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  • Writer's pictureginaelisebradbury

'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:


Pink Dua Lipa x Versace La Vacanza mini dress with pocket and buckle details at the bust area and matching platforms and accessories.
Whilst it may not be suitable for all body types, I can't help loving the unusual pocket and buckle design of the bust area. I also love a pair of platform shoes. The coordinating pink of the entire look is ultra fun and feminine and screams barbiecore. (image from vogue.com)

Pink metallic leather bandeau La Vacanza Medusa dress by Dua Lipa x Versace. With a coordinating pink metallic leather handbag and platform shoes.
While I personally don't wear animal leather, the appearance and styling of this look is my favourite of all. It manages to look both ultra feminine and edgy at the same time. Also, I love that the handbag and shoes are also metallic pink; the look doesn't hold back. (image from vogue.com)

A pale blue/silver metallic leather La Vacanza Medusa Dua Lipa x Versace coordinating skirt and jacket set with a matching handbag and platform shoes. Also with a butterfly belly chain.
I love coordinating mini skirt and jacket sets. The addition of the butterfly belly chain is retro and adds to the 90's appeal of the look. While the skirt is classic Versace, I particularly love the jacket, accessories and shoes. I think this look would also look beautiful with the skirt swapped for a pair of jeans or trousers. (image from vogue.com)

Pale blue Dua Lipa x Versace corset with matching trouser suit, gold chain belt , blue metallic leather handbag and blue heels.
While I am a lover of pink, I actually prefer the blue version of this look. It's perfect and has a subtle 70's feel. (image from vogue.com)

A multicoloured metallic La Vacanza Dua Lipa x Versace dress.
The metallic, delicate look of the material is beautiful and reminiscent of 90s Versace. I also love the stacking of the colourful jewellery which adds an early 90's Versace vibe to the look. (image from vogue.com)

La Vacanza Dua Lipa x Versace La Vacanza multicoloured pedal pushers, bralette and jacket with bright barbie pink handbag and platform shoes.
Whilst not solid pink, the pedal pushers and bright splash colours of this set give me 90's Barbie vibes. Again, I like that the choice of a vibrant pink handbag and platforms doesn't tone down the look.

Dua Lipa x Versace La Vacanza polka dot and butterfly pedal pushers, bralette and matching bomber jacket. With a gold chain belt.
I really like the pedal pushers, bralette and chain belt in this look. Whilst I like the look, I do think it would look better if the jacket didn't have stripes. I would also prefer a headscarf alone rather than the cap. (image from vogue.com)

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:


A moodboard screenshot, showing the design process and 1990s inspiration, from the Youtube video 'Dua Lipa x Versace: Behind the Scenes with Dua and Donatella | La Vacanza Fashion Show | Versace'
A moodboard screenshot from the Youtube video 'Dua Lipa x Versace: Behind the Scenes with Dua and Donatella | La Vacanza Fashion Show | Versace' (Versace on youtube.com)

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.


Supermodels including Cindy Crawford, Claudia Schiffer and Stefanie Seymour wearing metallic Versace mini skirts in the A/W 1994 Versace campaign wearing metallic mini skirts.
Supermodels wearing metallic Versace mini skirts in the A/W 1994 Versace campaign. (glamobserver.com)

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.


The first look at the 'La Vacanza' Versace Resort 2024 collection. Due Lipa wearing a polka dot bathing suit from the collection that she has co-designed with Donatella Versace.
Dua Lipa wearing polka dot pieces from the 'La Vacanza' Versace Resort 2024 collection which she has co-designed with Donatella Versace. (twitter.com)

Kate Moss pictured looking unfazed while wearing swimwear and mules in a Los Angeles Diner. Photographed by Arthur Elgort in 1995.
Kate Moss pictured looking unfazed while wearing swimwear and mules in a Los Angeles Diner. Photographed by Arthur Elgort in 1995. (thesun.co.uk)

Overall, the collection has been extremely well received on Twitter with one popular tweet even referring to it as "history in the making":


Twitter post/tweet about La Vacanza by Dua Lipa x Versace calling it "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)


A tweet/Twitter post by @margotkkka showing that the Dua Lipa x Versace collection has been well received apart from the polka dots.

