Dua Lipa looking at butterfly on hand
The singer has ventured into the world of design with a collection of summery, Y2K inspired pieces. Image credit: Versace.

Donatella Versace joined forces with singer and long-time collaborator Dua Lipa to co-design Versace’s latest High Summer women’s collection La Vacanza. The capsule debuted via a private show in Cannes last night.

La Vacanza, Italian for vacation, was unveiled before the lavish pink Chateau de la Croix des Gares, offering views overlooking the stunning backdrop of the French Riviera.

Broadcast live on the brand’s social channels, the livestream was nothing short of a Wes Anderson film.

The see-now-buy-now collection was made available in-store and on the Versace website immediately following the show.

Reminiscent of Lipa’s iconic New Rules music video, the models walked on an acrylic runway across the chateau’s swimming pool surrounded by the breathtaking sea of Côte d’Azur.

From miles away, the collection smelled like summer to me. Positioned as a conversation between Malibu Barbie and Gianni Versace, the collection is escapist and playful with outfits that reminded me of the ’60s, featuring towering bouffant hairstyles and miniskirts with a 90s-inspired twist. The elevated collection, a symbol of Italian excellence, featured over 40 looks and incorporated elements from various decades. The colours were decidedly bright and pop, a pleasant departure from Versace’s recent dark and muted collections.

model walking on runway
La Vacanza embodies the complete Versace lifestyle, including impeccable tailoring, refined evening gowns, and terry swimwear and beachwear. Credit: Versace

With an intimate guest list of just 60 people, Bridgerton’s Simone Ashley watched from the front row – alongside Troye Sivan, K-pop star Hyunjin from Stray Kids, French designer Simon Porte Jacquemus and American rapper Future – as Dua Lipa presented a collection evidently curated for the actor’s Barbie press tour.

According to Vogue Runway, Lipa delved into Versace’s archives, taking inspiration from past series’ and reworking them with a fresh verve into new specimens. Stimulated by the Maison’s archive, the holiday collection included a line-up of playful and sensual summer options. I particularly loved how fairytale-like butterflies and polka-dots were splattered throughout the looks, very reminiscent of Versace’s classic 1995 collection. 

With micro tops, metallic mesh mini dresses and bejewelled buckle straps, what I enjoyed most about the resort-inspired kaleidoscope-like collection is that it is quintessentially Dua Lipa, encapsulating the singer’s fashion personality both on and off stage. Playfully pink and easy to wear, from the knee-high butterfly sandals and ladybug encrusted jewels to the cowboy heel boots, the accessories stood out as the highlight of the capsule. 

model walking on runway
This look is exactly what a Versace x Dua Lipa collab needed to be. Credit: Versace

True to the atelier’s rich heritage, the extensive co-ed collection finished with 2023’s favourite styles so far – black with gold hardware, ruching, cutouts and visible thongs. 

Speaking about the collection to Vogue France, Donatella Versace said: “The first time I met Dua was at the Brit Awards in 2016. I immediately thought that she was a talented, passionate, strong young woman and a true source of inspiration for other women. She knows clothes and knows how to enhance the female body. We talked a lot about what we like, and we looked to the Versace archives to pull out some elements that Dua revisited in a contemporary way.”

Lipa’s past collaborations with Versace have led to some memorable fashion moments, with the British pop star and co-chair of this year’s Met Gala being the face of the iconic Italian fashion house for years, having both opened and closed their SS22 show. Undoubtedly a Versace muse, Dua Lipa is precisely what the house needed.