As fashion wades through waters of an identity crisis, some designers are swimming against the tide while others are swimming free. Those of the indie, or up-and-coming, variety are making a name for themselves while older, more established houses are struggling to keep up with trends born not on the runway but the street.
But this is Versace we’re talking about and Donatella — by hard-earned reputation and, let’s face it, default — can technically do no wrong. It’s why her spring 2019 collection for her eponymous Italian fashion house hit all the right notes. But it came with a shock factor that was beyond the clothes. Nineties supermodel Shalom Harlow made her return to the runway. We repeat: Shalom Harlow.
In case you aren’t familiar with the Harlow appellation, to start, the Canadian model has six Vogue covers. In the ‘90s, she co-hosted House of Style on MTV. And in 2003, she played Judy Green in How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days. On top of that, she’s featured in campaigns for just about every luxury fashion brand you can think of, including opening and closing their runways shows. And let’s not forget her lead role in Alexander McQueen’s legendary spring 1999 show when she stood on a spinning platform as spray gun-wielding robots pelted her with lime green and black paint.
Beyond supermodels of both then and now, Versace proved that, after seasons of opulent, oversized silhouettes, it's time to get back to what she does best; that short and shiny doesn't have to mean cheap. There were some styling tricks we haven't seen from the brand in a while, like camisoles over T-shirts and dresses, sneakers with party dresses, sheer fabric layered in between panels of thick silk and leather. It was a collection full of clashing prints and clothes that don’t exactly qualify for that whole day-to-night thing. It made sense, then, that models-cum-personalities Emily Ratajkowski and Kendall Jenner also took to the runway, too. Harlow, however, stole the show. But then again, how could she not?