'La Vacanza' by Dua Lipa x Versace; Fresh and True to 90's Style
A look at the appeal, the polka dot debate and the inspiration behind 'La Vacanza'
'La Vacanza' by Dua Lipa x Versace, the 2024 resort collection, hasn't disappointed. It's colourful, bright, youthful, fun and hedonistic. It fits perfectly with current maximalist trends and the aesthetic for this summer. With Dua Lipa featuring as a mermaid in 'Barbie', which hits cinemas on the 21st July 2023, #barbiecore has been beautifully incorporated into the collection. As well as barbiecore, metallic materials, butterflies and polka dots feature heavily. My favourite of the women's looks are shared below:
The collection pulls inspiration predominantly from the 1990s. A sneak peak of the design inspiration is revealed, in the form of a moodboard, in the video 'Dua Lipa x Versace: Behind the Scenes with Dua and Donatella'. The moodboard, which shows how strongly the collection is inspired by the fashion of Versace's past, is shared in a screenshot below:
One moodboard image that really stands out to me is a shot, from the iconic 1994 Versace AW campaign, of supermodels wearing metallic Versace mini skirts (shown below). The use of metallic pale blue/silver and pink in the La Vacanza collection channels this mid-90's Versace memory while catering to the current #metallic trend.
The below image was released, on May 23rd 2023, as a taster of what to expect in the collection. The hairstyle, mules and attitude immediately reminded me of the 1995 Kate Moss photoshoot, shot by Arthur Elgort, in Los Angeles. Dua Lipa was born in 1995 and clearly feels a deep connection to the style of the year. The similarities between the images signalled the strong 1990's influence in the collection.
Overall, the collection has been extremely well received on Twitter with one popular tweet even referring to it as "history in the making":
However, the polka dots in the collection have caused a largely negative Twitter response: (click image to be taken to the original post)
Personally, I love the polka dots in the collection. Polka dots were particularly popular in the 1950s, 1980s and 1990s. To me, they look fun, retro and fit with the 1990's aesthetic. Dua Lipa was given access to the Versace archives, an opportunity that she has described as being "creatively mind blowing”. (vogue.com, May 2023) It would seem that she was inspired by the archives to include polka dots as a true representation of 90's Versace.
Whilst many Tweets show a dislike of the polka dots, I'm not totally alone in my positive opinion:
The butterflies in the new collection are, of course, also reminiscent of 1990's style. Butterfly motifs on clothing and accessories were at the peak of their popularity in the late '90s with butterfly hair clips and Emanuel Ungaro's butterfly top in the fashion spotlight. However, Versace had incorporated butterflies into their clothing at an earlier date, with the inclusion of multicoloured butterflies in the Spring 1995 Versace ready-to-wear collection. La Vacanza takes both polka dots and butterflies a step further by combining them. This is unusual, fits into the current climate of maximalist fashion and elevates the tone of fun and excess.
Dua's love of butterflies and polka dots has been apparent for a number of years and really applies her stamp to the collection. Previous to the unveiling of the new collection, Dua had already made public appearances in butterfly themed Versace designs. The new collection really cements the association between Dua Lipa and butterfly imagery. One recent tweet, posted in response to the new collection, even refers to Dua as "a dedicated butterfly girl":
Overall, whether you love or hate polka dots, Dua Lipa x Versace 2024 is a strong collection perfectly suited to summer 2023. The collection celebrates Versace's past, pays homage to the '90s, incorporates current trends and does so without a loss of cohesion. Please let me know in the comments what you think of the collection, its themes and of course the polka dots. Versace's behind the scenes video, which includes footage of a moodboard, fittings and the eventual catwalk show, is shared below. As always, thank you for reading, Gina.
By Tiziana Cardini. 24th May 2023. https://www.vogue.com/fashion-shows/pre-fall-2023/versace
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