VERSACE: FASHION REVOLUTION
VINTAGE VERSACE AS A TRIBUTE TO THE BEAUTY OF THE FEMALE BODY
Giovanni Maria Versace, known as Gianni, originally from Calabria and founder of the fashion house Versace, is considered one of the most revolutionary designers of all time, capable of literally turning the world of couture upside down.
Versace dresses par excellence are the “mermaid dresses” - tight, low-cut and sexy. It’s
the short, or very short, dresses draped in the Greek manner, or the slip-dress, so popular
in the Nineties, the golden age of the maison. It’s those with fluorescent, baroque, and animalier prints, influenced by the 1920s and by Art Deco. It’s all those who pay homage to the body, to the feminine beauty and to its self-confidence.
Versace's iconic masterpieces include the Red Dress worn by Cindy Crawford in 1991, Elizabeth Hurley’s Safety Pin Dress for the premiere of Four Weddings and a Funeral and, more recently, Jennifer Lopez’ Y2K Jungle Dress
Even today, while continuing to innovate, the maison draws heavily from its vintage archive, keeping the spirit of the times of its founder well alive.
THE BIRTH OF MAISON VERSACE
The company’s history began in 1972, when Gianni Versace decided to leave Calabria and move to Milan, where he initially designed collections for Florentine Flowers and De Parisini. However, in 1978 he was already working on his first personal collection.
A year later, Gianni Versace began an important collaboration with photographer Richard Avedon who signed some of the brand’s most famous advertising campaigns. Later on, Versace would collaborate with other important photographers such as Helmut Newton, Bruce Weber, Steven Meisel and Herb Ritts for his work, thus associating his name not only to the history of fashion but also to that of photography.
Meanwhile, Versace collections became increasingly wild and revolutionary: 1981 was the year of futuristic metallic mesh dresses, while at the end of the Eighties a full bondage-inspired look raised several eyebrows. Still,Time magazine named the designer man of the hour.
DONATELLA VERSACE AND THE AGE OF SUPERMODELS
In 1988 the company was joined by Gianni’s younger sister, Donatella, who had always been his model and muse.
The Versace woman is a goddess. The clothes of the brand bind the body, shaping it and enhancing its curves. The nineties were the years of Supermodels: Versace collaborated with Linda Evangelista, Claudia Shiffer, Christy Turlington, Kate Moss, Carla Bruni and all of the hottest models of those days, sometimes personally contributing to their success.
But Versace is also rock, punk and pure provocation: the brand dressed Lady Diana, but also Courtney Love, and all the antidivas that, for one reason or another, did not feel represented by a stuffy star system. In 1993, the company adopted the mythological image of the head of the Medusa as its logo.
On July 15, 1997, the whole world was shocked by the news of the death of Gianni Versace, murdered in his villa in Miami Beach. After the death of the designer, the position of creative director of the brand passed to Donatella Versace, who is still tday at the head of the brand.
In 2017, twenty years after the death of her brother, Donatella proposed a limited collection in his honor. Five T-shirts models with Versace iconic prints: Native Americans, Pop Art, Trésor De La Mer, Vogue and Wild Baroque.