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Atelier Versace wows with ladylike haute-couture

Atelier Versace wows with ladylike haute-couture

Atelier Versace merged 1950s glamour with goddess-like draping at its AW16 show.

Presented on Sunday night (03Jul16) at Paris Couture Week, creative director Donatella Versace brought in a cast of supermodels and A-list celebrities for the affair, with the likes of Bradley Cooper, Naomi Campbell and Jennifer Garner perched on the front row. And the line was clearly designed with the Hollywood awards season in mind, with models walking the catwalk in sexy yet sophisticated gowns. Leading the brigade was veteran model Karen Elson, who paraded the runway in a blush-coloured robe coat with seafoam blue lining which was worn over scarlet bustier dress. For Elson, opening the show was a significant moment, as her modelling career had its start with Versace back in 1997, when she made her debut at what would be Gianni Versace’s final couture collection.

"Now cut to almost 20 years later, and here I am opening Versace couture in Paris, surrounded by a lot of beautiful fresh new faces, and I’m the old school fashion veteran along with Carolyn Murphy," she told, adding that she was happy to add some ’90s-era oomph to the lineup.

Elsewhere, Versace’s favoured silhouette - the tight gown with a thigh-high slit - reappeared once again. For instance, one model wore a column gown with high slit and shoulder cutouts paired with pale pink draped duchess satin folds which fanned into a long train. Sticking with a palette of black, pale blues and pinks interspersed with the dashes of ruby red, a standout garment was the flowing black gown model Irina Shayk wore, a heavy satin folded gown with architectural draping around the shoulder and pale blue lining. Similarly, model-of-the-moment Bella Hadid made a memorable statement in a long-sleeved cherry red dress with contrasting blue satin lining, accessorised with black satin shoes with a wide ankle strap and stylised bow.

Referencing ancient Greek sculpture, the intricacies of draping, wrapping and folding were explored, with pieces curving around the body to create intricate silhouettes, with Carolyn Murphy closing the show in a highly draped gown with structured bodice and flowing train made from ballerina pink satin and finished with black sequins. But there was also a ladylike feeling, with models sporting messy chignons and make-up guru Pat McGrath painting faces with ice blue cat eyes and glittering burgundy lips.

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