Versace unveils first Versus collection by JW Anderson in New York

I Love New York

Versace's relaunched Versus line debuted in New York on Wednesday, with a razzle-dazzle event at the city's Lexington Avenue Armory, showcasing its first collection with JW Anderson.

Here is what we learned on the night.

Working with a young designer is always going to give you the edge

Donatella Versace has learned a lot from Versus's collaboration with Christopher Kane, which lasted three years – mainly that new talent stirs up an older brand. Versus mixed with JW Anderson proved a heady cocktail – young, sexy and just a little bit out-there. Cut-out pieces for boys and girls, lace, zebra print and crisp white go-go boots were highlights. Crowns for men, though, may prove a step too far.

Expensive safety pins are still a good touch

The Versus symbol since the brand launched in 1989, the safety pin is still puncturing holes in designs nearly 15 years later. This time around, it appears on jackets for men and cute babydoll shapes for girls. Think Elizabeth Hurley in That Dress but with the va-va-voom turned down just a notch. A masterstroke for appealing to 90s-revival-hungry twentysomethings with cash.

A Versace event is always a proper shindig

You can't say that Versace doesn't put on a good party. This one saw three gigs (from Grimes, Angel Haze and Dead Sara, all of whom were dressed in Versus), a nightclub atmosphere after the show was over, appearances from Paloma Faith and Harley Viera-Newton and accessories driven round the space by a handsome man on a bicycle. One to remember, then.

Watch out, the male midriff is now fashionable

JW Anderson has made unisex clothes part of his rise to the top. This stance didn't stop with his first collection for a major brand. If women's stomachs have become a fashion zone recently, Anderson thinks it's only fair that guys flash theirs too – for the first time since the late 80s. His collection contained male crop tops, while hip bones and shoulders were also displayed. Situps for both sexes are now required for next season.

This was a fashion show, but not as you know it

Versace is keen that Versus 3.0 should appeal to the new generation – so it created an event that ticks all the blogger boxes. The audience at the New York event could see Donatella fitting clothes on the models and it was streamed on Google Hangout, with bloggers reporting live. The main collection is also been made available to buy online immediately. The result? Fast fashion meets luxury – and the sound of bloggers' heads exploding.

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Lauren Cochrane, for guardian.co.uk on Thursday 16th May 2013 14.41 Europe/London

guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010