When your eyes examine the Versace logo you feel as if you’ve entered a time warp; classicism, boldness, gods and goddesses, provocation, and sex. So when Gianni Versace fashion designer entered the world of fashion in 1978 with brother Santo as SEO and Donatella designer, their ideas took the industry by storm.
Gianni Versace made extreme choices with with design, the color and sensuality he imagined was like nothing before him and nothing since. He exposed to us brave new styles in an untethered outpouring of creativity. Every piece dripped of sexuality and flair. His dresses celebrated every detailed curve of a woman’s body. Or his bright explosive patterns that shattered perceptions of what a man dared to wear.
Versace wasn’t always favoured and some found his designs vulgar and inappropriate. This was fuel for Gianni and it used it to launch more ideas and push further beyond the curtain of conservatism, by creating an even more elaborate bondage gear. His silver-mesh togas, or polyvinyl chloride baby-doll dresses reeked of the period. That initial shock to the public was merely an emotion he could capitalize on and he did so beautifully.
Success grew as did his boutiques opening in major cities across the US and even Canada. You could not walk by without stopping to stare at the gold crest on the door, and the unbelievable god-like choices of color and design behind it’s glass. And coupled with ad campaigns and an unending desire to create, Gianni Versace fashion was peaking with creativity in 1989 when he created his own line of haute couture.
He could not stop. Books began to appear on coffee tables featuring sketches in an unending published list of his ideas. For Gianni had become a big, bold and confident artist and a force to be reckoned with. His obsession with Opera and ballet launched him even further into a flurry of costume ideas and a whole other direction. From the outside he was bouncing from color to canvas, masterpiece to masterpiece, and the only place for Gianni to go was up.
In 1993 successfully battling health issues with cancer he began to pass the Versace business over to his family and settle back into a life he had created for himself in Miami Beach. We could talk about what happens next however this article is meant to be a celebration of the power of Gianni and the radiant effect he had on our culture.
He is gone and he will be missed. His fashion lives on through the eyes of Donatella and the string of bold decisions you can still find today marking his opus of creativity, draped proudly on the curve of a shoulder.
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