Monday, 23 September 2013


High-fashion and hip-hop have never been strangers to one another - ever since Foxy Brown became Dior's poster girl back in the mid-90s, rappers have been name-dropping designers on a regular basis. However, the two worlds are now closer than ever; for example, Kanye West has designed his own range of clothing and single-handedly exploded the demand for Givenchy menswear by sporting their signature 'Rottweiler' T-shirt. This week came the most recent instalment of fashion's urban love-in; Versace's S/S 2014 collection, soundtracked by a remix of a song called 'Versace' originally by Migos. The new beefed-up version saw the addition of a massive SIX rappers including Canadian megastar Drake, which is almost unsurprising given that Donatella has never been a fan of restraint, preferring excess.

For this collection, Donatella did go back to the roots of the Versace iconography, choosing to heavily feature denim as well as chains emblazoned with the famous Medusa head. There were also the signature safety-pin fastenings that provided hook-and-eye detailing on everything from skinny trousers through to suit jackets. The focus on hip-hop is actually interesting considering that last season Donatella spawned the neologism 'Vunk' to describe the punk-rock aesthetic - perhaps she is the purest representation of the concept of designers being influenced by musical tribes, and even for this collection she hadn't abandoned 'Vunk' entirely, showing band T-shirts and mesh bandanas for a harder aesthetic.
As usual with Versace, there were a few fashion missteps - a series of dresses decorated with a metallic silver fabric, for example, were more cheap than chic, but there were a few highlights sprinkled amongst the collection. The band T-shirts were playful, reminiscent of Ghesquière's 'Back to the Future' sweatshirts a few seasons back for Balenciaga with their own futuristic twist being the names of planets such as Jupiter and Venus emblazoned on their backs.Then, of course, there is the moment that has already gone viral - model of the moment Lindsay Wixson striding down the runway with her new shaggy crop, wearing a floor-length gown with an exposed torso, heavy chain detail and towering platforms. The final look (arguably the most memorable) is, in essence, the most complete representation of Donatella's vision for the brand - taking Gianni's motifs and mixing them with her own punk aesthetic to push the brand forward.

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