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Monday Muse: Grace Jones Inspires Atelier Versace

Grace Jones

Grace Jones photographed by Robert Mapplethorpe, 2003

Donatella Versace’s muses have always leaned towards the world of music, so it’s came as little surprise when she bestowed the honor of being the face of her brand to songstress and provocateur Lady Gaga. Gaga herself was sitting front row at Versace’s latest fashion show during couture week, and she may have been boasting a perfect waterfall of blonde Donatella locks, but the girls that walked the runway evoked a different chanteuse: Grace Jones.

Gaga was wearing one of Donatella’s latest couture creations, complete with a Jones-inspired hood. The collection that walked the runway was a continuation of Versace’s couture trajectory. Donatella gave the audience repeated looks at the architecture and underpinnings of each garment (plunging necklines that were outlined with Jones’ hoods helped), a theme she continued from last year’s beloved collection — worn by the likes of Selena Gomez and Celine Dion. With one diva in attendance and the other attending in spirit, there was plenty in the room that lent itself to the glamour and grandeur of an Atelier Versace collection.

Grace Jones came onto the scene in the late ’70s when she rode the New Wave movement onto radio airwaves. She’s been performing ever since, and along the way, she’s racked up modeling gigs and posed for iconic photographers as well as appearing on stage and in films. All the while, she boasted a carefully honed image that included leotards, gender-bending outfits and skintight latex costumes — most of which were accompanied by her signature draped hood.

Jones is probably most known for her roles in Conan the Destroyer alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger and as May Day in the fourteenth James Bond film, A View to Kill. After her success as an actress, she continued to release music and receive accolades for her work. She’s become an icon in both the worlds of music and fashion and continues to inspire designers and musicians today.

Atelier Versace Spring 2014 Couture

Atelier Versace Spring 2014 Couture

For her Spring 2014 Couture show, Donatella Versace showed a combination of structured armor-like jackets and decidedly un-Versace draped skirts. The Grace Jones hoods worked to soften the harder, more tailored looks (Azzedine Alaia, the man who put Jones in her first hooded dress, sat front row) and to give peekaboos at handworked corsetry and embroidered nude tulle bodysuits. Anatomical contours were traced out in tiny chains and crystals, giving the looks a futuristic effect, striking a not that Jones repeated her entire career.

Donatella used her workshops to the best of their ability. Nude bodysuits were embroidered with beaded tribal motifs and crystal tattoo patterns. Leather jackets were deconstructed and pieced back together on lightweight georgette, giving flashes of skin between the the pieces. Models walked down the runway in voluminous ball gowns that looked like liquid glass. Gaga drank it all in front row, but it was clear that today at least, she wasn’t the biggest diva in the room. Donatella’s throwback to Grace Jones’ brand of disco glam looked fresh and new. She was just bringing it to a new generation of admirers.

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Our Favorite Denim Accessories

Nothing comes between you and your favorite jeans — that’s a fact. They get you through days where you’re not feeling so hot and days where you feel like you could be snapped by Mr. Tommy Ton himself. But let’s not let our jeans get all the attention. Denim is being used on accessories and more, so you can spread the love and find your denim sole mate or maybe take a swing with a denim bag on your arm. Forget any Canadian tuxedo faux pas, because we’ll be mixing and matching these down home denim picks with all of our favorite pieces. And as a bonus, pick up Rizzoli’s tome on blue jeans, with stories from celebs and models such as Kate Moss, Jane Birkin and more. Think of it as jean-ius advice from the pros themselves.

Clockwise from top left:

Marc by Marc Jacobs Domo Arigato Chambray Backpack ($198), Jenni Kayne Denim d’Orsay Flats ($450), Vans Sk8 Hi Slim ($64.95), Koku Vivia Denim Clutch ($150), Nixon the Sentry Denim Strap Watch ($125), French Sole Sloop Flat ($119.95), A Denim Story: Inspirations from Bellbottoms to Boyfriends; Emily Current, Meritt Elliott and Hilary Walsh (Rizzoli) ($35), Soludos Barca Striped Espadrilles ($43)