Saturday 22nd February

| BY Claudia Croft

Versace: Ready-to-wear AW20

The mirrored invite was a clue to the theme of the show: “You are the star!” Versace AW20 was a brilliant tribute to selfie love. Showgoers even had to pass through an “influencer tunnel” to access the venue. This specially-built, insta-friendly habitat. pulsed with flattering light for the always-on-camera brigade. In the catwalk space itself stood a huge selfie mirror. Cameras trained on the audience projected their image onto a vast digi-wall that cut down the middle of the catwalk. Everyone, giddy with collective narcissism, dutifully posed and snapped. Then the show started. Bodycon black tailoring segued into Russian military looks with fake fur hats pieced with huge safety pins, then animal print, vivid floral oversized knits, slashed sportswear pieces. The show moved at the same blistering pace (and with the same short attention span) as social media. This live fashion feed continuously shifted mood and focus. The only constant was the focus on high-impact clothes that looked good IRL, but even better on an Instagram square. 

The whole thing was played out against an ever-moving digital backdrop with  music pounding at heart attack pace. This show grabbed its audience with incredible force. We were taken, shaken and put back down again in a slightly dazed state. By the time Kendall Jenner closed the show in an abbreviated  chainmail dress and Donatella took a digital bow on the video screen, we were left wondering if we’d ever feel normal again. It was intense. It also took the fashion show to new territory.

Photographs by Jason Lloyd-Evans