Atelier Versace Donatella Haute Couture Paris Winter 2016 Antidote Bella Hadid

Paris Haute Couture FW16 : Versace’s Draping Desire

Byline : Jessica Michault
Photo : courtesy of Versace

Change was a-foot on the Versace haute couture catwalk on Sunday. Designer Donatella Versace toned down the shimmer and the sparkle and instead focused her creative energy on shapes, using draping to create undulating, curving lines that really celebrated the female form.

Front row guests Naomi Campbell and Jennifer Garner could certainly appreciate the way Versace played with matte and shine fabrics to create a bit of sensual tension in the many folds of fabric that wrapped, cascaded and cupped the models as the walked the runway. Garner, in a see-now-buy-now moment, was even wearing a look from the couture collection itself in the front row as she took in the show. But perhaps no audience member appreciated the body contouring looks more than actor Bradley Cooper. His girlfriend of over a year Irina Shayk made quite a few heads turn in her slinky black gown when it was her turn on the catwalk.

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Atelier Versace fall-winter 2016

The collection opened beautifully with flame-haired model Karen Elson wrapped up in a lush cashmere coat in pale mint green that came lined in glossy blush pink. The coat looked both luxe and modern. And the use of glitter on all the lips was quite a clever way to subtly incorporate that fundamental part of the brand’s DNA. Hats off to you Pat McGrath.

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Atelier Versace fall-winter 2016

From there the collection unfurled in a series of dresses that often played as much with dimensionality as they did with draping. The curving lines of a few of the gowns had so many stand-up strips of fabric zipping down their front that they brought to mind elegant three dimensional topography maps. The strips of beaded fringing that made up the bulk of one of the final dresses felt a bit closer to the Versace of old. But it was that first coat, and the three others that were peppered throughout this show, that really held the attention. This was a strong collection from Versace, and when paired with the recent menswear show in Milan, it indicates a designer who is on top of her game.

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