Flashback: Gianni Versace on being remembered

December 29, 2009

I’ve been on a late ’80s and early to mid ’90s kick lately, going through old Vogue magazines, reading my Mademoiselle, Seventeen and YM magazines as well. Fashion back in then was so much fun, full of individuality but a bit elitist. I used to dream someday being able afford Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent, Gucci, Versace, Balenciaga, Christian Lacroix and others. Nowadays, online sample sale sites have made designer clothing easily affordable to the everyday man and woman. High Street fashion shops like H&M, Forever 21, Zara and Mango have made looking like you belong on the runway easy and affordable. Fashion was so out of reach for the ordinary girl living in the suburbs but it sure was fun to dream. Among my list of favorites was Gianni Versace, whose clothes resonated passionately with me. I loved everything he designed and appreciated seeing black models in his clothes.

Gianni Versace’s life was cut short in 1997 in Miami, his talent is still missed. Here are a few pictures of the designer and his model muses and a few quotes.

“I work towards an aim, the aim of representing the woman of our times. If I am to be remembered, I’d like it to be as an image representative of the ’80s and if that were to be the Versace image I’d be most pleased, I’d like to be the image of a woman who lives a dynamic, young, sporting life, wearing a touch of leather, a piece of metal, not the Chanel-style woman with her one suit, mine is a woman who has an entire world, a world of experience, a world of fashion, because my fashion is always a composite of many things, a pair of jodhpurs, a metal T-shirt, a leather blouson, it is hard to explain Versace with just one thing, but it is easy, in everything, to discover Versace,” Gianni Versace.

“That is the key of this collection, being yourself. Don’t be into trends. Don’t make fashion own you, but you decide what you are, what you want to express by the way you dress and the way to live,” Gianni Versace.

Q. Does the Versace style represent a precise lifestyle?

“As you know, I do not create black leather outfits only…today’s woman is a woman of contrasts, she has ambiguities which are part of today’s life, contrasts which fashion is bound to reflect: we travel in aeroplanes and live in old houses, we do old things and new things, if fashion is to be a mirror of life I must sometimes create aggressive clothes for there are also aggressive women…I design for the woman who does not wear clothes like a suit of armour, but adapts them to her own personality,” Gianni Versace.

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