Versace’s winning concept of past and present

Posted by Reem
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Gianni Versace and the Supermodels, 1991.

Celebrity models, baroque inspired collections, Naomi Campbell stealing the show on the catwalk, all the recent headline-grabbing fashion happenings seem to have some relation to elements of early 1990s Gianni Versace collections. The magical fashion moment in time served as a great reimagining of vintage aesthetics and predictor of where fashion was going for decades to come.

Jeremy Scott brought baroque back to the runways at the Milan men’s shows last week and his literal interpretation heightened my appreciation for the sophisticated, sexy baroque look Linda Evangelista sported in the S/S 1992 Gianni Versace couture ads. While Scott is hailed for the punchy, graphic covetable pieces he creates for Moschino, long before that, Versace was sending Naomi Campbell down the runway in an ornate Warhol inspired Marilyn Monroe adorned full-length dress.

When Versace took on vintage aesthetics, they weren’t a costume and his innovation in blending fashion culture past and future is part of what keeps his 1991/1992 F/W collection timelessly influential and iconic. His 1991 runway was one of the first shows to harness the power of the celebrity supermodel, something that has proved incredibly valuable for fashion brands in the age of the social media supermodel. Part of what informed his infamous runway casting was British Vogue Editor Liz Tilberis, who advised the designer to use the same models from his ads in his runway show.

The incredibly intricate and sexy pieces were a fashion dream come true, paired with the most widely publicized and influential beauties the fashion world has seen. Every time I see a brightly coloured oft-adapted aesthetic like a baroque or Warhol inspired piece, every glam it-girl gang Instagram post, I liken to the moment in time in which graphic sensibilities, vintage prints and the power of the supermodel intersected in a truly revolutionary way.

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(L) Karen Mulder, A/W 1991. (R) Helena Christensen by Herb Ritts, 1991.


(L) Carla Bruni by Patrick Demarchelier, A/W 1991. (R) Christy Turlington for Gianni Versace, 1991.


(L) Christy Turlington by Irving Penn, 1991. (R) Karen Mulder, 1991.


(L) Naomi Campbell, 1991. (R) Christy Turlington, 1991.


(L) Naomi Campbell, Marpessa, Yasmeen Ghauri, Carla Bruni, VOGUE Germany, 1991. (R) Gianni Versace Spring 1991.


Gianni Versace with Shalom Harlow, Linda Evangelista, Noami Campbell, Carla Bruni, Veronica Webb, Karen Mulder, Stephanie Seymour & Christy Turlington.


(L) Niki Taylor, 1991. (R) Yasmeen Ghauri S/S 1991.


(L) Christy Turlington by Irving Penn, 1991. (R) S/S 1991.


(L) 1991. (R) Linda Evangelista, S/S 1992.


Beverly Peele, Carla Bruni, Kristen McMenamy, Naomi Campbell, Emma Sjoberg, Linda Evangelista, Angelika Kallio, Helena Christensen, Marpessa Hennink, Karen Mulder, Veronica Webb & Unknowns with Gianni Versace, early 90s.


(L) Helena Christensen, S/S 1991. (R) Linda Evangelista by Herb Ritts, 1991.


(L) Versace S/S 1992. (R) Christy Turlington, Linda Evangelista & Helena Christensen for Versace, 1990s.

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