SPRING MENSWEAR • VERSACE SS14
by Jeremy Danté
MILAN – the house of versace has the strongest DNA, likely, in all of italian fashion history. the medusa is one of the most recognized emblems in all of fashion, as it’s relevance has chronicled the birth of the supermodel in the 90’s and drew it’s way into hip-hop on the backs of iconic rappers tupac shakur and christopher ‘the notorious B.I.G.’ wallace. it appears as though the house is looking to tap into that same approach these days. the SS14 menswear collection resonates on a level of nostalgia for me. the silhouettes, the shoulders, the hair- it was all very 90’s. there was no bigger fashion house in the 90’s than the house of versace. with the death anniversary of versace’s founder, gianni versace, approaching this july, it will be sixteen years since the design great was murdered in miami. while the detailed reports of gianni’s death are completely haunting and unforgettable, he legacy lives on through the house. the bold colors, the assembly line of sex appeal disguised as a runway is exactly what the house of versace is at the core. with donatella set in stone, almost as iconic as the label’s own medusa- the re-popularization of versace is reaching critical mass as their involvement with H&M seemed to remind them what value was seen in the iconic, vivacious designs of italy. while other labels have scaled back to minimalism, or subdued concepts- the house of versace appears to be kicking it up a notch and heading back to their roots. not afraid to come off as over the top, and even in some forms vulgar; that fearlessness is what fashion is about. it’s about standing where you are and having a point of view. a direction can become dull when there is no substance behind it and donatella understands that. she regards fashion as a timestamp, and doesn’t regard it as art. she believes fashion is power, and that theme was certainly in full effect this season on the runway. from leather pieces, to tailored suits, the collection ranged a bit- though it never fell off course through that span of versatility. the runway show opened with strength as male models stood ready to pillage the runway. handsome grooming was seen as the collection progressed through a palette of vibrant colors, cooling to a set of black pieces that almost seemed to hint at a darker direction for the fall season to follow. overall, the collection is everything that a versace menswear collection should be, and regardless of the questions we may have about this taste level- we understand that this is versace. it’s fashion that’s intended to birth a reaction.