Versace: a tale of murder, 90s supermodels and legendary moments
How did you first get to know the big names in fashion? I remember that when I was little, my mum (who was a fashion designer) would often mention legendary designer names when we were out shopping, referencing "Dior's new look" when trying on a jacket with a waspy waist or telling me about the shock factor of Mary Quant's first mini skirt when browsing the summer collections.
For Versace, it was a bit different: I first heard about the label when its founder, Gianni Versace, was shot in 1997 (I was just a teenager then). I clearly remember the scandal and sombre atmosphere this event caused and how it was a talking point for many months after. Since then, the brand had its ups and downs but Gianni's sister Donatella who has been creative director ever since his death has definitely cemented its iconic status and created some outstanding red carpet moments (who could forget Elizabeth Hurley and the safety pin dress).
With its "more is more" approach to prints and colours, the overtly sensual aesthetic and the pompous medusa logo (born out of Gianni's love for Greek mythology), it's definitely not a label for purists. It's tempting to dismiss Versace's designs as tacky or too over the top, but I would like to remind the haters that Donatella's pieces are actually masterful creations with exquisite cuts (that make a woman's body look damn hot!).
I just watched the spring/summer 2018 Versace fashion show (unfortunately not in real life...one can but dream!). It was a tribute to Gianni, and Donatella really pulled all the stops to make the show memorable. It featured tailored jackets with gorgeous silhouettes, ornate overknee boots, heritage prints in yellow and black and a dash of western denim. And it ended with an iconic finale if there ever was one*. I promise you, this will be one of those moments fashion magazines and documentaries will forever reminisce about.
I recently sourced this draped, bright yellow dress by Versace Jeans (which is available in the shop) and for me, it perfectly embodies what the label Versace stands for: a fluid and feminine silhouette, luxurious metal hardware and a not-for-wallflowers colour. Too bad that we probably won't get to see much more from Donatella as creative director. Her successor has not been announced yet but the rumour mill is churning. Whoever it will be, they better not be afraid to design the next collection after such an epic show.
*Watch the catwalk show! Just do it. If you know anything about 90s supermodels, the last few minutes will make you go "No, she didn't..."!!