by Jeremy Danté

PARIS – in their return to the runways of haute couture, donatella stood in front of a gold mirrored stair case in paris to unveil 15 jaw-droppingly gorgeous, extensively detailed haute couture gowns. just when you thought you could count the italian fashion house out, due in large part to their collections with fast fashion retailer H&M, the iconic atelier versace collections come crashing onto the runway. in anticipation of the collection, i had been looking at archived collections, both ready to wear & couture of versace, designed by donatella’s brother gianni from the late 80′s into the 90′s. what i love of versace is their use of sex through sophistication. when gianni versace was still alive, death by murder in 1997, he had a way of taking flash & turning it into trend. he took the gaudy & unwearable, transforming it into the chic & ultra-feminine. this move made an indelible mark on high fashion & versace remains one of the most iconic fashion houses for it. in the heritage of the italian label, gianni became known for taking hardware & making it wearable- using taboo concepts & churning them out on the glittering runways of milan & paris. for a while, the couture side of versace had become dormant along with the labels diffusion collection, versus. through industry trials & financial woes following the death of gianni, the house of versace has definitely stayed in the fighting spirit. headlines of downward revenue have been circling for years but now it seems that the label is hitting their stride once more in the new year. take for example, the H&M collections. one thing is certain of H&M, they know how to produce fashion for the masses & the inclusion of versace with their annual design collaboration allows a wider audience to partake in the fashion festivities while not having to suffer the escalated price points. the success of this collaboration brough a new level of luxe to H&M, also proving to be a golden union for versace who has been looking to push their design presence even further into the new & modern market. following their fall collection, versace also opted to follow-up with a cruise collection in a continual effort to push themselves upon consumers who will never be able to drop a couple grand for a gown.

on the heels of their fast fashion domination, the house of versace, under the guidance of donatella, have clearly not forgotten about their home in the luxury market. i was extremely excited to see that they would be making a return to the couture presentation circuit in paris, considering that they had only been producing custom looks from their made-to-order division. all things considered, custom isn’t couture. a few altered hemlines so that your titties sit right is nothing compared to hours spent by the atelier, hand beading a custom gown with a metal neckline. absent from the couture scene since 2004, the collection marked a goddess like return sound tracked by operatic excellence that was beautifully contrasted by the ultra-modern, hyper-sexual image that versace has become known for & delivered so well. dubbed “warrior women” by donatella herself, video previews of the collection truly evoked this persona as models- in order- karlie kloss, daria strokous, maud welzen, jasmine tookes, kendra spears, kati nescher, josephine skriver, lindsey wixson who stole the show with super sass, kate king, arizona muse, sara blomqvist, karmen pedaru, sigrid agren, kasia struss & rose georgiou modeled the 15 hand crafted pieces. do keep in mind that simple images do not do pieces like this any justice. i wanted to take time to find high quality images for you to get a better sense of the artistry that is represented in each piece, with every detail & design technique. exaggerated silhouettes, hand beading, laser cut leather- the collection was a beautiful return to haute couture & im hoping that the house of versace will stick around, with such glamorous consistency, for the next decade. collections like this remind you that fashion is not ‘just clothes’ but an ar tform of historical proportions. [source]