By Ruth Ellen Gruber
Italy's Versace fashion house has gone cowboy (sort of) for its Men's Fall/Winter 2014-2015 collection that was shown yesterday in Milan.
Click here to see a video of the entire 10-minute show
The collection features narrow suit jackets sprinkled with rhinestone cactus, horseshoe and sheriff's star designs, and with shoulders broadened and enhanced by what looks like leather. Some of the models wore necklaces with big shiny stars -- I guess they were sheriff's stars, but they look like enormous Stars of David.
And then there are skin-tight tank tops -- and underpants -- in classic bandana-style prints. And oh, boy, the butt-baring chaps!
Actually, I likes some of the clothes -- especially the jackets with the leather shoulders, and some of the long, frock-coat length jackets.
But the rhinestone devices are pretty much a cliche -- I imagine they were supposed to be ironic comments, harking back to Nudie et al, but I don't think they were ironic enough, at least not on the bodies of the Ken-doll-like models who rather reminded me of Star Trek the Next Generation's android Data, but without as much personality.
Associated Press correspondent Jennifer Clark, however, called the collection "outrageously fun, even by Versace standards" and mostly "a camp celebration of manhood in many forms."
"Our cowboy is macho, he's a biker ... he doesn't have a horse," designer Donatella Versace said backstage after the show.
Donatella's cowboys wear their boots with sharp, tight suits decorated with rhinestone horseshoes and cactus plants on both front and back. These cowhands head out on the town wearing red leather chaps over their jeans, or sometimes just over their bandanna-print underwear. Cheeky indeed!