Versace's 'Versacepolis', a collection characterised by boldness, character and attitude

Italian luxury fashion house Versace debuted ‘Versacepolis’ over the weekend, which was iconic in so many ways.

The runway show was inspired by Greek mythology, set in an underwater city reminiscent of the lost Atlantis.

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Due to the pandemic, Versace revealed its spring/summer 2021 collection at a secret fashion show, but live-streamed the event to the whole world.

“The journey to Versacepolis: Medusa was once the most beautiful woman in Athens. Her charms did not go unnoticed by Athena however, who scolded and banished Medusa in a jealous rage. The charismatic Gorgon now dwells in Versacepolis – a utopian settlement created on the seabed and populated by strong and confident men and women. She reigns there with courage and strength,” Versace said in an official announcement.

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The underwater-themed fashion event showcased colour, bold prints, sea creatures (including starfish and jellyfish) emblazoned across dresses and elaborate ruffles, complete with drenched hair.

The statement pieces took audiences to the depths of the ocean!

“I wanted to create something disruptive, something that could be in tune with what has changed inside all of us. To me that meant dreaming of a new world,” Donatella Francesca Versace, the Italian fashion designer said.

“A world made of popping colours and fantastic creatures and a world in which we can all coexist peacefully. This collection has an upbeat soul and is optimistic, dreamy, positive… These are clothes that bring you joy,” she added.

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Viewers got to see Irina Shayk, Adut Achek, Mica Argañaraz, Imaan Hammam, Joan Smalls and Precious Lee, amongst others, walk the catwalk and showcase the designer’s latest collection.

Not to mention the outfits were accompanied by vibrant hues of orange, neon pink and electric red stamped on their lips.

“Discover the underwater world of Versacepolis! A utopian settlement on the seabed ruled by Medusa with principles of empowerment, strength, and beauty,” the description for the event read.

To create the submerged fictional city of Versaceopolis, the set had a sand runway, crumbled pillars, statues and shadows of the waves all over the stage.

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The journey to Versacepolis: Medusa was once the most beautiful woman in Athens. Her charms did not go unnoticed by Athena however, who scolded and banished Medusa in a jealous rage. The charismatic Gorgon now dwells in Versacepolis – a utopian settlement created on the seabed and populated by strong and confident men and women. She reigns there with courage and strength. Over eighty percent of the ocean is completely unmapped and unexplored. A far greater percentage of the moon’s surfaces have been studied and recorded than the ocean floor has. The deep blue waters remain a mystery. Today, Donatella Versace transports us underwater to Versacepolis to unveil the Spring-Summer 2021 Collection. As the world resiliently adapts to the new normal, this sub-surface show setting is an opportunity for the Versace community to indulge in a little fantasy and dive headfirst into a dreamscape. Is dreaming escapism? Is it ignoring the truth of our current reality? Perhaps the dream is fictional, but the process of dreaming is both human and undeniably real. Versacepolis is where mythology meets the reality of the unknown. The water can be rough, but it can also cleanse, soothe and refresh. “I wanted to create something disruptive, something that could be in tune with what has changed inside all of us. To me that meant dreaming of a new world. A world made of popping colors and fantastic creatures and a world in which we can all coexist peacefully. This collection has an upbeat soul and is optimistic, dreamy, positive… These are clothes that bring you joy.” – Donatella Versace This whole collection is disruptive in its vibrancy. The color palette is exuberant. The prints are zesty and bold. There’s skin on show in an ode to signature Versace sensuality. The nature, athleticism, seduction and fantasy combine in a melting pot of life’s joys. At the center of this collection is an empowered attitude that looks to the future with optimism and hope. All members of the audience are Versace employees that have undergone a Covid-19 test producing a negative result. Find out more here: http://e-versace.com/ss21

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After years of criticism, the fashion industry is slowly becoming more inclusive and diverse. This was felt at Versace’s fashion show, which was also a celebration of size-inclusive fashion.

Jill Kortleve, Alva Claire and Precious Lee made history on the catwalk as the first plus-size models to ever walk any of Versace’s shows.

“This is such an historical moment and I can’t believe it actually happened, I’m still shaking,” Kortleve posted on Instagram. “It’s so unbelievable to work for brands I always dreamt of working for. I hope that we open the doors for a new generation with the same dreams but who never saw themselves in the magazines or the commercials. Thank you for this iconic moment,” she added.

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Lee also posted on Instagram: “Anybody that knows me or ever spoke to me about fashion know without a doubt how I feel about The House of Versace. It’s ALWAYS been about @versace for me. Queen @donatella_versace your support and love right now for me is just magical. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for raising the bar. I know how much this means and I will always cherish it. Not one little black girl can say they can’t because we can, we always could and when you stay true, you will. omfg y’all… I’m a Versace Hottie.”

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The luxury brand was supposed to show its spring/summer 2021 collection with a physical runway show at Milan Fashion Week on September 25, however due to the pandemic it went digital to guarantee “the safety, health and well-being of our community.”

“Since the rules of yesterday don’t apply in today’s world and we are feet apart, I want us to stay connected and feel like we are physically together! Join me to discover the lost city of Versacepolis. Swim with me through the ancient pillars on which Versace was built. Discover my new collection in the very setting which was its inspiration. A mysterious, utopian world ruled by Medusa and inspired by our Trésor de la Mer design,”  Versace’s chief creative officer, Donatella Versace previously announced.

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