There is something so inspiring about the streets of Milan. The beautiful weather, architecture and fashion all fascinated me the moment I landed for Milan Fashion Week with my dear friend Anastasia Soare of Anastasia Beverly Hills. We were exhausted after a long flight, but the excitement of the Versace show and being in Italy never stopped us. After we checked in at Palazzo Parigi, my day was filled with Versace, Versace, Versace.
The following day was filled with fittings and meetings at Palazzo Versace. Paparazzi brought the chaos as Anna Wintour exited the building while they anxiously waited for the next model or celebrity.
Entering the studio, the atelier team was there to assist with trying on couture gowns. My eyes instantly went to the chainmail collection that Gianni Versace was so famous for.
The entrance of Gianni Versace’s home was magical. The engraved details of the head of the Medusa on the glass doors was captivating as you walked out into the courtyard. You could feel the rich history and character of Palazzo Versace from the marble flooring, white stone walls and Versace home collection furniture from the Vanitas line. The lavish dining room had a similarly tiled floor, with numerous Greek and Roman artworks hung on the walls and statues displayed in different areas. Various art pieces by Mimmo Paladino could be found around the home. Candles and colorful roses, Donatella’s favorite, filled the room.
My dear friend, Lucio Di Rosa, and his team greeted us as we approached Gianni’s studio. He led us up a beautiful spiral staircase with a photo montage hung on the wall of Gianni. It was amazing to walk in the same footsteps as Gianni.
Inside Gianni’s private studio, everything was kept in the same order. The only additional pieces of furniture added were a white couch with gold details from the head of the Medusa and a coffee table. Couture gowns previously worn by supermodels Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford and more were on display. Videos looped of Versace runway collections over the years and celebrities wearing the looks – a stylist’s dream come true!
It was finally show time as we headed to Palazzo delle Scintelle. The custom floor was covered in wall-to-wall carpet, patchworked with power-clashing stripes and plaids in shades like orange, green, neon yellow and blue. The vibrancy and print matched the invitation we received. Celebrities and VIPs covered the room. In front of me sat Nicki Minaj, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Luke Evans, Rita Ora, Chiara Ferragni and her husband.
Names like Kendall Jenner, Bella and Gigi Hadid, Kaia Gerber, and Emily Ratajkowski slayed the runway – with 90’s supermodel Shalom Harlow making her return and opening the show. The spring 2019 collection was packed with sheer fabric, vibrant prints and colors including neon yellow, fuschia, and florals. Donatella was focused on the artful mismatch as the boldface names didn’t overshadow the bold prints. Leather pieces in solid tones were an occasional break in the collection. The neon green one-shoulder mini dress worn by Bella Hadid was paired with sneakers as a nod to the influence of street style. The overall feel was gypsy meets street-vibes and everyone in the room knew exactly what a sexy, street chic girl should look like by the end of show. As the crowd applauded, Donatella took her walk down the runway, feeling so proud of the collection.
The night was still young as Anastasia and I headed to Palazzo Versace for dinner and the after-party! Donatella looked beautiful as she greeted every guest with a smile into Gianni’s home full with statuesque models and VIPs wearing Versace. The intimate party hosted around 75 exclusive guests from the entertainment and fashion worlds.
I was elated to have a conversation with the queen of the runway after the show to express my love for the brand. I am inspired by Donatella and her generosity. Her grace and presence show the character of a woman of power, style and history.