Musings on the culture of keeping up appearances

All the Rage

Category: Versace

Top designers get the Disney treatment in Elle Espana magazine

Some of fashion's top designers boast undeniably cartoonish elements to their personas (paging Donatella Versace). And now we get to see them in all their animated glory.

Elle España (Spain) magazine ran a riotous spread this month in collaboration with Disney artists -- depicting some of fashion's top dogs as classic Disney characters.

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Milan Fashion Week: At Versace and Jil Sander, power women kick butt

Versace milan fashion week The Milan fall fashion season began with quietly feminine collections from Miuccia Prada and Alberta Ferretti. But on Friday night, the runway revved up with two takes on the power woman.

In the hands of Donatella Versace, she was built for speed and techno tough. Motocross leather pants cropped above ankle wrap boots and jackets with sporty elastic and zipper insets formed the basis of this strong collection for a more athletic take on classic tailoring.

Body-conscious dresses and skirts were another highlight, with asymmetrical panels of ribbed knit and chrome-look mirrored leather.

Gowns in black or white, traffic-sign yellow or red, were spare and modern with minimal graphic leather or chiffon details, and skin-flashing cutouts.

It made for a striking picture when the models posed on the runway together in a final tableau.

Except that we've met this power woman before. In fact, several editors in the front row were already dressing like her in second-skin leather leggings and biker jackets.
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Milan Fashion Week: Versace taps into 'Tron,' 'Terminator' and Pink Floyd album covers

Reporting from Milan -- I've noticed a pattern over the last eight seasons covering the men's runway collections: The quality of the opening laser light show is inversely proportional to that of the collection that immediately follows it.

And, on Monday, Versace put on one hell of a light show.

Explicitly drawing inspiration from "Tron" (yes, the 1982 Walt Disney film "Tron," why do you ask?), and William Gibson's 1984 novel "Neuromancer," (which popularized a now-familiar word of Gibson's coinage -- "cyberspace"), it seemed to be just as heavily influenced by "Terminator" and the dispersive prism album cover art of Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon."

Clearly there had been no small amount of technical fiddling to get the fashions of the future off the ground; one jacket looked like it had been shaped out of crumpled aluminum foil, which might have made it a wacky, cool concept piece if that's what the designers used. Instead it required (as the show notes explained) "fur dipped in a proprietary dye to resemble silver foil."

And, also according to the notes, luminescent fiberglass played a supporting role -- something about adding brilliance to the chalk stripes.

There were folded, darted leather jackets, leather bags and jackets that looked as if they had been studded with ball bearings, and wool felt trousers and jacket lapels coated to a mirror-like finish with polyurethane (which basically made it look like ... you guessed it, patent leather).

Perhaps this was Versace's "Tron" collection -- only in reverse. In 28 years we could look back and laud  this as the collection that employed all kinds of  cutting-edge innovation to change the game forever.

But on Monday, it looked a lot more like Bruce Boxleitner zipping around on a light cycle wearing head-to-toe CGI neon. 

-- Adam Tschorn

Photos: Versace menswear fall-winter 2010 runway

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Photos: Looks from the Versace men's Fall/Winter 2010 runway show, held on Monday in Milan, Italy. Credit: Peter Stigter / For Los Angeles Times

Tom Ford bets on Vegas for second U.S. menswear shop

Rage_ford_vegas It's turning out to be a busy month for designer/director Tom Ford. Although his primary focus of late has been film -- his directorial debut, "A Single Man," starring Colin Firth and Julianne Moore premieres Dec. 11 -- he's also been plotting to expand the retail presence of his eponymous menswear line, and today he opens a store in Las Vegas, just the second freestanding boutique in the country.

The 7,700-square-foot store, with an angular metallic facade that resembles the exterior of LA's Walt Disney Concert Hall, is located at the new Crystals retail center in the new CityCenter development. Fashion industry trade paper WWD reports the interior resembles that of the New York and Milan locations, with antique bronze and glass display cases, velvet sofas, and luxe touches that include a black marble fireplace, Ultrasuede paneled walls and a beaver rug.

Like the other stores, it will serve up everything Ford envisions the modern man of style could possibly need, with a dedicated shirting room, a sportswear salon, a perfumery (where you can have a custom-blended scent made), and a room dedicated to made-to-measure suits.

