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Born-again beach boy Versace forsakes rock dinosaurs for younger market

EASY jackets shrugged over bare, glistening gym-defined chests and skintight PVC jeans gave the opening of Gianni Versace's men's fashion shows yesterday the mood of Miami, though the venue was Milan.

Versace is converting a palatial home on Miami Beach and this influence was written large over a glossy, slick menswear collection for spring/summer 1995 which included shockingly bright primary colours. More street style than office style, there was little to wear to work (unless you can get away with snakeskin print jeans for snake-hipped men only where you work). Versace is famous for the celebrities he dresses. But Elton John and Sylvester Stallone will have to try hard to wriggle into his new super-slim trouser shape. The rib T-shirts will show off Sly's pectoral muscles but Elton might feel nervous about the new hair trends for men; according to Versace, the looks are shoulder-length plus a greasy quiff, or loose and in a bob. A jarring soundtrack (featuring chanted obscenties) perhaps signals that Versace is moving towards a younger market than that of the rock dinosaurs with whom he has been associated recently. But it did not work. At 47, Gianni Versace, born-again Miami Beach boy, is a little old for that type of thing.

(Photographs omitted)