Held in the same hall as where students of King’s College London would furiously scribble away to the end of their examinations, Versus Versace showed their Fall Winter 17 collection in the same address – Kensington Olympia, once home to the ‘Paris Hippodrome’ and is now more widely known for The London International Horse Show.
Albeit minus the endless rows of desks, you can sense the same amount of adrenaline in this space. Even pre-show, guests shuffled along to tracks of Missy Elliott as they warmed up to possibly the largest event organised for London Fashion Week yet (I say so by quoting that the Kensington Olympia holds a greater capacity than The Roundhouse).
Even though Versus Versace is a brand that continuously opts to show its collections in London, rather than to show in the Italian fashion capital (as the brand shows its main collections in Milan), I am convinced, like many others, that this was not an issue. I reason this with the fact that, for a brand that has already established a powerful identity, location is not the main issue. Rather, the question is how to sustain a diffusion line which does not impair quality or brand ethos?
For Versus Versace, the diffusion line offers more than merely an extension to the main brand itself, or an alternative with a more available price point. Donatella Versace was clear to make a point that Versus Versace is to offer equality. Applying this fact, we can see that in the collections. Every element was available to both genders: the graphic chokers, the comic-printed puffer jackets and colour scheme. For the guys, neon pink was bravely layered into zip turtlenecks and sleeves for sweatshirts.
And yet, there are equally versatile pieces: a long-sleeve, bubble knit turtleneck sweater in regular fit; a laser cut denim shirt with a safety pin pocket detail, making reference to that Elizabeth Hurley dress; a cherry red knee-length coat with concealed buttons worn underneath a lightning bolt pull tab zip-up.
This may well be one of the stronger Versus Versace collections, taking into account that the Versus Versace brand is to celebrate individuality, bravery and pleasure. As a result, the brand is set to become unashamedly expressive – something that the current millennial generation grips onto.