Versace's colours make a splash for men and women

THREE words come to mind to describe the Versus spring-summer collection for women: energetic, revealing and colourful.

This is just what you would expect from designer Gianni Versace.

From soft leathers to masculine jackets, see-through blouses to outsize trousers, sexy lace to bright summer knits, it is a youthful collection full of verve and pizazz.

The distinctive Versus colours and textures combine and clash. On one hand, the range shows off the tomboy look, while, on the other, the collection is feminine.

The collection centres on the dress: short, pleated, creased, lacy, with holes or slashes.

Skirts are short and pleated and now there is a new interpretation of the mini-kilt. Mostly, however, the skirt serves only as an accessory to lace shorts.

Crinkled fabrics are used to soften the masculine cut of the jackets, as are glimmering satin and cotton prints. Some jackets and pants are decorated with polka dots and stripes. Floral motifs adorn T-shirts and shirts.

Brightly coloured geometric patterns appear on knitted tops; many are cropped short and some stretch into figure-hugging dresses.

For the daring, there are sheer, see-through shirts, mesh shirts and leather outfits full of slashes and holes.

Colours are mixed and matched. Black and white, ice mint, hot yellow, shocking pink, cherry red all combine to identify Versus with an energetic, summer style.

The materials used for the range are equally as innovative and exciting and include feminine broderie anglaise for sexy, sultry dresses, shiny satin, perforated linen, lace, georgette and the softest, sexiest leathers.

Perhaps not soft and sexy, but just as vibrant and colourful is the Versus wardrobe for men.

At the heart of his casual wear collection is colour: a choice of brilliant shades underlines its dynamic nature.

This season, bright colours and micro-patterns on crumpled backgrounds give a sense of movement. They also make it easy for bachelors to care for the clothes.

Bright red, canary yellow, vibrant green, cornflower blue, orange, purple and turquoise are printed in blocks on shirts, pants and jeans.

The riotous colour combinations are typical of Gianni Versace, on prints and knits.

Jackets come in red and white checks and candy stripes, or black and yellow stripes.

This season, the structure of the full jacket has been relaxed and double breasters are making a comeback.

Those who prefer the classic look will find the high-button, single-breasted jacket in demand. This season, comfortable trousers feature a straight cut and jeans remain the perennial favourite.

Versace uses cotton, linen and faded silk and - sometimes the answer to all ironing woes - crumpled fabrics.

Panels of perforated broderie anglaise and doubled cotton net make for unusual jackets.

Thickly stitched cotton yarns with perforations come in either single colours, multi-coloured stripes, or diamond patterns on sweaters and tank tops.