“Darling it’s better, down where it’s wetter” — take it from Donatella Versace.
On Friday, the designer presented an “under the sea”-inspired Spring 2021 collection on the runway during Milan Fashion Week. The show did have an audience, but it was only made up of Versace employees (all of whom tested negative for Covid-19 prior to the presentation, according to the brand). The rest of the world consumed the line virtually, via livestream.
Set in a sand-covered, dimly-lit space lined with broken-down Roman pillars, models made to look like glitzy sea creatures — damp hair, dewy skin — brought the maritime vision for Spring 2021 to life, which brought back the Italian fashion house’s Trésor de la Mer print, originally designed by Gianni Versace in the ’90s. The shells and starfish motifs cropped up in a number of ways, from crystal-encrusted bra tops to blinged-out embellishments on classic black blazers. (Halle Bailey, please make note for the live-action “Little Mermaid” press tour.)
“Swim through the ancient pillars on which Versace was built,” she wrote in a show note that she posted to her Instagram story. “Discover my new collection in the key setting which was its inspiration. A mysterious utopian world ruled by Medusa and inspired by our Trésor de la Mer designs.”
Through this collection, Donatella both paid homage to her late brother and offered an escapist vision for Spring 2021. (She may be onto something with the latter — life has to be better under the sea than it is currently on land.) There were wave-like flounce-hem mini skirts and dresses, sporty wetsuit-inspired separates and neon hues reminiscent of colorful coral reefs. If Ariel didn’t make you want to be a mermaid, then Versace will. Brand regulars — think Joan Smalls, Jill Kortleve and Irina Shayk — walked down the catwalk in beachy rainbow-striped cropped tops paired with slim-fitting, mermaid-style midi skirts, as did new and welcome faces like Alva Claire like Precious Lee.
See the complete Versace Spring 2021 collection in the gallery, below.