28 May 2009

Donatella Versace: ‘I was a fashion addict at 11’

donatella versace

Her mother was a seamstress who worked in an atelier. Her older brother was the famous Gianni Versace. So it's perhaps no surprise Donatella Versace says she was hooked on fashion from an exceptionally early age. ‘When I was about 10 or 11, Gianni started to play with me being his model. He'd try clothes on me and ask, "What do you think?" He was pushing me to do my hair lighter – to bleach it. So I was a fashion addict by the time I was 11 years old. I'd wear a miniskirt and patent-leather boots,' Donatella reveals to Lenny Kravitz in this month's Interview magazine. But just because her trademark look hasn't changed much over the years doesn't mean she's going to repeat some of the fashion trends Versace made famous in the past – however easy that might make putting on her catwalk show. Take the current obsession with the 1980s. ‘I knew that that trend was coming. I knew exactly when every designer was going to start doing it. And I couldn't, because I was with Gianni doing the '80s, in the '80s. I have so many pieces in the archives that I could put right out on the runway and they'd be perfect. In general, I think yes, we can look back, but not that much. It's too literal. Like shoulder pads. We belonged to that time. But for me, it doesn't make sense today. You can play with it for one season, but it's not going to be revolutionary. I think we should move forward, not back.' So her favourite ’80s outfit – a metal-mesh dress Gianni made for her in the mid-1980s paired with a leather blouson top to wear over it – is staying put where it currently hangs in homage to him at her home. And Donatella's hard at work in her studio, rocking out to music from old-school Lenny Kravitz to Metallica, and concentrating on moving her fashion house on. We can't wait to see what she creates... [Interview]


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