Dreams Come True on the Red Carpet

This is one of the rare posts I had no intention to write. When I first saw Atelier Versace spring/summer 2012 collection, I was quite disappointed: where had drapings, pleats on chiffon, chain mail and thigh-high slits gone? The futuristic vibe of many dresses left me quite cold, and the same happened with the colour range, spanning from dove grey to neon green and acid yellow. I could perceive the desire to push designing boundaries forward, but something was still out of tune. I changed my mind when celebrities started wearing them, which made me realize it’s true dreams come true on the red carpet: the magic of garments come true only in real life.

The concept of the collection still doesn’t convince me – or it’s just a question of personal taste, I guess – but no one can deny that many of these dresses are real works of art.

A rose/floral pattern and gold metal inserts are the main themes; the second, in particular, can be found on almost every piece. The first dress features a gorgeous corseted bodice, embroidered tulle side panels and a beaded front panel, whose iridescent quality is mesmerizing.

The dress above features gold metal accents on the bodice, which beautifully contrasts with the romantic lace overlay. This sort of long, sleeveless tunic is worn on a corset in matching colour.

Isabella Ferrari wore a modified version of this dress at the 69th Venice Film Festival on August 29th, 2012, when she attended the opening ceremony and the premiere of The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mira Nair. The dress worn by the Italian actress has a corseted short dress under the lace overlay, a solution which is much more elegant and event-appropriate than the bodysuit seen in the original dress. She completed the look with platform sandals, diamond jewellery and a nice braided updo.

Embroidered tulle side panels are paired again to beaded iridescent silk, but the vibe of the dress is different from the previous ones: the simple sleeveless bodice (which opens in the back) is accented by gold metal on the collar and has emphasized hips (another recurring designing element), accented – again – by gold metal. The emphasized hips, the corset and the gold metal give the whole collection a futuristic/Barbarella-like vibe.

In this amazing dress, emphasized hips have been traded for strong shoulders, another detail which makes us think of the costumes of sciencefiction films and tv shows of the past. We can find floral-embroidered side panels again, but the rest of the dress is made of  semi-sheer tulle with a peculiar net effect.

The back of the dress is a masterpiece of architectural balance: the beautiful cut-outs are trimmed by gold metal inserts and introduce the alternating lace and tulle.

Lady GaGa wore this dress on June 17th, when she arrived in Sydney from Brisbane for her world tour. I’m not a fan of her style and the decision to wear a haute couture dress to travel is definitely unusual, but she looked really good. She paired it to platform pumps, Gianfranco Ferrè sunglasses and a quirky updo.

This is the last long dress of the dove grey section where the gold shade takes a relevant role. In the dresses above, gold has been used for trims and details only, but here it can be found on the iridescent silk overlay, which creates a complex “wing” effect on the hip and a corset-belt effect on the waist-line. The corseted bodice is similar to the first dress.

The rose pattern can be found again in this lovely strapless mini-dress. The bodice is trimmed with a thin gold band, while the hips are emphasized by three overlapping pleats. The platform boots with lace appliqués are quite impressive, aren’t they?

Lea Michele wore this strapless mini-dress on July 22nd, 2012, when she attended the Teen Choice Awards. The one she wore was a slightly modified version of the original dress – there is not the metallic decoration on the neckline. She paired it to double-platform pumps by Versace. I’m not crazy of this dress but she looked lovely in it.

Sorry but I just don’t get this short suit, made of shorts and a skinny leather jacket. I know shorts are one of the main summer trends, but including them in such a collection is just absurd. On the other hand, the jacket beautifully reworks the rose theme in front and sleeve panels.

Gold is a recurring colour in the collection: so far we’ve seen it on details only, but Donatella Versace decided to include two pieces where gold is the dominant colour. This corset mini-dress is paired to a matching jacket, a chic and sleek version of the traditional biker jacket. The floral-themed impressive cut-outs are a joy for the eyes and a symbol of the mastery behind Haute Couture creations.

Christina Hendricks was the first celebrity lucky enough to wear this beautiful gold minidress (she wore it while attending Atelier Versace fashion show on July 1st, 2012, in Paris). The problem is that she got it totally wrong. The blazer, first of all: can someone please explain what is the function of the blazer in such an outfit? It tones the dress down and ruins it! If we start analyzing the accessory department, things are quite tragic: the gold clutch is so ordinary, and I don’t even want to comment on the silver sandals…

This corset dress is a work of art: the result of pairing the intricate beadwork to incredible gold leather cut-outs is impressive. Gold leather trims trace the main lines of the corset, whose hips are slightly exaggerated, thus following one of the main themes of the collection.

Selena+Gomez+14th+Annual+Warner+Bros+InStyle+iAMrSzhqnfIlSelena Gomez was the lucky celebrity who wore this dress at a public event (at the 14th Annual Warner Bros and InStyle Golden Globe Awards after party on January 13th, 2013), but unfortunately she didn’t do it justice: she “killed” it with a super-boring pair of taupe platform pumps and loose hair. Such a disappointment!

