@MusingMutley: Inside the new Versace flagship store in Hong Kong
Central, Hong Kong
Like all good artistic directors, Donatella Versace is great at creating a world. It's a vision of la dolce vita that's inspired by the rococo period — French decorative arts characterised by gold florid swirls — but finds modern manifestation by way of geometric Greek patterns (often used as a border on cuffs and hemlines) and the infamous Medusa head (routinely plastered on blazer pockets and the back of blousons). In short, the Versace world is luxe, intoxicating and unapologetically sexy.
So when Versace flew us to Hong Kong to attend the grand opening of their new flagship — located at 12 Queen's Road, directly opposite the prestigious Landmark building — the regional media were given the royal Versace treatment; a heady immersion into their deliciously decadent world. Think: Board at the five-star Mandarin Oriental in the Landmark (massive circular bath tub FTW); dinner at rooftop bar and restaurant Sevva (stunning, albeit hazy, views of the Hong Kong skyline); and press gifts in the form of a personalised Versace bath robe (complete with hood) and a gold Medusa head piggy bank made by Rosenthal (perfect as a swear jar). The rationale? What better way to sell the Versace lifestyle than to seduce with the Versace lifestyle. And having spent the weekend singing Versace on the floor by Bruno Mars whilst occassionally throwing my new Versace bath robe onto the floor (no self-control, I just had to do it), I couldn't agree more. Spoilt. Rotten.
To give you an insider's perspective on the grand opening of the new Versace flagship store in Hong Kong, here's a recap all the fun and festivities as told through seven key words — the same words emblazoned across bombers, beanies and frocks in the latest Versace women's fall/winter 2017 collection:
In a depressed retail climate, Versace is taking a bold step with the opening of its Hong Kong flagship — the largest new concept boutique in Asia Pacific. No guts, no glory.
The two-storey boutique is a strategic investment to further strengthen brand awareness in the region and intelligently, given all the balls and galas in Hong Kong, also offers stunning haute couture gowns by Atelier Versace. #Gorg
Wearing a black mesh dress with the word 'LOYALTY' embroidered to the front, Donatella Versace presided over the ribbon-cutting ceremony of the store with chief executive Jonathan Akeroyd.
After downing cocktails at the flagship, 500 guests were whisked off to Shaw Studios for a re-showing of the men's and women's fall/winter 2017 collection; but this time, in a combined runway (created to the same scale as the Milan women's show) boxed within four towering screens projected with psychedelic swirls and acid florals to complement the punk-heavy collection.
As soon as Donatella finished her post-show bow, two of the screens bordering the runway were raised to reveal chefs dishing out freshly shucked oysters, and a line of pre-made cocktails and champers running on for days. Models, media, and moneyed moguls flocked; partying in unison to DJ Woody on the decks.
STRENGTH & POWER
From Taiwanese actor Chang Chen to international models Kit Butler and Marjan Jonkman walking the runway, including a suite of regional digital influencers, it was a powerful line-up of the who's who in the local fashion scene. One to remember.
Check back every Monday for another @MusingMutley column from Norman Tan, Editor-in-Chief of Buro 24/7 Singapore. For more columns from @MusingMutley, click here.
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