Donatella Versace has quit smoking! Overnight! This epochal moment in fashion was the perfect lead-in to DV's latest collection for men, which celebrated the extreme discipline of athletes. It was also a sufficiently dramatic development to warrant a burst of Wagner's The Valkyrie as the fanfare to her show. ("I'm a drama queen," she said by superfluous way of warning.) And, as if to draw an uncrossable line in the sand between past and future, Donatella opened said show with seven outfits that represented her own Versace icons—the way we were—before unleashing her latest collection—the way we will be.
"You have become my obsession," the soundtrack insisted, an interesting admission in light of the designer's surprising revelation about her own addiction to sports. She claimed that the discipline athletes must exercise in pursuit of their goals was something she felt she could relate to at this point in her life. It was certainly an element in the urgency of the new collection, with suit sleeves shoved elbow-ward and trousers ending in an athletic ribbed cuff. More specifically, there was the sports tape that detailed, almost tattoolike, the bodies and clothes of the Versace models. And they themselves were the very emblems of discipline. You don't get thighs like that from sitting around the house watching Judge Judy.
Their attainment of the body beautiful actually gave Donatella's men the unfortunate mien of Thunderbirds puppets, even as it made them perfect clothes hangers for her silky tailoring and her knitwear, which featured an intriguing update of alt-Versace: a Warholian interpretation of the portraits taken by Bert Stern of Marilyn Monroe just before she died. First the cigarettes, now this—DV is gratifyingly full of surprises.