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Gianni Versace: In The Sign Of Medusa

Gianni Versace: In the Sign of Medusa

“My fantasy is to leave options for women, to make their individuality come out, to try to accomplish what they want, and I think women want to look beautiful. (It’s) less about jacket(s) and more about shirt(s) and about sweaters, about T-Shirts and about freedom.”  -Gianni Versace

There are fashion designers who charm the world with their designs. They create a new collection each year and when the next one comes, the last one is already forgotten. They design parts that are oriented towards other stylistic trends or time eras and live up to any trends. But there are also those modellers, who design something for eternity. They not only convey beautiful creations, but also remain in our thoughts and thus shape the vitality of a whole era. One of those designers is Gianni Versace. Even today, his designs are known and live on in many new designs.

Gianni & Donatella Versace

Gianni Versace was born on 2 December 1942 in Reggio Calabria, Italy. Already during his architecture studies he worked in his mother’s tailoring business. Even after graduation, he worked there as a substance buyer. Over the years he made many contacts with manufacturers and fashion houses abroad, until he decided in 1968 to work as freelance designer. In 1972 he became a designer for the brands Callaghan and Genny, until he finally became self-employed in 1978. A year later, he presented his first ready-to-wear show and opened a boutique in Milan that same year. For the time being, it was known for its exceptional material combinations such as silk and jute, leather and crêpe de chine. He made the breakthrough with his bright colours and the reinterpreted baroque patterns.

The big four: Naomi, Linda, Cindy and, Christy on Gianni Versace runway Fall/Winter 1991-1992
The big four: Naomi, Linda, Cindy and, Christy on Gianni Versace runway Fall/Winter 1991-1992

HE PRESENTED THE 90’S YEARS

In 1982, Versace also designed stage costumes for the ballet Joseph’s legend. At the premiere, he met his later life partner, Antonio d’Amico. They were very open with their relationship. Thus Versace insisted that d’Amico should accompany him on galas and premieres. Later, he directed the sports line of the company. Versace was one of the first prominent personalities who did not only live out his homosexuality, but also showed it right. Together with the well-known fashion photographer Bruce Weber, he had his clothes and accessories photographed in a homoerotic and almost pornographic way. This extravagant way of staging fashion was particularly popular in the show scene and soon belonged to his circle of friends, Elton John, George Michael, Eric Clapton, Madonna and Naomi Campbell.

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IT’S ALL IN THE FAMILY

On 15 July 1997 Gianni Versace was shot on the steps in front of his Villa Casa Casuarina in Miami. Andrew Phillip Cunanan was identified as the perpetrator, who took his life eight days later after a long persecution. Although Versace headed a huge fashion company, he occupied important positions with family members. After the spectacular assassination, the stores were took over by his sister Donatella, who had previously been responsible for Versus’ second line. His brother Santos took over the financing of the company.
Gianni with Donatella's family
Gianni with Donatella's family
Gianni with his sister Donnatella and his brother Santos
Gianni with his sister Donnatella and his brother Santos
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Gianni cares for his niece Allegra as if she were his own daughter
Gianni cares for his niece Allegra as if she were his own daughter

sources: click on the images

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