For the Verasce Pre-Fall 2020 collection, Donatella Versace placed at the collection’s core a hyper-feminine red rose motif—a symbol of romance, purity, even of transient fragility. The red rose is apparently her favorite flower. Blooming for both the women’s and men’s collections on tailored coats and sharp-cut suits in Prince of Wales or houndstooth checks, it was distorted and twisted, with a slightly dangerous erotic flavor. No hints of fragrant innocence here; the Versace rose has thorns.
Embracing contrasts is a hallmark of the house and it played out for Pre-Fall in its emphasis on the diversity of the vast Versace tribe; there were plenty of wearable choices for its myriad followers. Versace exploded the idea of urban uniforms in full, with elegant tailoring shown in many iterations, suggesting a less street-y, more sophisticated approach. It alternated with more unisex utility accents and a bold take on rock-and-roll black leather. Tough biker jackets, bustiers, and full pleated miniskirts were punctuated by gold zippers, metallic Medusa buttons, and safety-pin details.
Yet the rose motif was definitely the strongest decorative statement of the collection, a new interpretation of the archival Barocco print. It was given a colorful Pop Art spin in tie-dyed allover prints and sequined embroideries, and it became a sort of floral camouflage rendered in acid hues. Mixed with acanthus leaves, the roses actually looked like hallucinogenic specimens blooming in a psychotropic garden.
Donatella Versace created a collection that was assertive and bold, experimenting with a tough, impactful sense of romance.