This is the first shot of Versace’s Fall 2011 campaign and it appears the house is experiencing a seachange: Mert and Marcus took over photography duties from the usual Mario Testino, while the star’s an edgy brunette as opposed to a lipgloss-slaked blonde in a tight, cleavage-bearing mini. That would be Saskia, cover star of Carine Roitfeld’s final French Vogue.

Donatella, apparently, was inspired by Gianni’s use of less-commercial girls in the ’90s:

“For me, it is expected to have the blonde girl, the sexy girl, and this is what Versace meant recently. But I thought about how in the past, when Gianni used girls like Kristen McMenamy and Stella Tennant, everyone was always saying, ‘Wow, this is not a Versace girl, she is not blonde.’ Sometimes you need to renew yourself to work better and to make a little bit of a push.”

Sure, it sounds like it could be typical press speak. Or it could mean the label’s really going in a different direction. Some members of the fashion press seem to think so.

(via WWD)