Other luxury stores slated to open at the Crystals include Louis Vuitton, Ermenegildo Zegna, Cartier, Kiton, Paul Smith, Versace and Tiffany.

As for more Ford stores, there's still no word on when a local outpost (which we first told you about last December) will open, although the Beverly Hills Courier reported last month that final remodeling plans for the 344-346 N. Rodeo Drive location have been finalized by the Beverly Hills Architectural Commission.

Tom Ford, 3720 South Las Vegas Blvd., Las Vegas

-- Adam Tschorn

Photo: Fashion designer-turned-movie director Tom Ford opens a 7,700-square-foot menswear emporium in Las Vegas today. It is in the Crystals retail complex, part of the CityCenter development. It's only the second company-owned freestanding Tom Ford store in North America, following the New York City location, which opened in 2007. His first movie, "A Single Man," adapted from a Christoper Isherwood novel, premieres next week. Credit: Simon Perry.

Milan Fashion Week: Versace brings sexy back


The sexpot is back at Versace, where Donatella Versace showed a bang-up collection Friday night. With the 1980s revival in full swing, Versace smartly returned to some of her brother Gianni's most iconic design codes, and yet everything felt fresh and modern.

Baroque prints in fluorescent brights were splashed across tight-fitting jersey tops and postage-stamp-sized miniskirts, some with a layer of peekaboo plastic on top. (Start trolling vintage stores for those old Versace Medusa prints now).

Form-fitting jackets in black-and-white optical prints, worn with leggings, were a nod to the collection's "Alice in Wonderland" inspiration, as mentioned in the show notes. (With all the hype surrounding Tim Burton's coming film version, Versace's timing couldn't be better.)

Mini-dresses were seriously body-conscious, detailed with corset lacing, metal mesh or pink triangle leather insets. The show culminated in an impressive tableau of gorgeous gowns in candy-colored chiffon, with metal mesh insets or silvery chain details highlighting every curve.

These clothes were about as bare as you can go, but what saved them from being tacky, or even trashy, was the quality of the workmanship. This was Versace at the top of her game. And later that night, when she hosted an after-show dinner in the garden of her brother's palazzo, you could imagine him smiling down on her.

-- Booth Moore

Photo: Donatella Versace's spring 2010 runway. Credit: Peter Stigter and Jonas Gustavsson / For The Times


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MFW runway video: Versace drafts the Foreign Legion

Rage_VERSACE3Only two days into the Milan shows and designers have already drawn inspiration from nomads (Missoni, Ermenegildo Zegna) and pirates (Vivienne Westwood). Tonight Versace threw another male archetype into the spring mix: the Foreign Legion. (If someone can spot us a cop and a construction worker in the next two days, we'll have a fashion week version of the Village People on our hands.)

Show notes referred to the idea of legionnaires absorbing the culture of the terrain and adopting the tribal look of the Tuareg -- the nomadic (there we go with the nomads, again) inhabitants of the Saharan interior -- forsaking stiff military garb for flowing tunics, and wearing sun-bleached uniforms.

There were a few head-scratching moments -- like the black trousers with the tasseled side seams that came across as more toreador than Tuareg and a collection of stitched leather belt pouches that looked suspiciously like BlackBerry holders -- but for the most part, the wrinkled linen jackets, flowing djellabas under suit coats and fuller-cut trousers  -- in shades of sand, khaki and white with the occasional pop of purple -- made this both the most restrained and most refreshing Versace men's collection in recent memory.

-- Adam Tschorn

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Photo: A look from the spring/summer 2010 Versace collection. Credit: Peter Stigter. Video by Adam Tschorn.

Fall 2009: Versace Runway Video

I'm no Steven Spielberg (I'm not even an aspiring Ed Wood), but since I received a Flip Mino video camera about the size of a pack of playing cards as a Christmas gift, I thought I'd try it out at one of the fashion shows here. The problem is, because I don't have a tripod as small as a pack of playing cards I find myself having to balance the camera on one knee as I jot notes on a notepad balanced on the other.
Still, I had a great seat at Versace (possibly to make up for last season's arrangement which had me shuffled out of my spot for a celebrity security guard) so I thought I'd give it a try. The result? The show from the perspective of a lap-seated toddler. AW09 Versace Men's Runway Show January 18, 2009


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