Versace gives summer looks lingerie edge combing lace, leather and silk

09/21/2012 04:22 EDT | Updated 11/21/2012 05:12 EST
MILAN - Donatella Versace created a couture feel for her preview show Friday night, replacing benches with gilded chairs and decorating two courtyard trees with faux white flowers.

The setting emphasized the neat tailoring in the collection for next summer, but don't be fooled. Versace gave the look a lingerie edge, keeping it sexy by combining lace, leather and silk. The look came in mini slip dresses in crushed silk. Others were slashed and laced back together.

Versace said the look was for a woman who is both "strong and fragile."

Whether intentional or not, there was a Stevie Nicks spirit about the show, reflected in the long flowing gowns — and a cover version of "Dreams" played as the models strode down the illuminated runway. Versace may well have been paying tribute in her designs to the Nicks' song "Leather and Lace."

The normally Baroque iconic Medusa made an appearance in tie-dyed prints, hinting at a hippie vibe, which also came through in the long flowing dresses __ especially a blue gown with elaborate geometric studding that was split up the front and laced together enticingly over the bodice.

Detailing is always a central part of a Versace collection, seen here in tiny metal chains and studs. The designer used mixed metal fringe to construct shift cocktail dresses.

The ornament was in the clothes, making jewelry superfluous. Shoes were strappy high-heeled sandals, sometimes wrapping all the way to the knee. Hair was long and wind-swept.