Remember the vivid colors and bold prints, the sexy cuts and the “luxurious classicism with overt sexuality” of Gianni Versace’s creations? The 1980s and 90s were his decades and we were all touched by them in some way – whether by his originals or through the ubiquitous influence he had on the entire fashion industry.
The retrospective has been put together thanks to the efforts of dedicated five private collectors – from Brazil, Italy, Greece and the United States. With about 300 items, it represents the biggest show ever of his originals. Unfortunately, the documentation is scarce and at the time of my visit (February 16, 2018) there was no catalogue or flyer, nor could the attendants tell me, if or when there would be more in-depth information.
There is an interesting video interview with Albert Eickhoff, an important German fashion wholesaler, who discovered Gianni Versace in 1976 and made his very first fashion show possible in 1978 in – of all places – the small German town of Lippstadt. Jerry Hall (later wife of Mick Jagger) was one of the models. This modest – but well attended by fashion influencers – show proved to be the international kickstart to Versace’s career.
This 2-minute video (in German) shows some of the famous models who worked with him – Linda Evangelista, former French First lady Carla Bruni, Naomi Campbell, Claudia Schiffer. And then there were the famous clients – Princess Diana, Elton John, etc. etc.
The items shown in Berlin are from his various collections – the broad-shouldered leather and rivets jackets for men, the very colorful silk shirts, the wild designs combining leopard and Greek classic elements, bugle bead embroidery and Andy Warhol designs. All items shown are his own designs, up to his tragic murder in 1997.
If you are a Gianni Versace fan or just like to see fashion originals – this is a show not to be missed in Berlin!
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