10.1.08

..And This Is (Was?) Versace...

I was never really a huge fan of 90s Versace clothes (what I saw via magazines, and later, Fashion TV), or any Versace clothes till Donatella brought down the slut factor in her designs a few years ago, since to me it mostly meant slashed-to-the-hip/waist/ hip-and-waist or else supertight wonders (which are wonders indeed, once one gets past a bias against anything that looks like that). And their current ads are rather boring - supermodel lineup in 2006? Bleargh. Halle Berry modelling handbags? Likewise, even if she looked hot. And don't even get me started on the one with Demi Moore...
Which is why I was rather surprised (not to mention, very pleased) to find the images below, which were part of an Atelier Versace ad campaign by Steven Meisel in 1994. It isn't just the linked-arms camaraderie of the images that's giving me a few warm fuzzies: the geekiness of the slip-on shoes with socks and the stripy and otherwise funky prints on the dresses, are doing enough as it is- the shoes, slight pinafore-ishness of the dresses in the first two pics, and the hair styled into ponytails, remind me quite strongly of school uniform. Though I seem to detect a hint of qipao/cheong-sam (can someone tell me what the acceptable term for dresses like that is, please?) in the last dress. I don't think it'd be exaggerating to say that I love the photographs- they're sexy all right, but it's more about exuberance, as opposed to being all va-va-voom. Which is the kind of sexy that's right after my own heart...plus, Versace calling to mind bobbysoxers? I'd have loved it for that alone.




Images from The Fashion Spot.

21 comments:

WendyB said...

I have some amazing Versace things...I think a few styles became very associated with the name, but they are really not representative of the entire line. There were always many beautiful pieces. I remember the '90s ads well, and still love them.

Meg said...

I love Christy Turlington. She's one of my favourite models. I've never been a Versace fan fullstop but I can't deny how lovely these photos are.

Meg said...
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T Rex said...

Hooray for Christy Turlington!

susie_bubble said...

I actually have also discovered some mint vintage Versace.... I like how that era of Versace along with designers like Helen Storey inspired the likes of Christopher Kane..... there is something in those ads resonating today...

The Clothes Horse said...

I do quite love those ads--the white wash-out is nice, but I think I prefer the crazy/overt clothes of today. It's nice to observe from a safe distance.

Suzanna Mars said...

Ah, yes, the days before THE BIG ORANGE. One does tend to forget that, so relentless is the coverage of Donatella's gaudiest efforts.

Thanks for the reminder!

discothequechic said...

Seriously, thiss is Versace?

well well..

Their adverts these days clearly don't do it for me, as apart from last years Moss, Lindall et al ones, I have no recollection of the others.

evie said...

qipao and cheongsam have he same meaning - just different dialects. cheongsam is quite similar to the cantonese pronunciation but i'm not too sure about qipao.

Elisabeth said...

Wow, well discovered!

I agreed with all of your post! And I too am loving the geeky slip-ons!

enc said...

I agree with you. I really didn't like the Versace stuff until last season, and now I think it's cool.

It was too OTT and flash for much of anything, and that the FW07 stuff was a pendulum swing in the "wearable" direction.

(It's funny that you write this here, I was thinking many of the same things a few days ago.)

Heather said...

I love these pictures! I want all the clothes now.

Jen (MahaloFashion) said...

I've never been a fan of versace full stop, not my style but I can see how it appeals to people!

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Imp F.B.A.

voting has been moved up to Feb 1st.

Thanks!

Juliet said...

that looks much like clothes to be 90's. Cute.

juliet xxx

dreamecho said...

first, thanks for giving me the thinking blogger award. i know i thanked you in my post, but i figured i should also do it on your own turf.

2nd, i also like like like these pics. you got it spot on with all the details (loafers rock my world), and i'm loving turlington's bangs!! i have to say, i'm not picking up on the chinese dress too much...but i see what you mean. to me it looks more like the general "shift dress" shape.

Blue Floppy Hat said...

Wendy: I saw the one you wore for New Year's..very fetching, it was. I suppose that should have been my clue..
Meg: Christy Turlington is lovely, I totally agree with you. And it's rather easy to dismiss Versace (as I did) if we don't know all that much about the design- it's so easy to stereotype.
Susie: that's part of the reason why I posted the pics, they look astonishingly contemporary. I wouldn't have thought they were shot in 1994 if I hadn't seen the tags.
The Clothes Horse: 'observe from a distance' used to be more or less my attitude to the clothes too :)
Suzanna: to be fair to Donatella, her work of recent years hasn't been so bad..but yes, when she took over it was completely OTT. Heh..
Discothequechic: Yup, it's Versace all right- but as Wendy said, a lot of their 1990s ad campaigns were great, heaven knows what's happened now.
Evie: thanks for the clarification- it does help to know that!
ENC: I've always felt a little at odds with the 'sexy sexy sexy' aesthetic I associate with Versace, even as a grown woman- so knowing they embraced something else once upon a time is pretty great for me. And I'll flatter myself about great minds and all that :).
Heather: I'd settle for Ms Turlington's ponytail, the clothes would not look the same without that hair.
Juliet: They're cute all right..
Dreamecho: First off, the pleasure was all mine- you deserved it!
As for the cheong-sam resemblance, I saw it more in the high neck and what looked like a possible side fastening at the collar (though that could be just an illusion created by the b/w effects and the pattern of the dress), than anything else.

atelier said...

I hadn't seen this ad before, and it's amazing. I've always loved Meisel's work, especially his work for Vogue Italy, but this ad is so fresh, and Christy looks so good! I wish contemporary Versace ads were like this one.

WendyB said...

Floppy, I'm going to haul out all my Versace (ha! I forgot that NYE one even was a Versace because I got it "used") and do a fashion show one of these days. Everyone will be amazed by all my little black dresses and nice pantsuits!

Blue Floppy Hat said...

Yay, I'd love a Wendy fashion show- those lace-panelled pants were great!

fmg said...

ooh but these are maybe lovely enough to bring down the versache intimidation factor for me. only a little bit though. i'm rather awaiting the slow tickling back of the 90s

riz said...

Haha - "slut factor"! And yes I agree these are a surprisingly nice change

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