Twitter comment by @sabineisreading showing a negative response to the polka dots in the Dua Lipa x Versace collection.

A tweet by @maladkar_ananya showing dislike of the polka dots in the Dua Lipa x Versace collection.

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.


A 1991 Gianni Versace magazine ad showing Linda Evangelista wearing polka dots. Like in the Dua Lipa x Versace collection, the polka dots are combined with multiple bright colours and matching polka dot accessories.
A 1991 Gianni Versace magazine ad showing Linda Evangelista wearing polka dots. Like in the Dua Lipa x Versace collection, the polka dots are white on black material, paired with multiple bright colours (including lots of colourful jewellery) and styled with matching polka dot accessories. (forums.thefashionspot.com)

The polka dots also reference 1990s Versace. Naomi Campbell wearing a blue polka dot dress at the Versace Spring 1994 catwalk show.
Naomi Campbell wearing a blue polka dot dress at the Versace Spring 1994 catwalk show. (vogue.com)

The polka dots, pastel and chain belt are also included in the Dua Lipa x Versace collection. Carla Bruni wearing lilac Versace at the Versace Spring 1994 show.
Polka dots, pastel and chain belts are included in the Dua Lipa x Versace collection. Carla Bruni wearing lilac Versace at the Versace Spring 1994 show. (vogue.com)

Whilst many Tweets show a dislike of the polka dots, I'm not totally alone in my positive opinion:


A tweet/Twitter post by @beyzanurapaydin showing a positive opinion of the polka dots in the Dua Lipa x Versace collection.

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.

A number of pieces in the Versace Spring 1995 ready-to-wear show, including the maxi dress in this image, were made with this multi coloured butterfly print.
A number of pieces in the Versace Spring 1995 ready-to-wear show, including the maxi dress in this image, were made with this multi coloured butterfly print. Images of these pieces, from the very same show, can be seen on the moodboard screenshot.

Actress Salma Hayek wearing the Emanuel Ungaro butterfly top, which was also famously worn by Mariah Carey, in 2000.
Actress Salma Hayek wearing the Emanuel Ungaro butterfly top, which was also famously worn by Mariah Carey, in 2000. (hola.com)

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":


Twitter post by @MUGLERMIND, in response to the Dua Lipa x Versace resort 2024 collection, saying that Dua Lipa is a dedicated butterfly girl.

Dua has repeatedly worn clothing adorned with butterfly details and a number of these have been Versace pieces. Here she is pictured at the 2021 Grammy Awards wearing a pink sheer Versace dress with a sequin butterfly design.
Dua has repeatedly worn clothing adorned with butterfly details and a number of these have been Versace pieces. Here she is pictured at the 2021 Grammy Awards wearing a sheer pink Versace dress with a sequin butterfly design. (popsugar.co.uk)

Dua Lipa also wore a silver butterfly Versace dress in March of 2021 . The dress seems to be inspired by a 1999 Versace dress worn by Naomi Campbell in the image below.
Dua also wore a silver butterfly Versace dress in March of 2021. The dress seems to be inspired by a 1999 Versace dress worn by Naomi Campbell in the image below. (thesecretdiaryofa90sgirl.tumblr.com)

Naomi Campbell and Kate Moss wearing Versace in 1999. Naomi is wearing the silver butterfly dress that clearly inspired Dua's Brit Awards Versace dress.
Naomi Campbell and Kate Moss wearing Versace in 1999. Naomi is wearing the silver butterfly dress that clearly inspired Dua's Brit Awards Versace dress. (vogue.co.uk)

Dua Lipa has also shown her love of polka dots over the years. Here she is pictured in a black and red polka dot two-piece in 2018.
Dua Lipa has also repeatedly shown her love of polka dots over the years. Here she is pictured in a black and red polka dot two-piece in 2018. (popsugar.co.uk)

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.





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