Nobody does loud, look-at-me prints quite like Versace, and the Italian brand lived up to its reputation at its pre-fall ’19 runway show, which was held in New York on Sunday night.
The front row may have had plenty of distractions (Kim and Kanye, Blake Lively, Ciara, Lupita N’yongo, Mary J. Blige, Uma Thurman — the list goes on), but the runway was full of wild, ostentatious prints and looks that not only held everyone’s attention but also distilled much of what fans know and love of Versace.
Gigi Hadid, Kaia Gerber, Hailey Baldwin, Emily Ratajkowski and other models walked the runway in a variety of coordinated looks that centered on the brand’s legacy of animal prints. Many were done in a black and white palette riffing on zebra or abstract giraffe prints, which were then mixed in with Versace’s signature Rococo motifs in bold gold.
Donatella Versace continued to explore ways in which leggings, bodywear, shoes and ornamental embellishments can be worn for a fully coordinated look, with printed hosierylike leggings, sporty tops and bodysuits matching handbags and many of the shoes. It’s a trend that has done well for the brand’s strategy of bringing back its heritage prints and motifs, so much so that it’s recently been copied by others, like Victoria’s Secret, who debuted printed body wear at its runway show last month.
There were also matching jackets and bags in faux fur — some of the first pieces of their kind since Versace announced it would be going fur-free in March.
Though the majority of the looks in the collection focused on this mix of Rococo-meets-animalia, there were a few more subdued looks and different prints. A series of heart-printed separates will likely to be a commercial hit.
And Gerber walked the runway in a sumptuous ensemble that combined a chocolate patent leather jacket, mohair sweater and champagne-hued silk skirt with a side slit with a pair of brown leather under-the-knee heeled boots that would look as much at home with jeans and a sweater than they would with the usual Versace flamboyance. Emily Ratajkowski, too, was outfitted in a quieter look — a black dress — though it grabbed attention all the same with its very revealing cutout leather bodice.
The newly married Baldwin (who has changed her name to Hailey Bieber on Instagram) also made an appearance on the runway in an off-the-shoulder, black-and-white animalia print mini-dress with coordinating socks and pumps.
Click through to see all the celebrities in the front row at the Versace pre-fall 2019 show.
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