Milan Fashion Week: Versace, the minimalist


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Opposites attract. That was the theme of Donatella Versace’s terrific spring collection, a graphic play on the contrasts of modern versus antique, angles versus curves and fabric versus flesh.

The palette was bold (bright white, azure blue, red and black), and the silhouette column-like. High-waist skirts fell just below the knee, and were worn with cropped jackets to expose a sliver of bare midriff. That wasn’t the only new erogenous zone. Nude shoulders and waistlines were framed and revealed by sculpted cutouts, and bare backs highlighted by arching straps and angular harnesses with decorative buttons.


One dress was constructed of curving panels of contrasting matte and embroidered fabric, reminiscent of a piece of modern furniture. Another was cut with inlays of plastic, in the tradition of Courreges, interrupting the line of the silhouette and exposing skin. A colorblocked dress had a kind of techno-antique print peeking out from a slit in the skirt.

The Greek key motif was the basis for the colorful print, which got me thinking about classical architecture and the body surface. Columns, arches and friezes -- all influences on this collection in one way or another -- were just the tools Versace needed to create a sexy spin on fashion’s clean new look.

Versace may never fall head-over-heels for minimalism, but at least she can flirt with it.

-- Booth Moore, reporting from Milan

Photos: Versace spring-summer 2011 runway collection photo gallery

Looks from the Versace spring-summer 2011 runway collection shown during Milan Fashion Week. Credit: Jonas Gustavsson & Peter Stigter / For The Times.