Vivid pastels, geometric prints, baroque curlicues, short-short skirts, and slinky, sexy chain mail: Where else could this be but Versace? For Spring, Donatella Versace was telling everyone who went backstage that she'd been inspired by Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland (which comes out next March). "I loved the idea of that fantasyland," she said. Really, though, you didn't need to know that to appreciate the fact that this was Versace redux—the Gianni heyday of the early nineties retooled in a gloriously confident way. Good timing for it, too. Donatella might have spent the last few seasons concentrating on making her collection look grown-up, but now that so many others are making the most of thigh-skimming lengths, busy prints, and glittery glamour, it's an opportune moment to drop all that and show them how it's done her way.
She did it classily, seeming for the first time to have overcome any tentativeness about reveling in the territory her brother famously carved out. In their tiny pelmet skirts, jazzily printed dresses, and super-fitted suitings, the girls were all legs and glossy hair—quintessential Versace women (though, it has to be said, still quite a lot thinner than they used to be in Gianni's day). That's a powerful sight to see on any runway, but somehow none of it came across as too slavishly reverential or in any way vulgar. Part of that is down to the Versace way of making things, in an atelier that is as superb as it's always been. When she sets about adding silver metallic embroideries, using perforated and studded leather, or draping a pink chiffon evening gown, Donatella has the technical effects completely under control. The result: a sure-footed, happy collection guaranteed to pique the interest of her daughter's generation.