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Versace goes rockabilly chic for Spring/Summer 2011

June 20, 2010 |  5:10 pm

Fitted jackets, bangin' Medusa-head belt buckles, super-slim trousers and Elvis-worthy fringe came down the Versace runway Saturday, a rockabilly-inspired romp that played out against a stark, black-and-white geometric set piece.

The show notes called it a glance back to the Versace archives (one of several labels to explicitly reference mining its own past this week, including the Alexander McQueen collection, presented on Sunday) and the photos shot for the house by photographer Bruce Weber in the '80s.

But if the collection had one skinny cuffed-to-mid-calf pant leg in the past, it had the other firmly in the future, with a series of swirling black-and-white optical effects that could easily give a good eye doctor a bad headache, patterns that could be found on suit jackets, pullover sweater vests, short-sleeve henley-collar T-shirts, jackets and underwear.

The retro-meets-future mashup doesn't seem like it would work, but it actually does, and this collection could well cross over to a segment of the population that currently doesn't know Versace from Versailles.

Now, all they'd need is the right face for the ad campaign -- and I bet the Stray Cats  (Brian Setzer, Slim Jim Phantom and Lee Rocker) have a couple of those nine lives left in them.

 -- Adam Tschorn, in Milan

Photo gallery: Versace Spring/Summer 2011 menswear collection

More All the Rage coverage of Milan Fashion Week

Photos: Looks from the rockabilly-themed Versace Spring/Summer 2011 menswear collection shown on June 19, 2010, during Milan Men's Fashion Week. Credit: Peter Stigter and Jonas Gustavsson / For The Times.