Versace makes sales pitch to Madonna & Co

DONATELLA VERSACE, the mistress of rock'n'roll fashion, kicked off the spring/summer catwalk 2000 fashion shows with her Versus collection on Sunday night in New York.

The catwalk photographers didn't know who to point their lenses at - the audience or the models themselves. After all, it wouldn't be difficult to imagine Madonna, who perched in the front row wearing a leopard-print cowboy hat, donning one of the Versus gold Lurex boob-tubes and thigh- high leather skirts and striding down the catwalk herself.

Sitting beside Madonna was Mary J Blige, eyeing up the models' hotpants and studded leather vests while the rock gods Steve Tyler and Jon Bon Jovi gave more than a passing nod to the Versus menswear - white drainpipe trousers and stretch mesh vests - the perfect on-stage ensembles.

The collection was an almighty sales pitch to the leading luminaries of the music industry. Not only was there a live performance by the French rock group Les Rythmes Digitales - a threesome entirely branded in Versus and elaborate tattoos - but, as if to ram home the message that fashion is the new pop, the models were indistinguishable from hardcore rockers themselves.

Instead of playing the latter-day serene queens of the catwalk, they slouched and pouted, showing off their pierced belly buttons and just- got-out-of-bed rock'n'roll hairdos. Needless to say, they carried off the clothes beautifully.

The spring/summer 2000 collections started, appropriately enough, in crisp millennial white with a touch of silver. Pretty vests, trimmed with broderie anglaise, or pin-tucked cotton fencing style jackets were worn with slashed-to-the-hipbone skirts or hotpants. After the fresh white, the collection livened up with an injection of lemon and lime knitted bikinis, worn on their own, or with short macs. But it was the finale - back to white, but this time with gold - that was vintage Donatella. Low-slung drainpipes, padded at the knee with gold sequins, or ruffled on the derriere with gold tulle was all a rock wife could hope for.

It wasn't just the roll call of musicians sitting in the front row who tapped to the beat of Les Rythmes Digitales "from disco to disco", there was also an astounding batch of non- musical celebrities looking for tips on how to wear trashy glam fashion. Minnie Driver rushed backstage after the show to congratulate Donatella, as did Natasha Richardson, Missy Elliot, Lisa Marie Presley, Julianne Moore and Juliette Lewis. Even Sylvester Stallone, flanked by four beefcake security guards, waved to Donatella from the front row when she took her curtain call.

The Versus show was proof, if any were needed, that music and fashion share a special relationship. Perhaps inspired by Donatella Versace, other designers are also getting in on the act. Tommy Hilfiger, who will show later this week, has the singer Jewel in his latest advertising campaign, Giorgio Armani has sponsored Lauryn Hill and Calvin Klein has recruited Shirley Manson of Garbage.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Personal Tax Senior

£28000 - £37000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

Recruitment Genius: Customer and Markets Development Executive

£22000 - £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company's mission is to ma...

Recruitment Genius: Guest Services Assistant

£13832 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This 5 star leisure destination on the w...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Account Manager

£20000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Account Manager is requ...

Day In a Page

A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory