Lavish vinyl dresses, bright colors and leather harnesses — the bold yet feminine style of Italian fashion designer Gianni Versace and his eponymous label has shaped contemporary fashion enormously.
Growing up in Calabria, Italy and watching his mother work in her own couture workroom led to Versace building his own empire at the tender age of 26. He was greatly influenced by Italian Baroque and Grecian motifs but simultaneously fascinated by rock, art and bondage. The combination of those attributes quickly became his signature style and eventually led to Versace becoming one of the greatest fashion houses of all time. Not only did he create wearable pop-art, unisex clothing and new materials, but he invented supermodels and altered the way fashion was presented, by filling his front row with celebrity faces. Tragically, at the peak of his success, Gianni Versace was assassinated in 1997 in Miami Beach, Florida. However, more than two decades later his era-defining collections are still an inspiration to designers and fashion lovers. His family has ensured that Versace remains a major international label. Now, collectors from all over the world made pieces from their private collections available for a spectacular exhibition to pay tribute to the man who brought rock, sexuality and classical art to the fashion world.
Gianni Versace was an Italian designer but his ties with Germany go way back to the start of his career. His very first show took place in 1978 in Lippstadt, North Rhine-Westphalia after being invited by the legendary boutique owner Albert Eickhoff. 1994 followed Versace’s first exhibition at the Berlin Museum of Decorative Arts which he personally curated and opened. Now, to celebrate his 70. birthday, the fashion & culture e.V. association Berlin decided to showcase his most beautiful and treasured works again on „home ground“. Gianni Versace Retrospective encloses more than 300 original pieces from private collectors around the world, ranging from sketches and images to accessories and dresses as well as one of a kind items such as the legendary patchwork dress Linda Evangelista wore at his fall/winter 1991 show. Taking place at the Crown Prince Palace on the boulevard Unter den Linden it marks the largest exhibition of Versace to date and is the perfect venue to emphasize his unique and extraordinary style.
This text was written for the Gianni Versace Retrospective exhibition.