Friday, 19 July 2013


One of the most difficult tasks within any creative industry is to create something that is truly original, which is one of the reasons that the fashion industry has recently taken to looking back through the decades and putting a fresh twist on some of the most memorable looks. Vintage shops have seen a huge surge in popularity, whereas houses such as Maison Martin Margiela have trawled their archives to present new, "reworked" versions of vintage favourites - it used to be seen as uncool to wear anything last-season, whereas now the fashion industry is demanding a mixture of the old and the new. One of the best examples of this trend is the Versus Versace 2013 collection - originally started by Gianni Versace back in 1993, the diffusion line has existed separately from the mainline collection as an affordable way to bag a piece of the house's inimitable aesthetic.
Versus Versace, 1993
There was a huge buzz surrounding the 2013 collection - based on the success of his critically-acclaimed eponymous label, all eyes were on J.W Anderson for his first collection as creative director of Versus. Anderson is renowned for his conceptual take on fashion, which left many puzzled as to why he had been chosen for the job. Due to the fact that his collections usually focus on androgyny, dramatic silhouettes and a clean monochrome colour palette, many struggled to see how he would find a middle-ground between his minimalism and Versace's bold, colourful aesthetic. 

On the whole, Anderson succeeded in his mission to reference both aesthetics - the fetishistic crop tops and semi-sheer dresses shown on the men were distinctly Anderson, whereas flashes of burnt orange and electric blue on short evening dresses were pure Versace. The clean lines of Anderson and the bold colours of Donatella worked well together, especially when the fabric choices were somewhat unconventional. For example, knitted skirts and halter-neck tops came in a variety of hues but, when teamed either with a piece of the same colour or plain white trousers, the result was surprisingly effective. 

Anderson also experimented with zebra-print - an experiment which produced several results, all of which were varied in terms of success. When shown more literally, the print felt like an example of Anderson repeating the tried-and-tested codes of the house, but an abstract version of the print saw diamonds of black and white interspersed onto a shaggy halterneck crop top which was both fresh and modern. When teamed with a skirt consisting heavily of safety pins and a backcombed mohawk, the overall look seemed to be the embodiment of Anderson's aesthetic combined with the punk spirit of the Versus collections. Donatella herself coined the term 'Vunk' (Versace punk) to describe some of her latest work, and this collection embodied that description. The greatest thing about this collection is that it managed to be 'punk' without being cliché; there was hardly any leather in sight, yet the messy hair and lack of accessories gave the impression of effortless cool - the kind of 'punk' that everyone can aspire to be. 

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