I’ve always been in two minds about ’90s style. Sure, there was the Backstreet Boys, the Disc-man and The Matrix, but the plague of denim cut-offs and bedazzled Von Dutch hats have always haunted me. While 2018 saw the return of ironic ’80s fashion, this year has seen punk counterculture make a comeback and if anyone was going to immortalise the style for a modern era, it was always going to be Donatella Versace.
The location for the hotly-anticipated Spring/Summer 2020 collection was the Via Gesù in Milan – locally known as The Men’s Street – and encompassing the historical architecture was a jungle of pink flowers. A black Ferrari offset the pink hue, and served as the focal point for the forthcoming runway at Milan Fashion Week Men’s.
In a collection described by the designer as a, “celebration of modern masculinity”, the runway opened with a line of neatly tailored leather and classic sartorial pieces, with the addition of new-age style cues. Subtle Versace nuances peppered the looks – think printed ties and classic accessories – while mismatched jackets, vinyl and animal print introduced a slew of bold ’90s attire and confident expression.
“For this collection, I wanted to explore the elements that empower a man. It’s definitely the confidence, freedom and desire to express himself without hesitation,” Donatella explained.
Through status symbols including race cars and intentionally oversized silhouettes, power suits were revived for SS/20 and provided the cornerstone of the collection, while a sense of rebellious spirit was translated into loud colours and print-clashing. All-over hardware pieces made a power play along with bulky belt buckles and studded accessories – a nod to era dressing. Fluorescent hair colour was audacious while faded denim and deliberate bleached fabric grounded the OTT grooming.
But like many of Donatella’s past collections, late brother and founder of the Italian fashion house, Gianni, served as the ultimate inspiration through the heritage DNA print of Versace. Adding opulence to the dark collection, the famed logo was found on tie-dye basics and the baroque print emblazoned across button up shirts, lightweight knitwear and relaxed shorts. Presented in a combination of mint, periwinkle, violet and deep pink, it created a stark contrast to the remainder of the collection, which was closed out with subtle glitter lurex.
A delicate reminder of the magic of Donatella Versace.