Fashion shows are back in the spotlight. Donatella Versace hosted the first post-pandemic blockbuster. Dua Lipa, the winner of five Brits as well as two Grammys, walked the catwalk wearing a black dress and safety pin earrings in an homage to Elizabeth Hurley’s red carpet gown 27 years ago.
Lourdes Leon, Madonna’s daughter, was also in the Friday evening show. It is believed that this will be the first of two Versace shows at Milan Fashion Week. For clues, we are looking at the Cryptic gold and white invitations that simply read “Donatella” but invite guests to “something special” on Sunday night.
“Fersace”, as the collaboration is being called, would be a strong show of solidarity between Italy and Italy. With Milan in the eye of the storm when Covid-19 arrived in Europe last spring, the industry has been badly shaken by the pandemic. The collaboration of two houses from a once-stifling industry would symbolise a new spirit.
Kim Kardashian, who may or not have been involved in the venture depending on your source, sparked rumours after she posted a picture of herself in Rome with Versace, Jones, and Jones two months ago. Fendi and Versace both denied the reports about Sunday’s show. Fashion designer duos are very popular right now. Gucci’s April show featured a silver trousersuit with Balenciaga’s name in sequins. This was the catwalk equivalent to Adidas putting a Nike logo on a trainer.
Balenciaga has responded by selling a nearly identical replica of Gucci’s Jackie bag. However, the GG logo is being replaced with a BB in the monogram. Kering owns both Gucci and Balenciaga. Fendi x Versace would be even more unexpected, as there are no business connections between them. Fendi is part the LVMH group while Versace is owned Capri Holdings. This American stable also owns Jimmy Choo and Michael Kors.
Prada is, as always, ahead of the curve when it comes to the desire to collaborate. Since Raf Simons joined Miuccia Prada last year as an equal partner, Prada has been a collaborative effort between two major designers. The duo’s first live catwalk show together was in duplicate. On Friday, two identical collections walked simultaneously on catwalks in Milan and Shanghai.
The message, the return of miniskirts, was simple and a direct response to critics who wondered whether two strong designers could co-author a strong fashion message. Wearing short, sharp skirts in vibrant yellow satin or matt black bare-legged with low heel slingback sandals was a smart move. They were paired with chunky knitwear or shrugged-on leather jackets. Prada’s cool, chic minis are a refreshing departure from the long-sleeved fashion trend.