Just as a caterpillar feels snug in its cocoon, ready to take on a new form,
Both formed in creative expressions which celebrate themes of freedom and femininity, it only seems right that this collection reps a symbol of empowerment throughout the duo’s first-ever collaboration.
It hasn’t yet been a full 24 hours since Lipa and Versace premiered their see-now, buy-now collection in Cannes, and news of the collab seems to be everywhere.
Not only due in part to the legendary nature of the collab, but also perhaps because while it takes most celebrities years to create a rapport with a luxury brand, Lipa’s full-blown collaboration is born from a relatively new, yet entirely fortified, bond with Donatella Versace.
“I met Dua at the beginning of her career,” Versace shares. “She has always been an inspiration by embodying passion and strength.” The strong sentiments seem to be mutual. This isn’t Lipa’s first, or even dozenth, time donning Versace.
Back in 2020 when Lipa was dubbed
From 2020’s American Music Awards to 2021’s Met Gala with multiple performances and award shows in between, Lipa has repped Versace loyally. Naturally, we can’t fail to mention her 2021 Grammys custom look (where the artist effortlessly took home the win for Best Pop Vocal Album) which nodded to Versace’s iconic chain mesh construction and of course, the butterfly motif.
“I feel like I know the Versace heritage and history inside out,” Lipa shares. “I feel very lucky that I’ve had the opportunity to learn that so when the opportunity was clear – which we decided on a night out in New York – I began to make little sketches and send them to Donatella.”
The collaboration possesses a level of two-way creativity that doesn’t seem common in this day in age (especially in celebrity collabs) and is only made more novelty by the thought of one of the world’s biggest pop sensations texting scrap-drawing ideas to the head of a 45-year-old Italian Atelier.
Wondering if those early sketches came to fruition? Lipa told Highsnobiety that her early musings were a sort of “wrap-around body suit,” which we can only hypothesize have now materialized through the knotted faux leather bodysuit or floral swimsuit.
“And it had butterflies too,” says Versace. “She loves butterflies. We found a print with butterflies and polka dots and ladybugs too. For me, she’s strong like a butterfly. She’s sweet but she knows where she’s going.”
Dua adds humbly, “We identify with that idea of metamorphosis and growing. The collection came together with that in mind.”
As for the rest of the collection, it’s clear that Lipa’s vast knowledge of Versace history has come in handy as key house codes are translated into key themes.
Utilizing the recognizable butterfly and ladybugs print, originally featured in the Versace Spring/Summer 1995 collection, La Vacanza creates all summer necessities – bikinis, scrunchies, mini dresses, and mules, to name a few.
Sticking to the subject, the collection further features a few pieces of hardware, all designed with the signature Medusa and Greca jewelry adorned with hand-painted crystal butterflies and ladybugs.
As Lipa explains to Highsnobiety that her current relationship to the symbolism of the butterfly has been “made much stronger,” through this collection, Versace explains to us that its importance for her is forever immortalized. “The first show I did after my brother died, a white butterfly was flying around me. And then, you know, two shows later, another white butterfly. So for me, it’s very important to keep this symbol.”