August 5, 1997 in Features

Versace Made The World A More Beautiful Place

Shanna Southern Peterson Corresp
 

Gianni Versace. The first time many heard this talented man’s name correctly pronounced was on July 15, 1997, the day he was brutally gunned down on the steps of his villa in South Beach, Fla.

Versace, designer to movie stars and jet-setters, was not a label most people outside the fashion hubs of Milan, Paris or New York looked for when purchasing a new gown for an evening at the symphony.

His creations were breathtaking, enchanting, chic. Who could forget “The Dress” - two strips of black jersey held together with golden clips - he created for actress Elizabeth Hurley, which practically shouted, “Hugh Grant, your girlfriend looks like this, yet you picked up a hooker on Sunset Boulevard?”

In addition to designing one-of-a-kind, high fashion clothing, he delighted in creating costumes for the theater, ballet and musicians, such as Elton John, Sting and Jon Bon Jovi.

Yet surprisingly, his avant garde haute couture creations were extremely important to the ready-to-wear industry.

Many manufacturers were inspired by Versace creations. By making subtle changes to his one-of-a-kind beauties, they were able to create ready-to-wear lines with the Versace look.

These beautiful dresses were then accessible to practically anyone who needed a stunning evening gown.

Gianni Versace said he always knew he was destined to a life in the fashion world. Born the middle child of an Italian working-class father and dressmaker mother, he began designing gowns as early as age 9.

He knew then he would devote his life to creating beautiful clothing for beautiful people.

Because of his opulent lifestyle and his penchant for living on the edge, he seemed to always be surrounded by rumors and controversy. Despite this, he maintained an extremely close relationship with his family, especially his brother Santo, and sister Donatella, who played important roles in the design and creation of the Versace lines.

Versace loved to have people notice him and his fashions. He moved with a fast crowd and lived life to the fullest. He was once quoted as saying, “One life is not enough.” For this talented man, no truer words could be spoken.

Gianni Versace, you will be deeply missed.

MEMO: Shanna Southern Peterson is a Spokane writer and home economist. The Clothesline appears weekly. Ideas for the column may be sent to her c/o The Spokesman-Review Features Department, P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210, or e-mail shanptr@aol.com.

The following fields overflowed: CREDIT = Shanna Southern Peterson Correspondent

Shanna Southern Peterson is a Spokane writer and home economist. The Clothesline appears weekly. Ideas for the column may be sent to her c/o The Spokesman-Review Features Department, P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210, or e-mail shanptr@aol.com.

The following fields overflowed: CREDIT = Shanna Southern Peterson Correspondent


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