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Milan Fashion Week

The original supers: Naomi, Cindy, Claudia, Helena take to Versace runway in tribute to Gianni

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 23 September, 2017, 3:01pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 23 September, 2017, 3:01pm

Almost a generation has grown up since Gianni Versace’s designs last paraded the catwalk in July 1997. A week later the 50-year-old designer was murdered on the steps of his Miami mansion.

On the Versace runway at Milan Fashion Week, it was a step back into the supermodel era that Gianni created, with a closing tableau of silver siren-dressed supers including Naomi Campbell (47), Claudia Schiffer (47), Cindy Crawford (51), Helena Christensen (48) and Carla Bruni (49), alongside an emotional Donatella Versace. This jaw-dropping finale has been the biggest thing so far this season of fashion week.

Before that the social media fashion stars of today: the Hadid sisters, Kendall Jenner and Kaia Gerber modelled a nostalgic parade of Gianni’s greatest hits, such as the gilded baroque scarf print shirts, the starfish, butterfly and animal prints on pleated mini skirts, leggings and bomber jackets; the gold studded black leather jackets and sexily strapped and gilded evening gowns.

For 20 years Donatella Versace has helmed the fashion house founded by her brother, continuing the legacy and also honing her own fashion voice, but she believed this was a time to set that aside. So for Spring Summer 2018, as the house approaches its 40th anniversary, was the moment to pay tribute to Gianni, as the soundtrack related “This is a celebration of a genius. This is a celebration of an icon. This is a celebration of my brother.”

The strong shouldered silhouette in bright colours, the sexy catsuits and leggings with the flippy skirts were all his, and the spectacular montage of Vogue covers and the iconic Warhol image of Marilyn Monroe on catsuits, circa 1991 made a dazzling finale.