Despite these trying times of the “new normal,” Paris Fashion Week was off to a bustling start, with show from Cecilie Bahnsen, Undercover, and others. Donatella Versace then unveiled the inspiration behind Versace’s newest designs, which were based on an aquatic theme for their Spring/Summer 2021 collection.

A sandy sea-bed catwalk steeped in blue lighting served as the show’s set, with fallen columns, rotting arches, and the ruins of an underwater city providing sitting for a few personnel. The first outfit strutted was a pin-striped, blue jacket combined with a rash top and shorts, given the trademark Versace flair with a pair of rollicking patent heels, suggestive of something you would wear if you had spent tie on the coast holding business calls while taking surfing lessons.

Up next were tropical fish, seahorses, splashy coral, and a slew of rhinestone starfishes. Donatella also highlighted the collection, which was designed by her late brother Gianni, and modelled by Claudia Schiffer, Helena Christensen, Linda Evangelista, Naomi Campbell, and others, in the bedazzled corsets of the mini dresses, which were reflective of the prints from “Tresor de la Mer” that appeared on the runway of their 1992 collection of the same name.

A few designers from Milan have as keen a sense of the outrageous as Donatella Versace who also has a flair for wit. Versace’s Instagram feed was flooded with aquatic puns, along with advice for fashion enthusiasts to “come out of their shell” – and people just know she was behind it all. Ruffles, for example, were the ultimate weapon for women empowerment. Others were sold with just one glance at Joan Smalls’ snarling like a siren in a quilted fuchsia blouse and a flowing ruffled skirt, or Irina Shayk in a satin, starfish-themed gown.

Donatella told Vogue that her days during quarantine strengthened her commitment to making things more sustainable – that was her ultimate goal as she was photographed in her office for the magazine’s September issue. As a result, organic fibers, polymide, and recycled polyester were used in an array of wonderfully outre swimwear designs on the spring runway shows, with piquet fabric and organic cotton jerseys. The brand ended the show flaunting a new design for a cowrie shell necklace.