I like the colour of this dress (a neon pistachio), but I don’t like the fact that it features two different lace patterns: the lace on the bodice is quite traditional (it’s not clear if it has a flower pattern, though), while the lace of the skirt is characterized by a degradé effect, from opaque to semi-sheer. The “wing” detail on the hip is interesting, and so is the use of a gold metal band to emphasize it.

Freida Pinto wore this neon pistachio dress at the 65th Cannes Film Festival on May 17th, 2012, when she attended the premiere of De rouille et d’os by Jacques Audiard. I don’t know exactly why, but I don’t think this was the right dress for her: she’s got an amazing figure, but the “wing” detail on the hip makes the dress a bit confused. It’s not always easy to make some details look at their best on the red carpet, and this is the case, in my opinion. She accessorized it with Salvatore Ferragamo satin platform peep-toe pumps and a glittering box clutch.

This apple green dress is another dazzling number, very much in Versace style: it features a thigh-high side slit, deep side and back cut-outs, one shoulder and an impressive all-over beading. Gold bands underline, as usual, the cut-outs and the shoulder.

Milla Jovovich wore it when she attended the Life Ball AIDS charity fundraiser in Vienna on May 19th, 2012. I loved how she accessorized it – a gold clutch by Versace and matching sandals by Gucci – and let the dress do all the talking. I’m not crazy for her make-up (a red – and not an orange – lipstick would have been a better choice), but in any case she looked stunning.

Ok, this is one of the dresses who left me perplexed when I first saw it. The best detail is the rounded neckline, emphasized by a gold metal insert, but the rest is quite bland: I like the opaque/sheer transition, but the “flame” beadwork looks a bit out of tune.

Jada Pinkett Smith was the second celebrity who wore a dress of this collection on the red carpet at the 65th Cannes Film Festival, where she attended the premiere of Magadascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted. The dress didn’t convince me on the model, but it looked amazing on Jada, who paired it to subtle gold jewellery and matching Suki sandals by Jimmy Choo. I usually love her style, but this time she really outdid herself.

I love this one-shoulder orange mini-dress because it screams Versace and it’s so youthful. The trademark rose pattern has been turned into an intricate beadwork, which also includes bigger pieces of clear plastic (used for the rose petals).

Elizabeth Banks brought this dress to life when she wore it at the Los Angeles premiere of The Hunger Games by Gary Ross. I think she looked amazing: it’s nice to see how she gave the dress justice by accessorizing it in a very personal way. Celebrities often tend to complete a look with matching accessories from the same collection, but I’m glad Elizabeth didn’t do it. She wore it with Jimmy Choo Biel nude and gold wedges (seeing wedges on a red carpet is quite a rare event) and a Judith Leiber Phipps Plaza gold clutch.

This is probably one of my favourite pieces: it’s unusual (there are no other corsets in the collection), but still manages to perfectly blend with the rest. The metal inserts and the shape of the hips remind me of the iconic metal corset designed by Thierry Mugler in the 80s, but it’s true Gianni Versace worked with the same shape in many collections (it’s clear Donatella referred to them).

I included January Jones in the best-dressed list of the Costume Institute Gala 2012: she was wearing the dress version of the corset above. Her custom-made dress was not patterned like the corset, but the shape of the bodice and the metal inserts on it were exactly the same, and the same can be said for the exaggerated hips.

This rose-patterned mini-dress completes the bright colour series. It includes the gold metal details we have noticed in the rest of the collection – on the sleeves, on the sides and on the open back.

She may be on the bottom of my list, but Heidi Klum was actually the first who wore a dress from this collection: she picked the yellow mini-dress to attend Elton John’s Oscar viewing party on February 26th, 2012. She looked lovely and totally pulled the bare back off. She wore it with Christian Louboutin Duvette cap-toe pumps, a gold metallic clutch and matching jewellery.

What do you think of this collection? Is it a gush of fresh air, if compared to the previous ones, or you don’t like this new futuristic vibe? As for me, my favourite pieces are the yellow corset, the gold dress with beadings and cut-outs and the long-sleeved dove grey dress.

Source, source and source.



  1. Talvolta succede anche il contrario,la magia di certe collezioni si perde fuori dalla passerella.Penso a Marchesa per esempio.Ovviamente IMO.

    1. Concordo per quanto riguarda certi abiti di Marchesa, come ben dimostrato dal confronto passerella/red carpet. Alcuni, infatti, hanno delle “strutture” (che siano volant, strascichi o altro) così particolari che è difficile mettere in evidenza così come meriterebbero. Basta pensare a meravigliosi volant o drappeggi tristemente afflosciati, una volta che l’abito è indossato. Una cosa simile, secondo me, è avvenuta all’abito verde Versace indossato da Freida Pinto.

      1. Vero.Probabilmente é un abito più per GPaltrow,non Freida Pinto.
        A proposito di Cannes,cosa pensi di Fan BingBing?,per me é sempre favolosa.

      2. Fan Bingbing va al di là di qualsiasi categoria di celebrity vista sul red carpet. Secondo me è perfetta qualunque cosa indossi. Vediamo, sto meditando un post cumulativo su quello che sta indossando a Cannes…

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