic to me. I’m not sure if it is because of the star-studded models that walk the show or if it is the soundtrack. Then again, it could be the entire ethos of Versace that is all about women’s empowerment.
As a young woman, it’s hard to navigate the world. What should I wear? How should I dress? In what ways am I portraying growth? What gives me comfort with the Versace brand is that I’m a girl’s girl, through and through. Whenever I feel confused, I tend to gravitate toward other women to see how they cope with their existence. Other times I use escapism as a coping mechanism. The world of Versace is a component of my solitude.
The interesting thing about power is that no matter the gender, anyone can wield it rottenly. Women are not immune from making mistakes and can be the harshest critics of other women. If you appear to misrepresent the definition of a ‘strong woman’, you’re cast aside and left to fend for yourself.
Fashion is that deep. People who are clueless about art will often take it at face value. They don’t appreciate the artisans or the hours spent trying to find the perfect material for the collection. To the untrained eye fashion is seen as a superficial premiere of unattainable standards and overpriced fabric. To me it is more than that. It is the chance to see the world through another human’s eyes. Donatella Versace’s eyes.
We all have different opinions on what a perfect world looks like. In Donatella Versace’s eyes, we’d all be wearing six-inch heels or in jail for refusing to wear them. But that’s all a part of the fun. Historically, I remember a time when Donatella didn’t send her models down the runway in flats. Compared to her recent shows, she is a designer who knows how to adapt to changes in public and social opinion.
Women want to wear what they like, not what others dictate. I believe that women don’t dress for men. Women dress for other women. Women appreciate the work that has gone into looking stunning, and that is where you will receive honest praise.
The collection felt like a body of work made for women by women. Even though the clothes can be revealing to some, they accentuate the female body in a sensual and respectful way. For example, my favourite look that came out early in the lineup was a dress worn by top model Gigi Hadid. The dress featured strong shoulders and a cut out by the waist. It shows just enough skin to dance on the side of sexy versus sleazy.
I also really liked this orange and pink dress worn by Shanelle Nyasiase. It was a perfect rendition of a similar dress worn by Gisele Bundchen on the runway 20 years prior. The attention to accessories was also something I treasured about Shanelle. It felt right and something that black women would wear in real life. We’re known for our jewellery in Africa, with our fancy hoops in the Western world. Though this outfit comes across as a little gaudy, it’s on-trend with Donatella’s ‘more is more’ philosophy.
Models help to bring life to the collection. Boring models equals a dull show. Seeing faces such as Caroline Riberio and Amber Valetta strutting their stuff gave me major happy vibes! It’s nice to know that the world doesn’t end after 30. The clothes felt very age-appropriate and part of the collection. Both outfits are something that I would wear, and I’m much younger! There is no scrimping on style. If I were their daughter, I wouldn’t need to help them get dressed.
My particular favourite model moment came from the last few walks. From Imaan Hamam through to Amber Valetta, the girls killed it! I wanted every single outfit. Imaan Hamam’s walk was my favourite, with Kaia Gerber wearing my favourite look in the collection. I love a good suit jacket worn as a dress. It’s like the perfect middle ground between sexy and intelligence. Something that the most daring would wear to the office.
It’s the kind of outfit that I would wear when I’m comfortable around other women. Other men would probably find me hot, and that’s great. But as I previously mentioned, only women can truly appreciate the art behind getting ready.
2020 Spring Summer Versace Soundtrack
Is it just me, or has anyone noticed that the music is custom-made? I haven’t been able to find a Versace soundtrack since 2018. My favourite song came towards the end when Adut Akech walked out. It made me feel like I was watching a resort show.
I wasn’t one for the Jennifer Lopez fiasco, but I did think it was a nice touch. She was a large part of the success of Versace during that decade, so it was only fitting she walked the show.
Hair & Makeup
I am all for this slicked-back wet hair look! It’s so sexy and underrated. It works well on long hair (Gigi Hadid) and short hair (Sara Soric). I also appreciated that that hairstyle doesn’t work well for everyone. Usually, casting directors force women to conform to one standard of beauty. Beauty is not a monolith, and this definition needs to be adjusted accordingly. Models such as Anok Yai, Mica Arganaraz and Hiandra Martinez wore their natural locks during the show.
Diversity and inclusion are crucial parts of social progress that are often poorly executed. It’s not hard to be diverse because everywhere you look, there will be a person of an ethnic minority who is involved in that industry. It’s the inclusion part that trips people up. Yes, you should have black and brown girls in your show, but how much are they conforming to an unnatural beauty standard? We can all fit into the same space, but we cannot forget our differences.
That is why Versace is currently one of my favourite luxury houses. I can see myself in that world, and that’s important. Representation matters. Overall I thought the 2020 spring summer Versace collection was good. There were definitely some stand-out pieces, but the collection felt repeated. It’s great to celebrate the past (which may have been the whole point of the show). But reinvention is paramount, as well as expecting the unexpected. Definitely well executed by Donatella and her team.
Use of Top Models
Model Lineup Could Be More Diverse
Sama is the Editor in Chief of SSEDITORIAL Magazine. She currently oversees the creative direction of the magazine after ending her role as Runway Director to develop the SSEDITORIAL RUNWAY division. When Sama is not leading the team. She likes to contribute, primarily to the high fashion section of the magazine.