Runway Report: Versace SS18

“Gianni, this is for you,” a voiceover echoed throughout Milan’s Triennale museum over a sea of nerves and emotions. Marking the 20th anniversary of Gianni Versace’s death, Donatella Versace dedicated the Spring Summer 2018 collection to her brother – “a genius, an icon.” The show emphasized Gianni’s creativity and ingenuity, whilst spotlighting the continued legacy he has left upon the industry. In adhering to today’s feminists, Gianni Versace’s collection highlights, demonstrated by Donatella, proved he was consistently on the forefront of empowering women.

In paying tribute to an enduring legacy, Donatella Versace reverted to the archives from 1991-1995, a gesture the designer describes as finally courageous. It was during this period that audiences around the world witnessed some of Gianni’s most iconic collections of his career. Each of these collection motifs were reimagined for the Spring Summer 2018 season. The show was refreshing with surprising sentiment, as it was not quite literally new – with new trends, new tones and new prints but rather a collection of clothes that have since been judged by history in their own time. Silk-printed blouses, catsuits, trenchcoats, square-shouldered jackets and logo tees were reinterpreted alongside Vogue and Warhol motifs.

The Versace Spring Summer 2018 show was orchestrated to celebrate the past. The choreography featured grouped models walking the runway, much like the shows of the ‘90s. It was not so much nostalgic, as it was propositional; as active as a smoldering volcano; a sensation of something burning. It was in fact, this energy, that kept nerves high with anticipation, an expectation of a final wave to Gianni before closing the show. As the Triennale sat in darkness, proceeding a finale surge of Versace girls, a dimly lit curtain gave way to the most hopefully anticipated moment of the season- Gianni’s girls. The originals, Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell, Claudia Schiffer, Carla Bruni and Helena Christensen held a dramatic stature, as if almost allowing the audience to entirely grasp that what is before them is not a mirage, before taking a final walk with Donatella Versace.

As George Michael’s “Freedom” sung aloud, it was impossible not realize the beauty in revisiting the past before exploring the future. It is said that all good things get better with age. The work of Gianni Versace proved to be just that, a series of collections defying greatness, holding up beautifully over time.

About the Author

Jillian Magenheim is the Editorial Director and Director of Partnerships for OliviaPalermo.com. She is also a digital media consultant for various fashion and beauty brands. You can follow her thoughts on Twitter @Magenhaz and on Instagram @jillianrose_m