No other fashion house has a closer connection between the catwalk fashion collections and the fragrance department as Versace. Whenever Donatella Versace starts work on a new scent for her or him, she incorporates details from the fashion atelier. The medusa emblem, which appears on dress prints, sunglasses and handbags is always front and centre on perfume bottles. The Greek key motif, a favourite on backpack straps and men’s weekender bags often appears on men’s eau de parfum gift sets. And bold gold and black prints used for men’s shirts and women’s dresses pops up on fragrance gift-with-purchase shoulder bags and totes.
So what better way to celebrate 40 years of Versace fashion than with this sumptuous coffee table book “Versace Catwalk: The Complete Collections”. The book carefully retraces the history of the famous Italian brand founded in 1987 by the late designer Gianni Versace – collection-by-collection. What is remarkable is how well Donatella maintained the Versace ethos after the sudden passing of Gianni in 1997. She remains the brand’s chief creative officer.
The book boasts a whopping 1,200 catwalk images, many featuring the famed supermodels who Gianni famously created. It was rumoured at the time that rival designer Giorgio Armani was furious when Gianni paid Christy Turlington, Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista and Cindy Crawford an enormous sum to walk together during Milan Fashion Week. The campaign caused a global sensation making not only the models household names, but Versace as well.
“Looking back has never been so interesting. There comes a moment in one’s life or career, when in order to evolve, you need to draw a line and acknowledge where you come from,” said Donatella Versace to WWD. “This book is exactly this for me. More than 40 years of fashion shows, countless looks and each of them brought me to where I am today. In this book, you find the soul of Versace. I could not be any more proud than share it with the world.”
Fans of CBC Newsworld’s Fashion File will recognize the editor of the book: former host Tim Blanks. The award-winning fashion journalists brings his insight and knowledge to this project elevating it to new levels.
What’s interesting flipping through the pages is how relevant Gianni’s fashion approach is today, more than four decades after he launched his company. The prints, the colours, the cut – all look modern and contemporary. There are few designers who achieved such a feat.