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Milan Fashion Week: Versace goes for baroque, but it's too little, too late

February 26, 2011 | 10:24 am

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By opening the show with Gianni's signature baroque swirls and flowers blown up to Pop Art proportions on mod minidresses, it seemed Donatella Versace was going to have some irreverent fun with her fall collection.

The trouble is, Miuccia Prada already did baroque pop -- and better -- for spring, with her cartoony-fun, gilded monkey and banana prints, which editors here are already wearing, despite the freezing temperatures.

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Then in came the cavalry. Narrow-waist coats, cropped jackets and box pleated skirts were cut with military precision, with cargo pockets and big brass buttons placed here and there, even on the bum.

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A white snakeskin coat with enormous fur sleeves had a certain pop-meets-pimp appeal. The serpent theme continued on sexy tight black dresses with leather swirls snaking around the bodices.

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But the feather-flocked evening wear was better than all the rest, from an amusing canary yellow dress that brought to mind Big Bird in a good way, to an Oscar-worthy finale gown shimmering like diamonds, with a string-thin strap down the back, dissolving into a swoosh of white tail feathers.
And was that a crystal Medusa head minaudiere I spied? I hope so. Because there should be a kitsch factor to this brand, along with all the sex appeal. But she could have done so much more.

-- Booth Moore in Milan

Photos: Looks from the Versace fall-winter runway collection shown during Milan Fashion Week. Credit: Jonas Gustavsson and Peter Stigter / For The Times

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