Versace rolls out cowboy couture

Italian fashion house Versace has shown a cowboy-themed menswear collection in Milan that was outrageously fun, even by Versace standards.

The new collection, introduced during Milan Fashion Week, for the 2014 northern autumn included sharp, tight suits decorated with rhinestone horseshoes and cactus plants on both front and back.

There were also leather pants, fur motorcycle jackets, hip-hop chains, and silk shirts with "Western Cowboy" on the back.

"Our cowboy is macho, he's a biker ... he doesn't have a horse," designer Donatella Versace said.

The collection also included a few covetable, sumptuous pieces, such as a camel overcoat that looked as thick as a carpet.

The show was mostly a camp celebration of manhood in many forms, from the automobile grilles decorating the runway to the "vroom-vroom" motorcycle revving up the start of the soundtrack.

The late Gianni Versace was famous for mixing cultural references, spanning from ancient Greece to Andy Warhol, into his carefully tailored work, but the cowboy theme has appeared only once before.

"Gianni did a haute couture cowboy dress once modelled by Naomi Campbell in Paris," said Donatella, his sister who took over after his tragic death. "It had a fringe skirt."