|From Versace F/W 09.10 Milan|
MILAN, March 2, 2009
By Sarah Mower
If one person in Milan could have gone back to the eighties with full credentials—massive shoulders, Day-Glo, disco-mania, and all—it would have been Donatella Versace. Full marks to her, then, for refusing. Her collection, like the woman herself, has long moved on. These days, she still drapes a slinky, liquid dress with much of the mastery Gianni achieved in his time, but any real compulsion to look back at the good old days has evaporated. There was, it's true, a quick flash of neon somewhere in there, but mostly Versace concentrated on working around metallics—silver, gunmetal, dark gray, and midnight blue—and palest neutrals. Decorated trenches, super-skinny cargo pants, and the odd biker jacket appeared for day, the only embroidery subtly streaked onto the hemline of a coat. No bling, no gold, no logos in sight.
Restrained wasn't quite the word for it, though. Daywear out of the way, Versace dealt out dress after dress, long and goddess-y or short and covered in plastic paillettes. Best in class were the one red dress and a nude, bugle-beaded gown, fit for a thirties movie siren. It all went on a bit too long, but funnily enough that gave time for the eye to observe some changing aesthetics. Noticeably, it was the girls who could fill out the dresses who looked best in these clothes—and knew it. To see Carmen Kass, Coco Rocha, Isabeli Fontana, and the newly (slightly more) curvy Lily Donaldson work these dresses with visible confidence was an encouraging reminder that, yes, some things can get better with age.
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