Gianni Versace, the Prince of Fashion, his life was cut short during his prime.
His designs are innovative, almost risque, the genius behind them apparent. u9h12hp
GIANNI VERSACE - A SHORT BIOGRAPHY
1946 Gianni Versace was born in Reggio Calabria on December 2.
1972 At the age of 25 he decides to move to Milan and works as a fashion designer,
drawing his first pret-a-porter collections for Genny, Complice and Callaghan.
1975 He presents his first leather collection, created for Complice.
1978 On March 28 he presensts his first collection for Women signed with his
own name in a fashion show at the Palazzo della Permanente, in Milan.
1979 Versace, who has always paid great attention to his image, starts a fortunate
collaboration with the American photographer Richard Avedon.
1982 Versace wins the first of a series of awards that will crown his career:
"L'Occhio d'Oro" for the best fashion designer of the 1982/83 Fall/Winter
collection for women; in this collection he displays the famous metal garments,
now a classic feature of his fashion. The same year, he begins a collaboration
with the Teatro alla Scala and designs costumes for the Richard Strauss' ballet
"Josephlegende"; the stage design is by the painter Luigi Veronesi.
1983 He creates the costumes for Gustav Mahler's ballet "Lieb und Leid"
and on October 21, with the Comune di Milano's patronage, the show. "E'
Design" opens its doors at the Padiglione di Arte Contemporanea where Gianni
Versace displays a synthesis of his technological research.
1984 Versace creates the costumes for Donizetti's "Don Pasquale" and
for the ballet "Dyonisos" directed by Maurice Bejart, both held at
the Teatro alla Scala. In October, at the Piccolo Teatro di Milano, the Belgian
choreographer creates a triptych danse in honour of the launch of the fragrance
for men "Versace l'Homme".
1985 In Paris, on the occasion of the European presentation of the same fragrance,
a contemporary art show is organized, bringing together the works of internationally
renowned artists concerning Versace's fashion. Young people have always been
a major source of inspiration for Versace and on October 2, the fashion designer
is at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London to give a talk on his fashion
for a large group of students, and to illustrate the show "Arte e moda".
1986 A year in which awards and shows intertwine. On January 24, the President
of the Italian Republic Francesco Cossiga confers the decoration of "Commendatore
della Repubblica Italiana" on him; the National Field Museum in Chicago
presents a major retrospective show on the work of Versace in the last ten years.
On October 22, in Paris, during the show "Gianni Versace: Obiettivo Moda",
illustrating the professional collaboration between Versace and internationally
renowned photographers (Avedon, Newton, Penn, Weber, Barbieri, Gastel, etc.),
Jacques Chirac assigns the "Grande Medaille de Vermeil de la Ville de Paris"
to Versace. On November 14, the premiere of the ballet "La metamorphose
des dieux" by Malraux is presented in Brussels. The costumes are designed
by Gianni Versace and the choreography is by Maurice Bejart.
1987 In January Bob Wilson stages Richard Strauss "Salome" for the
Scala and asks Versace to design the costumes; on March 31, Bejart presents
"Leda and the Swan" at the Scala, with costumes by Versace; on April
7, the book "Versace Teatro" published by Franco Maria Ricci.is presented.
In June, Gianni Versace goes to Russia in the retinue of Bejart, for whom he
designs the costumes of the "Ballet du XX Siecle" broadcasted throughout
the world from Leningrad within the programm "The white nights of dance".
In September Versace's huge professional contribution to the theatre is rewarded
with the "Maschera D'Argento" prize. On September 21, "Souvenir
de Leningrad", a ballet by Bejart's new dance company, makes its debut
in Lausanne, and even on this occasion Versace's contribution is crucial.
1988 Versace goes to Paris to design the stage costumes for Zizi Jeanmaire's
last recital at the Bouffes du Nord; on March 30, in Brussels, alongside Maurice
Bejart, he presents the costumes for the ballet inspired by Evita Peron in an
absolute premiere at the Theatre Royal de la Monnaie. On June 8, the jury of
the "Cutty Sark" nominates him the most creative and innovative fashion
designer for men; in September Versace opens a 600 sqm. showroom in Madrid,
his first boutique in Spain. On December 20 he is once again in Paris to design
the costumes for the ballet "Java Forever", with Zizi Jenamaire, presented
at the Opera Comique to celebrate the Bicentenary of the French Revolution.
1989 On January 25, the opening of the "Atelier Versace" - a workshop
where high fashion models are created - is announced at a soiree held at the
Gare d'Orsay, attended by Madame Mitterand, where also the film "The fortune
of friendship" recounting the relationship between Versace and Maurice
Bejart, is presented. On April 13, the exhibition "L'abito per pensare",
is inaugurated at the Castello Sforzesco in Milan, through historical and social
interpretations, it displays 25 years of activity in fashion and in the theatre,
a crucial stage in the evolution of the history of costume. On May 16, on the
occasion of the celebration for the Bicentenary of the French Revolution, Bejart
invites him to Paris to design the costumes of the ballet "Chaka Zulu",
inspired by L. Senghor's poem. On July 6, in Milan, Versace presents "Versus",
a new line for young people - manufactured by the Manifatture Itierre of the
Gruppo Pantrem, - which explores informal themes and puts itself forward as
an alternative to so-called conventional ways of dressing. On November 14 there
is yet another ballet: Bejart stages:"Elegie pour Elle" at the Cirque
Royal in Brussels, and the Costumes are designed by Versace once again.
