Gianni Versace (Photo Credits: Biography.com)
Huddled within the bare white walls of the Triennale Museum in Milan, a phalanx of fashion-forward individuals had no idea about the spectacle that they were about to witness. Granted, they were attending Versace’s runway show for the Spring Summer 2018 season, but the next seventeen minutes proved to be one of the most iconic moments in fashion, when Donatella Versace churned out a collection paying direct homage to her brother, Gianni Versace.
This post, however, will not revolve around the intricacies of the Vogue-cover prints on dresses or gold-studded, black leather jackets featured in the collection. Instead, I felt that so many other articles on the web focused on the clothes themselves that they forgot the very essence of the show: the legacy of Gianni himself. If the king of glamour in Pop Art were Andy Warhol, the king of glamour in fashion could arguably be Versace (who, by the way, was heavily inspired by Warhol, and this is evident in the bohemian nature of some of his designs). Yet, the man wasn’t only inspired by Art alone. Instead, he was remembered as one of the pioneer fashion designers who consistently innovated and redefined the language of an ordinary garment. Think of using safety pins to hold dresses together and using lasers to seal leather and rubber (a mightily futuristic endeavour for a designer in the twentieth century). In addition to these bold moves, Versace designed garments and costumes for his ensemble of celebrity friends like Elton John and Madonna, sealing his place as the Andy Warhol of the fashion universe. Unfortunately, at the height of his career in fashion, Versace was brutally (and mysteriously) murdered by Andrew Cunanan, a deranged serial killer, outside his home in Miami Beach in 1997.
Till today, this tragedy holds a deep seated position in his family’s hearts, especially that of Donatella Versace, his sister, who we now know as Versace’s head of design. Twenty years after his death, it is an enormous demonstration of courage and resilience for her to revisit the archives and the legacy of her brother to present a tribute collection for him in Milan. Driven by the passion for her brother and inspired by the goodness he has contributed to society, Donatella Versace presented a stellar, legendary show that will be emblazoned in the memories of the fashion crowd.
But wait… Why am I posting this?
Two days ago, I was struggling with intense depression and suicidal thoughts. An entire concoction of dreadful events ranging from stress about IB results to strains in social relationships just broke me. Sometimes, amidst all these struggles from what seemed like all facets of my life, wiping yourself from the face of this earth seemed like the only option left that made sense. Quell your arrogant opinions that suicide is only by losers who give up too easily. With depression, even the most basic things that seem the easiest may actually be extremely difficult for the sufferer to complete.
While Gianni’s story has almost no correlation with what I’m going through, it’s the aftermath of his death that struck me the most. Even after twenty years, his loved ones are still reeling from the monstrosity of his death. I can’t imagine how the people who love me would react if I killed myself. Even for a mere mortal like me, the ending of a life is never something “positive”. It removes us of opportunities, it abandons all hope, it is a stab in the soul of the people who look up to us. Death removes the ‘what ifs’, and leaves our loved ones behind with only ‘what was’ and ‘what could have been’.
Now, following support from my loved ones, I’m glad I’m feeling better. In order for progress, I’d also like to turn to Gianni’s life as inspiration, as a motivation on which I could rebuild my life (and commence the new year on a fresh slate). Gianni taught me…
- To be innovative and bold; to challenge conventions and envision ordinary things from fresh perspectives.
- To love my loved ones with all my heart. Even if some people may not reciprocate your effort and love, or take you for granted, love anyway.
- To work hard at what you love, so that you can leave a legacy behind after your body turns into ashes.
- To continuously serve the community and work for a higher purpose than the self. Always work for others, because you never know who you are inspiring.
- To always be kind, despite how rich, famous or successful you become.
I know I haven’t been posting much this year, and I really don’t know if next year will be the same. However, I’d like to thank you so much for visiting Ashrr in 2017. I hope you enjoyed the content I’ve posted and I’m truly excited to share with you more come 2018.
Have a wonderful 2018!
Versace Spring Summer 2018 Campaign Photographs are courtesy of The National