Earlier this year, when I heard that the affordable European chain, H&M, would be partnering with Versace to introduce a collection for the masses on November 19th, I was on pins and needles. Safety pins and needles, that is. After all, we’re talking about the iconic fashion house that launched Liz Hurley’s famous 1994 dress (and along with it, Liz Hurley).
Then I flashed back to my very favorite scene in what is possibly the worst film ever made, Showgirls, in which Elizabeth Berkley’s seedy character spends her first paycheck in Vegas on a Versace dress–but can’t pronounce the name of the designer.
I’ll be honest: Like safety pins and Vegas, this collection is not for the faint of heart. Donatella reached deep into the Versace archives to create a line of explosive pops of color, wild patterns, metallic embellishments, dramatic rock-and-roll style, and iconic prints that conjure up everything from Miami Beach to Santorini. So I asked my friend, Sasha Charnin Morrison (who, as Fashion Director of US Weekly, is always my final word on style), what she thought of the upcoming launch. She explained that Donatella wanted to give something to the masses who love the look of old Versace collections, but either can’t find those pieces anymore or can’t afford the current high-end collection. So I probed further: Should I really put myself through the hell that is surely going to compare to Missoni-for-Target-Mania all over again?
Sasha told me to set my alarm for 5 a.m. and get ready to be blown away. “You really can’t tell the difference between the low- and high-end Versace unless you literally grab someone by the neck and peek at their label. It’s that well done.”
And the alarm clock I’m setting for 5 a.m. on November 19th.