1990 The "Atelier" collection is presented in a fashion show at the
Hotel Ritz, Paris, in the early part of the year; in April Versace opens his
second boutique in New York, and the eleventh in the United States, in the prestigious
Madison Avenue. On October 21 John Cox i naugurates the theatri ca. l s eas
on of the Opera, San Francisco, with Richard Strauss "Capriccio" and
the costumes are designed By Versace. l991 On January 7, the show "Versace Teatro" is inaugurated at the
Royal Royal College of Art in London; in March the fragrance "Versus"
is launched and on May 14, in collaboration with Omar Calabrese, Versace attends
the presentation of the book "Vanitas, lo stile dei sensi" in Milan.
In June, a new Versace boutique is opened in Paris, in the famous Fbg. St. Honore.
In June, Istante and Versus open their first two Italian stores in via San Pietro
all 'Orto, in Milan; "Signature" , Versace's classic line, is launched.
In October, the up-dated version of the show "L'abito per pensare"
arrives in Japan, at the Kobe City Museum; on October 26, William Forsythe stages
his ballets at the Statische Buhnen, Frankfurt, and Versace designs the costumes.
In December, Versace is awarded the "L'Occhio d'Oro" prize for the
fourth time, proclaiming him the most inventive creator of the year.
1992 January, Paris: the second volume of "Versace Teatro" comes out,
published by Franco Maria Ricci: on February 27, the fragrance "Versus
Donna" is presented at the Versus boutique in Milan; in Munich, the itinerant
show "Theater der Mode" celebrates Versace's latest stylistic and
theatrical creations. On May 28 a new Versace showroom opens its doors: here,
in a five-storey bulding situated in the prestigious Old Bond Street, the creative
universe of the fashion designer is displayed in all its modernity. At the end
of May, Elton John's world tour make its debut; the singer is an ardent admirer
of Versace, whom he asks to design his stage costumes. New York, 14 September:
as testimonial for the Italian Trade Commission, Gianni Versace inaugurates
the charity Gala "Rock'N Rule", the profits of which are given to
the Amfar anti-AIDS Association; Versace opens a new boutique at Bergdorf Goodman.
In October, a new watch was born: "La Meduse" from the Signature line,
added to the Premiere watch collection. New York decides to organise an important
retrospective show at the Fashion Institute of Technology on the Italian designer's
work: "Versace: Signatures". (6 Nov - 9 Jan)
1993 On 1 February the "Council of Fashion Designers of America" assigns
the much coveted American Fashion Oscar award to Versace. The book "South
Beach Stories" comes out in New York, published by Leonardo Arte. On March
25, Maurice Bejart stages the ballet "Sissi, the Anarchic Empress"
at the Sadler's Wells Theatre in London, with Gianni Versace's irreplaceable
costumes. In May "Home Signature" is launched, a line of products
for the home: table porcelain manufactured by Rosenthal, carpets, quilts and
cushions. Milan, 10 November; the book "Vanitas, Ricami e Decori - Decori
e Ricami" - published by Leonardo Arte- is officially presented at the
1994 Versace is in Berlin where he opens a 600 sqm. showroom on the famous Kurfurstendamm.
New York, 30 March: Gianni Versace presents the book "Designs", an
abridged English edition of " Vanitas, Ricami e Decori Decori e Ricami",
at Bergdorf Goodman's. Worldwide launch of the 2 new Versace fragrances: RED
& JEANS. Berlin, 15 September: Opening of the of travelling exhibition "VERSACE
SIGNATURES" at the Kunstgewerbemuseum that will be held till November 25,
1994. This year the exhibition includes a new section dedicated to the "Home"
line, in addition to those regarding embroideries, timeless fashion, prints,
leather, and the theater costumes. October 1994 - the book "L'UOMO SENZA
CRAVATTA"(the man without tie) by Gianni Versace comes out. It's the fourth
volume of the Vanitas series , published by Leonardo Arte.
1995 January 17 - Inauguration of the Richard Avedon's exhibition: "Richard
Avedon 1944-1994" sponsorised by Versace and officially hosted by the Milan
City Council in the Palazzo reale - Sala delle Cariatidi ( from January 18 to
March 5). March 3 - "How Near Heaven", new performance of the American
Ballet Theatre receives its World Premiere at the Kennedy Center for the Performing
Arts in Washington D.C. Coreography by Twyla Tharp, for whom Gianni Versace
designes the marvellous costumes. May 1st, premiere at the Metropolitan Opera
House in New York June 14. London: Gianni Versace boutique in Old Bond Street.
Gianni Versace and Elton John party for the Elton John Aids Foundation. Unique
and signed copies of Gianni Versace's new book "Men without ties"
will be on sale during the party. The book doesn't go on national release until
the following morning. June 15. Booksigning of "Men without ties"
at Harrod's. End of October - the book "DO NOT DISTURB) by Gianni Versace
comes out. It's the fifth volume of the Vanitas series, published by Leonardo
1997 On July, Gianni Versace was gunned down in his South Beach home in Miami,
Florida. On July 23, 1997, the prime suspect for Gianni Versace's killing was
found dead in a Miami Beach boathouse.