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Versace's Trésors de la Mer is Back for Spring-Summer 2021

closing défilé Versace SS21

Versace SS21 Finale

Over twenty years after its first appearance at Versace's 1992 Spring-Summer show, the Milanese brand's Trésors de la Mer ("Sea treasures") print is back for Spring-Summer 2021. A look back at this striking design.

Prints, an emblem of the Versace aesthetic
The Medusa, Greek keys, safety pins — the symbols by which we recognize the inimitable Versace are as numerous as they are diverse. Equally representative of the famous fashion house are their original prints, which have withstood the test of time thanks to the ease with which they can be reinvented. "Barocco," "Vogue," "Sea Treasures," "Warhol" — created by Gianni Versace between 1991 and 1997, these saturated styles have come to define more than just an era, but also the looks for which Versace is still known today. It comes as no surprise, then, that Donatella Versace would turn to motifs for 2018's Spring-Summer season, whose debut in September 2017 coincided with the anniversary of her brother's passing. "Gianni passed twenty years ago, it's been a long time," Donatella Versace explained to Numéro Magazine that year. "I feel more sure of myself now, and it seemed like the right moment to look into our archives. I wanted Gianni's joy to be front and center. To pay homage to him isn't as easy as it may seem at first, because he accomplished so much. So I decided to focus on his prints. When Gianni began making them, he was the only one. And these patterns contained between 18 and 20 colors each, which at the time was a real technical feat. I thought it important to bring Gianni's cultural heritage to younger generations."

Released to great fanfare, the Tribute collection revives the prints as they were, but applies them to updated silhouettes. It's an ingenious way of mixing tradition and modernity, playing on the nostalgia of long-time clients who saw the original pieces in their heyday, and attracting their younger counterparts. Season after season, the Italian creator has become accustomed to revisiting archival patterns with her own personal style, all while paying her respects to her beloved big brother.

Adult Akech walks the Versace SS21 catwalk

Adult Akech walks the Versace SS21 catwalk

Trésor de la Mer, an iconic print
Amongst the host of unforgettable designs Sea Treasures is a highlight. Revealed at the '92 Spring-Summer show, the aquatic theme remains a favorite decades later. Inspired by their oceanside childhood home, Gianni Versace sought to recreate the multicolored poetry of shells, starfish, vibrant coral and glimmering pearls. Worn by the likes of Helena Christensen, Carla Bruni, and Karen Mulder, the print created a frenzy when it was first released. Transported into the present-day with 2018's Tribute collection, it served as the starting point for Versace's 2021 Spring-Summer season. The concept? Versacepolis, a sunken city whose inhabitants resurface to find their world profoundly altered. It was a reflection of the post-COVID era, coupling familiar elements with others that were less so — a kind of Proustian madeleine meant to deliver us to more lighthearted times (all while adding a glamorous touch to our ensembles). "I wanted to create something surprising, something that reflected what's changed in each and every one of us," explains the creator. "For me, this meant imagining a new world. A world populated by bright colors and fantastical creatures, a world in which we can all coexist in peace."

Precious Lee at the Versace SS21 Show

Precious Lee at the Versace SS21 Show

The designs here come in a veritable rainbow of colors, with the majority of the pieces melding sky blues, pale pinks, sunny oranges, and crisp whites. Dresses, skirts, silk blouses share the catwalk with t-shirts and baseball caps, all adorned with the brand's gold jewelry. And what better season than summer to be sporting these scintillating treasures from the deep?

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