Donatella Versace for brother Gianni โค

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Today in Milan, 20 years after Gianni Versaceโ€™s untimely death, Donatella Versace showedโ€”through words, music, casting, and designโ€”some of the reasons she adored and admired her late brother.

Though he was known as โ€œthe rock โ€™nโ€™ roll designer,โ€ Versaceโ€™s interests were catholic. โ€œThe key to my personality is the curiosity,โ€ he toldย Vogueย in 1990. He designed collections inspired by Pop Art and by the opera; he loved color, both pastel and primary, and he doted on his baby sister, Donatella. Inspired by her strength, and surrounded by supermodels, he designed for a woman who was so bold and so sexy that even when she wore aย bondageย dress there was no doubt that she remained firmly in charge.

โ€œWhat would Gianni do todayโ€ was the thought, according to the program notes, going through Donatella Versaceโ€™s mind as she went through the house archive in preparation for this homage collection. Topping any list of Versaceisms would have to be prints. Revived for Spring 2018 were a swirling gold and black baroque pattern; shells and sea life from the Trรฉsor de la Mer collection; Native Americanโ€“inspired feathers fromย Fall 1992; and the butterflies worn by Kristen McMenamy on the April 1995 cover ofย Vogue. (Back, too, were embellished pieces replicating the magazineโ€™s covers, and others with the face of Marilyn Monroe from Gianniโ€™s Pop collection.) Precision cuts were also revisited by Donatella as she willed the past to a new generation by updating the house archive to speak to the women of today, having learned from Gianni that โ€œmodern is what women want, what moves well with their bodies.โ€

If the majority of the show was a remix as homage, its finale was a gilded throwback moment, featuring some of the supermodels (and the music) who, nearly 30 years ago, helped put Gianni Versace in the history books when they sashayed down the runway to George Michaelโ€™s โ€œFreedom! โ€™90.โ€ Dressed in metal mesh draped in the classical style,ย Naomi, Claudia, Stephanie, Helena, and Cindyย still looked like goddesses; joined by Donatella, they symbolized strength, beauty, and perseverance, just as Gianni would have wanted. ( Laird Borrelli – Persson)

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