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?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Solution Architect - Contract

£500 - £600 per day: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Solution Architect is requir...

360 Resourcing Solutions: Export Sales Coordinator

£18k - 20k per year: 360 Resourcing Solutions: ROLE: Export Sales Coordinato...

Recruitment Genius: B2B Telesales Executive - OTE £35,000+

£20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The largest developer of mobile...

SThree: Talent Acquisition Consultant

£22500 - £27000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: Since our inception in 1986, STh...

Day In a Page

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map
Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

This was the year of 24-carat Golden Oldies
Paris Fashion Week

Paris Fashion Week

Thom Browne's scarecrows offer a rare beacon in commercial offerings
A year of the caliphate:

Isis, a year of the caliphate

Who can defeat the so-called 'Islamic State' – and how?
Marks and Spencer: Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?

Marks and Spencer

Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?
'We haven't invaded France': Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak

'We haven't invaded France'

Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak
Isis in Kobani: Why we ignore the worst of the massacres

Why do we ignore the worst of the massacres?

The West’s determination not to offend its Sunni allies helps Isis and puts us all at risk, says Patrick Cockburn
7/7 bombings 10 years on: Four emergency workers who saved lives recall the shocking day that 52 people were killed

Remembering 7/7 ten years on

Four emergency workers recall their memories of that day – and reveal how it's affected them ever since
Humans: Are the scientists developing robots in danger of replicating the hit Channel 4 drama?

They’re here to help

We want robots to do our drudge work, and to look enough like us for comfort. But are the scientists developing artificial intelligence in danger of replicating the TV drama Humans?
Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

'Heritage' is a loaded word in the Dixie, but the Charleston killings show how dangerous it is to cling to a deadly past, says Rupert Cornwell
What exactly does 'one' mean? Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue

What exactly does 'one' mean?

Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue