Versace is typically not one to quickly hop onto trends or care much about the shifts in consumer tastes. It marches to its own beat—coming up with a new-ish monogram, La Greca, only in 2021 (well after other brands) but relatively sticking to its signature Barocco prints, Medusa logo, and sexually charged designs.
It's surprising then that for Spring/Summer 2024, Donatella Versace decided to do a 180 with a collection that's representative of a return to minimalism—or that often misused phrase, "quiet luxury"—but done the Versace way. To be fair, this wasn't the first instance of Donatella going rogue with a rather minimalist collection. This is, however, perhaps her most successful execution yet.
The fit: The show opened with luxurious duchess silks adorned with the Versace Contrasto Checkerboard—a pattern that debuted in Spring/Summer 1982—in varying sizes and later paired with utilitarian pieces the likes of a perfectly cut trench and multi-pocketed gilet. They were simply teasers of what's to come: a skilful combination of tailoring and Versace motifs rendered in pastel hues.
The checked and square motifs continued on in multiple fabrications including wool crepe tweed. In some instances, checkerboard prints were layered with signature Barocco prints as well as a Versace Rose motif but in quite muted monochromatic renderings such that they weren't fighting for attention.
The focus on cut and tailoring were evident for the Versace Spring/Summer 2024 collection. Lines were sharp and clean with nipped in waists and three-dimensional sculptural shoulder moments that elevated the level of craft and construction further. In look 69 (the most minimal menswear look of the lot) for example, an impeccably tailored jacket with flared trousers showcased the peak of Versace tailoring but at the same time exuded a timeless aesthetic. It's highly edited and pared back, yes; yet the Versace man still exudes a sexy confidence.
The details: There's no denying that there were semblances of Miu Miu and Prada stylings—it's difficult to not reference the of-the-moment combinations, especially when taking on a minimalist approach. But again, Donatella made them her own. The peeking of underwear under trousers, scoop-neck tanks and fine gauge knit cardigans (both interpreted with gorgeous macramé Barocco borders) were reworked codes of Versace sensuality.
There were hints of a feminine-masculine tension that skewed in neither direction yet showed that the Versace man wouldn't be fazed even if it did. He's that confident.
Three exceptional looks: Look 12's maroon leather suit that's a stunning showcase of leather tailoring; the pastel blue mod-tailoring in look 23 with that clever styling of unbuttoning the last few buttons to show a hint of skin and underwear; and look 73's excellent tailoring.
The takeaway: This is how you do timeless, elegant minimalism while evolving house codes without looking like the next Zara collection.
View the full Versace Spring/Summer 2024 runway collection in the gallery below.