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MFW: Donatella Versace does sexy for grown-ups

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MILAN -- Donatella Versace closed out the week Monday night with one of the strongest collections of the Milan season. It was sexy, grown-up and self-referential but not retro and loaded with the kind of textural details that communicate design value, something so key right now.

With 1980s redux in high gear in Milan, Versace easily could have gone there. Instead, she pushed forward, while reaffirming signature pieces such as the trench coat, shown in rippled black satin with a sprinkling of silver embroidery on the bottom.

A boxy jacket with an artful silver-and-black scratch effect topped cigarette pants for an updated take on the pantsuit. The Versace biker jacket came collarless and the super-luxe fur in cobalt-blue chinchilla.

For evening, as usual, it was all about the body. A liquidy, iridescent black draped jersey dress, cinched with a futuristic-looking belt, could have looked cheap at the hands of another designer. But not under Versace’s skillful watch. Instead, the fabric and fit worked perfectly.

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Then came the goddess gowns that never get old, in ocean blues or shades of sand, with ropes of laquered pailettes or rows of silver cartridge-like hardware hugging every curve, while subtly paying homage to Gianni ‘s famous safety pins.

--Booth Moore

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