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Milan Fashion Week

Versace AW18

Versace AW18 Getty

With the '80s reigning the runways and colour and print firmly in for Autumn/Winter 2018, there was little doubt this was going to be Versace's season. If the previous collection had erred more on the introspective side, given the landmark house anniversary, then next-up at Versace there was newness, a reinvigorated energy – not without a revisit to the past, of course, but this time by way of looking ahead to more optimistic times at the storied house.

Starting off relatively muted and a little preppy, there were camel coats and suiting, black patent trenches, mega-platform brogues and collared shirts, all with flashes of the palette and prints to come as the collection unfolded. Then venturing into Westwood-esque popping tartans – a little punk, a little Clueless – were chopped into the line-up via kilts, jackets, shirts, trousers and matching berets in primary shades. Courting a younger generation, the tartan story merged into colour-blocking and then a reimagining of classic Versace baroque prints mashed-up in paintbox shades and collaged across draped dresses, midi skirts and even a ball-gown skirt and bodice combination.

Colour and print aside, as a stark contrast and a nod to the house signature – sexy –this was glamour for the new world, as all-black power dresses, unabashedly '80s in attitude but made utterly contemporary with with tightly hooded headgear and sunglasses, gave a different dimension to proceedings. Marking new directions for the house for sure, but never forgetting its roots, this is Versace's widening of the net, to diversify its remit and its playbook.