Thirteen years ago Gianni Versace was brutally murdered outside his home in Miami. This was definitely a defining moment in my childhood- I had long been a fan, following all of his collections in the pages of British Vogue, but that summer I was far away from the fashion world, at camp in New Hampshire. When I got news of Versace's murder during my once weekly call home I was very distraught, as I felt a true connection with him and his work in the way that only a young person can. I already felt quite out of place there- while the walls of my cabin were covered with posters of Jarvis Cocker and Brett Anderson, my roommate's were adorned with JTT- and my fellow campers reaction to the news that so devastated me- "Oh, who's Versace? I've never heard of him"- made me realize how completely incompatible their lives were with mine. I've stayed a fan of his work though his look has gone in and out of fashion several times in the last thirteen years as his clothes are really all about being a strong, beautiful woman who is sexy, fun loving and smart (he cut a killer suit)- how can that not be appealing?
I'm currently finishing up House of Versace: The Untold Story of Genius, Murder, and Survival so will put up a full review of the book sometime this weekend, but until then amuse yourself with these videos of his runway shows- he was really the designer who brought the supermodels onto the runway and made the shows into the circuses they are today. Colourful clothes decorate the most beautiful, joyful and unique models there have been, which is a far cry from the parades of identikit miserible Eastern-European models that have been so prevalent since his death.
Below is the Gianni Versace Spring 1994 Fashion Show, in five parts, showcasing around 100 outfits- quite a difference from the thirty-odd they now show.