Saturday 21st September

| BY Claudia Croft

Versace: Ready-To-Wear SS20

JLo, in full strut mode, at close quarters, a wake of jungle print chiffon trailing behind her. That body. That face. That attitude. This is what peak fabulosity looks like. Peak fashion too.

As pop culture moments go, JLo recreating her iconic Y2K Grammys appearance in a Versace Jungle dress has to rank near the top. Right after Amber Valetta showed off the final fashion show look, the walls of the vast circular venue lit up. “Ok Google show me images of the Versace Jungle dress,” said Donatella Versace’s voice. Immediately the walls of the venue were filled with scrolling images of JLo at the 2000 Grammys in the famous, plunging gown. “Now show me the real thing,” demanded Donatella. Enter JLo to hysterical screaming. The story goes that the idea for Google Image Search was born that Grammys night from the demand from users to see pictures of JLo in that dress. It’s just one example of the way Versace has woven itself into popular culture. The archive is rich with such gems. What’s interesting is how Donatella is using the past to speak to a new generation. Just as JLo’s dress was a version of the one she wore 20 years ago, not a direct copy, so Donatella’s SS20 collection riffed on Gianni Versace’s tight short tailoring of the early nineties.

Sexy, slick, black and on Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid and Mica Argañaraz it was the modern update on the Versace glamazon. The tropical prints beloved of the house were reignited printed on metal mini dresses mesh and encrusted with paillette fronds. It had sass, and the silhouettes were relevant. The archive played its part but didn’t overpower the sense of newness. Bravo to Donatella as Versace makes new fashion dreams for the next generation.

Photographs by Jason Lloyd-Evans