There's an old saying in fashion "Armani dresses the wife and Versace the mistress". Today I'd say Versace dresses the Real Housewife and Armani the funeral corpse but that's just me. Anyway, Versace was the shit in the 90's. Balmain before new-Balmain. No matter how loud and vulgar you think Gianni's work was, there is within an inherent artfulness that is pretty undeniably amazing. The ultimate rock star designer, he covered lady crotches in beaded Warhol/Monroe grins and irreverently tacked together Liz Hurley's infamous dress with giant safety pins. The Gap may have scored a fluke point with Monica Lewinsky's denim number, but I'd be willing to bet that 1/2 of all semen-stained dresses in the world bear a Versace tag.

Designed for Whitney Houston, 1980's





Atelier Versace Haute Couture, Gianni's final show 1997