The Versace show was my highlight of the spring/summer 2018 season and I wasn’t even there! I watched it on the live stream, in the Vogue office, surrounded by colleagues. As we gathered round a computer screen it felt like a very chic episode of Gogglebox. We knew that Donatella Versace was planning something special to mark 20 years since her brother’s death. We’d heard Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford, Carla Bruni and Claudia Schiffer would walk and that the collection was inspired by archive pieces, but nothing prepared us for how emotional and powerful this show was. The fashion moments racked up. First a new generation of modern day supers was anointed, women with sass and attitude wearing updated version of archive pieces. There was Kaia Gerber wearing a catsuit embroidered with Vogue covers, one of which featured her mother. Binx Walton and Gigi Hadid gave a masterclass in how to strut in matching thigh high boots, and Yasmin Wijnaldum showcased her spectacular, hip-swinging walk. The clothes – butterfly print party dresses, cowgirl denim and lavish animal prints – were so joyful and glamorous. Who better to telegraph the Versace aesthetic to a new generation that these confident, beautiful women? A voice-over of an actress speaking Donatella’s words to her brother Gianni heightened the emotion. This alone would have made for a great show, but then George Michael’s ‘Freedom’ began to play. A curtain at the back of the catwalk dropped and the original supers, dripping in gold mesh stood in perfect formation – each one owning the stage. Donatella – who has battled personal demons and led the company into the 21st Century, joined them for an emotional bow. That was the image that pinged around the web and was picked up and posted by so many. This was more than just a fashion show; it was a reminder of fashion’s power to reach out to a vast audience, wow the world with beauty and hold a lingering place in the collective imagination.
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