There isn’t a time where Donatella Versace shows up on a runway with just clothes. For every retrospective print, symbolic motif and incisive tailoring—sexy or assertive— there’s always context.
Even when it is not as pointed as her donning her fierce, cateyed model brigade in politically charged uniforms calling for unity a few seasons back, the crux of Versace’s works remains: it is a brand by and for a self–autonomous women.
Her Virtus handbag line echoes this sentiment. A direct reference to the Roman deity of courage, strength and excellence, these virtues are expressed through the many styles of the Virtus. From the get-go, Versace plays up the element of excellence with a central gold-tone metal Barocco letter V.
Attributing it to the women of ancient Rome who were emboldened to pursue an education and engage in discussions of philosophy, politics and logic, the chief creative officer puts the house’s and her own artistic bravado on display. She begins dissecting the brand’s extensive archive to find the new in the old.
Combing through prints after prints before settling on the Personal Alphabet, first debuting in Versace’s Spring/Summer 1992 extravaganza, Versace in turn adds her own spin to it as she reimagines the acanthus leaves from Gianni’s iconic Barocco into shimmering vines trailing the hardware.
A tribute to Virtus women whose strength and ambition know no bounds, supple calf leather is rendered into a slew of boxy silhouettes including tote, top handle, belt, shoulder and evening bags. In some instances, the material is quilted into a V-letter pattern which speaks of the brand’s supreme leather workmanship.
The Virtus also comes in a variety of colours such as turquoise, fuchsia, coral red, camel, black and white, and finishes— Versace’s way of encouraging her vixens to be courageous and confident with their fashion choices, and more importantly unafraid of making mistakes.
Along with the bold colourway, smooth jacquard inserts with the V-letter motif embroidered in metallic thread are accorded in select models to lend the range that next-level luxe treatment.
Swipe the gallerry to check out Versace Virtus bag: