On Sunday night, it was legends-only at the New York Stock Exchange, where a nostalgic Donatella Versace staged her Pre-fall 2019 runway show. She dug into the archives of Versace and recreated some of the house’s “greatest hits,” as they were, but for a new generation. And if 2018 was the year of nostalgia, then Versace’s latest show was the apex of the zeitgeist: who could forget the sheer, tropically-printed dress J.Lo wore to the 42nd Grammy Awards in the year 2000? Or the safety pin dress that launched Elizabeth Hurley to fame in 1994? Certainly not Donatella, who recreated both looks for last night’s show. So, what’s the difference between now and then? She told the New York Times, “you can wear a short dress and a pair of sneakers and that’s not sexy any more, it’s cool.”
Donatella wasn’t alone. She was joined by a cast of famous faces: Kanye West and Kim Kardashian (who made their first public appearance together in months), Lupita Nyong’o, Norman Reedus and Diane Kruger, Mary J. Blige, and others. The most surprising guest appearance came at the end of the evening, when OG supermodel Amber Valletta closed the show in a replica of J.Lo’s green dress, but this time it was covered in hearts designed by Jim Dine, who had worked with Gianni in the past.
In the middle of the scene at the Stock Exchange, sat a gold replica of Lady Liberty’s torch meant to represent a “symbol of New York, but also a symbol of women, of empowerment and strength,” Donatella said at press conference, adding, “Us women, we have to fight more than men usually.”