Anthony Vaccarello took his second bow of the season tonight. In New York he’d walked down the Versus runway with Donatella Versace, trailed by models wearing the label’s most spot-on collection since it was revived five years ago. The experience with Donatella must have had an effect on him. Vaccarello’s team for his own label is four people. Versace’s? Let’s just say it’s a lot bigger. So it’s no wonder Vaccarello was in innovation mode today, thinking about his own brand, and branding. The first look out was a logo sweatshirt, stamped with his name and the season, worn with one of his signature diagonally sliced miniskirts and a shrunken leather jacket. A somewhat banal beginning, but one that Vaccarello made up for later with the cool, graphic manipulations of both his name and the word “Spring.”

The world of ships and sailors was Vaccarello’s jumping-off point. His seafaring references ran from the obvious to the less so—a brass anchor planted on the chest of a neatly cut sleeveless jacket; button-down shirts unbuttoned to the navel, conjuring visions of swashbuckling pirates. Vaccarello also had some sharp-looking denim, tailored in his typical take-no-prisoners way—note the on-theme portholes. But the real news was in the dresses and separates emblazoned with block letters created, he explained, by laser-cutting plastic film and heat-transferring it onto fabric. They twisted around the torso or the hips (occasionally and unfortunately exposing the models’ undies) like a sail wraps around a mast. Vaccarello hinted that the block letters were inspired partly by France’s many protests and partly by the artist Richard Prince. There was also the Versace factor: Those were his first-ever prints, bold and unmistakable. Donatella would approve.

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