Designer who dressed the mistresses: GIANNI VERSACE.

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TANUJ BANSAL.

One of The Kings of Fashion industries and founder of one of the leading designer and lavish fashion brands “VERSACE”, known by illustrious designing and being one of the first designers to link up fashion and music on stage with greatest celebrities such as Tupac Shakur, Sir Elton John, Eric Clapton, Madonna and Princess Diana on his friend’s list and several other bigtime celebrities. Giovanni Maria “Gianni” Versace. Versace was born on 2 December in 1946 in the city of Reggio Calabria to his father and dressmaker mother Francesca Versace. He has an elder brother Santo Versace and his younger sister Donatella Versace. Ancient Greek and Andy Warhol had strong influences upon Gianni Versace. He began hi apprenticeship at an early age at his mother’s sewing business where his mother made beautiful dresses for brides of their community. According to the book “House of Versace” by Deborah Hall, his mother asked him “why don’t you go out and play with your friends”, to which he replied “I don’t want to, I want you to show me how you make clothes. He became interested in architecture before moving to Milan, Italy, the new hottest epicenter of fashion, to work in fashion designing at the age of 26 and soon he was earning six-figures as a designer. In 1973, he became the designer of “Byblos”, a successful Genny’s youthful line and in 1977, he designed Complice, another more experimental line for Genny. 1978 was the year when he launched his first signature series after observing his success, he showed his series at Permanente, a contemporary art museum. His first fashion show followed in September of the same year and his first boutique was opened at Millan via Della Spiga in 1978.

Versace quickly became a sensation and a darling of Milan after opening his boutique which showcased a series of provocative designs with vivid colors and tempting cuts with a contrast which was so refreshing that it prevailed the taste for muted colors and simplicity. Combined luxurious classicism with overt sexuality were his aesthetics which also resulted a rivalry with another great fashion brand and designer Giorgio Armani. There was saying, the reference to their rivalry “Armani dresses the wife, Versace dresses the mistress”. From 1978, He built the company with the support of his family and putting his sister Donatella as Vice President and his brother Santo as the President of the company. Among Versace’s most famous innovations were inventing a super light chainmail in 1982 for women which became a signature material in his outfits. His suits were inspired my more experience he had in female tailoring, departing from masculine Savile row models by crafting suits that accentuated male form and insisted on men as sex objects. Versace infused his designs wit motifs inspired by historical movements and art movements, especially Graeco-Roman art. Medusa’s head in the company’s logo and recurring motifs like The Greek Key, his love for contemporary art inspired who infuse his designs with graphic prints based on the art of Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol. In 1982, jewelry and housewares made its way into Versace to haute couture in 1989. He became first to employ celebrities in his marketing campaigns and seated them in first rows of his fashion shows and then introduced the supermodel vogue in 1990 featuring them both in runways and ad-campaigns.

Versace’s fashion designs gave him reputation for luxury and even decadence and after renovations of his Miami Mansion were done and it came to be known to the whole world as Versace Mansion aka Casa Casuarina, on which he spent around 32 million dollars over the course of renovations in three years that did the same his innovations did and in 2001, his sister Donatella told the New York times “Each room is different dream, a different one of Gianni’s dreams. Versace was homosexual as he was in love with guy named Antonio D’Amico an Italian model and a fashion designer whom he met in 1982. They were together till his murder in 19 97 by homosexual serial killer of homosexual guys, Andrew Cunanan. Andrew had murdered four men earlier including an American business tycoon, a real estate developer Lee Miglin. Cunanan was obsessed with the designer as they have met briefly in a San Francisco club in 1990 according to several eye witness claims and they would have definitely met further on different occasions as they were both involved in sex-for-hire circles in Miami and San Francisco. This whole statement was mentioned in 2008 article in Vanity Fair by Maureen Orth. Although, Versace’s family always denied their acquaintance. But We are never going to know the answers as Andrew shot himself before he was caught.      

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