LOS ANGELES (AP) – Stepping out of her usual base in Milan to show off her wares in Los Angeles just three days before the Oscars – Donatella Versace says she was inspired by the energy, glamor and power of Hollywood. He had a lot going for him, but one more thing was needed to make it all work: good weather.
And so, with rain expected on Friday, Versace was forced to move its show forward a day. It may have been chaotic, but it was the right move.
Her star-studded runway show took place on a cool but gorgeous Los Angeles evening on Thursday on a spectacular rooftop overlooking the snow-capped San Gabriel Mountains, sleek skyscrapers and the Hollywood Hills. Oh, and daylight turned to darkness as the show ended – just turn on the floodlights, blast “Let’s Go Crazy” by Prince and head for cocktails.
The sun was still out when the crowd started making their way to the roof of the grand Pacific Design Center on Melrose Avenue with its distinctive blue glass exterior.
The guests included a cross-section of the worlds of music, film, fashion and sports: Cher was there, as were Elton John, Dua Lipa, Miley Cyrus and Lil Nas X. From cinema, there were two Best Supporting Actress Oscar winners – Ariana DeBose and Anne Hathaway – as well as the favorite for Best Supporting Actor this year, Ke Hui Quan. NBA star Dwyane Wade arrived with wife Gabrielle Union before the games.
Attendees jostled to take selfies with the spectacular view behind them, and staff warned them not to go too far back and fall off the building.
In creating its 2023 fall-winter line, Versace harked back to Atelier Versace’s 1995 collection, the label’s couture line, with a campaign starring Madonna. Color options started with black and included caramel and chocolate, as well as apricot, turquoise and pink. Prints included an animal print and a falling flower motif from the Versace archive.
Supermodel Gigi Hadid opened the show in a black, hourglass jacket and knee-length pencil skirt, a sleek tailored look that gradually transitioned into more flamboyant ensembles. Naomi Campbell later arrived in a black dress with elbow-length gloves.
After a flurry of black garments for both women and men, there was a sudden burst of bright pink in woolen cropped jackets and miniskirts, then a tangerine-hued minidress. More than halfway through the show came luxurious, satiny printed dresses — often mini, and accompanied by those elbow-length gloves for added glamour.
Streetwear was nowhere to be seen, and long gloves seemed to evoke the Golden Age of Hollywood, which began in the mid-1920s and continued for several decades. Paired with an up-to-the-mini, and often accessorized with large sunglasses, they were intended as what Versace describes as “energy from colliding the glamor of the Golden Age with the power of contemporary attitude, and confidence.” Had to describe
How sure? The designer has called this collection a form of Kavach. As for Los Angeles, Versace calls it “a natural home for us”—a place that makes her feel free and close to nature.
Of course, Los Angeles is also a city of stars – and never more so than during Oscars week. The moments before the show felt like a dry run for the Oscars red carpet, with celebrities reuniting or meeting for the first time.
Dua Lipa was shown on social media meeting and sitting with Cher. And one group of stars seemed especially thrilled to meet: Ke Hui Quan of “Everything Everything at Once” and Hathaway, who each expressed their enthusiasm for the other.
“I’m fainting!” Hathaway said as she fixed her eyes on Quan. “Everyone is so happy for you!”
Quan replied: “I love you very much.”
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