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'Versacepolis': An Underwater Utopia of Discovery and Diversity for Set for Milan Fashion Week

Versace Spring Summer 2021 | Fashion Show

Nothing can ever be out of the ordinary in Donatella Versace’s presence. “Discover the underwater world of Versacepolis! A utopian settlement on the seabed ruled by Medusa with principles of empowerment, strength and beauty.” The under the sea inspired runway show was visioned with a sand-based catwalk, tumbled Greek columns, deteriorating pillars and the ruins of an abandoned underwater city (think the city of Atlantis). To explore the unknown, the SS21 land of ‘Versacepolis’ is inspired by the concept that only 20% of the surface of the sea is known. In a moving, slightly mystical and thought-provoking display, Donatella conveyed a message of ‘empowerment, strength and beauty’ through the discovery of the unknown and the presentation of her SS21 collection.

This season's designs took us to the ’90s in a ‘back in time moment’ to Versace’s Spring/Summer 1992 catwalk. Reminiscing on the topical prints, bedazzled clam shell dresses and fish prints (designed by her late brother Gianni), Donatella’s SS21 line was dripping in bejeweled seashells, crystal seahorses, aquatic patterns and vivid colours that created an underwater fantasy. Iconic to the Versace name, rules are made to be broken. As we were transported to ‘Versacepolis’ pinstriped blazers, crystal embossed corset tops, satin slips, ruffled skirts and a blend of bright artistic marine design mixed in with simplistic monochrome patterns brought movement and discovery to the runway. Of course, with the iconic Medusa logo embellished onto chain bags, bucket hats and chunky jewellery.

Versace Spring Summer 2021 | Fashion Show

And with a particular guest list of employees (instead of press, celebrities and influencers) Donatella broke the usual Versace show etiquette by keeping the numbers small and making the launch of the collection intimate for those who helped create the magic.

‘Versacepolis’ was an aquatic journey and underwater dream that takes a moment to reminisce on their designs of late yet pushing the boundaries to be fashion-forward as ever. Discovery being the hallmark of this collection, here’s everything you need to know about the spring/summer 2021 show.

Versace Spring Summer 2021 | Fashion Show

There was an Emphasis on Body Diversity

Fashion Week has pulled out all the stops in enlightening us with some top model moments including Ashley Graham, Leomie Anderson and Georgia Palmer to name a few. So naturally, with the glamour, decadence and go-gettedness that the Italian Fashion House has been so famous for, it was only fitting that Donatella follows suit. Adut Akech, Irina Shayk, Alva Clare and Precious Lee all took charge of the utopian runway; looking sensational in seashell embossed baby doll dresses and satin slip dresses. Donatella took the

Versace Spring Summer 2021 | Fashion Show

Body diversity played a major card with the unveil of this collection, as a variety of body shapes and sizes presented the clothes on the runway. “I wanted to do something disruptive and to break the rules because I think that, what worked a few months ago does not make any sense today,”

The underlying message to “Come out of your shell”: Pardon the pun.

The female empowerment and strength that was emitted through this collection was simply undeniable. As Joan Smalls walked the sand-covered runway, the strength of her fuchsia pink top and movement seen in her ruffle skirt that cascaded below her was a very inspiring moment for the future of fashion and for what it represents. Bold moments as such were gone unnoticed, yet delicate embraces such as Irina Shayk’s walk in a baby blue satin slip dress adorned in a crystal shell bodice and starfish accents.

Versace Spring Summer 2021 | Fashion Show

Sustainable is the word.

Sustainability has been a core value that has sat behind many of the iconic fashion houses’ SS21 collections. Versace being no different. ‘Verscaepolis’ featured organic fibers, polymide, organic cottons and recycled polyester to pull together a mesmerizing collection that was equally trendy as it was topical to the complexities of the outside world. Through lockdown, Donatella told Vogue that her mission was to make “everything sustainable… that’s my next war,”

Words by Clare Stephenson

Graphics by Frances Scott

#versace #ss21 #fashionweek #milanfashionweek #versacepolis #daretobedifferent #daringtobedifferent

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