03 August 2013 by

Donatella Versace On Working With JW Anderson And Designing THAT Safety Pin Dress . . .

In the August issue of Dazed and Confused magazine, you’ll find an in-depth interview with Donatella Versace and her latest protégé, London designer and latest Versus collaborator, JW Anderson. Here are some of the most interesting bits;

Donatella on the massive popularity of the H&M range a couple of years back; ‘Many people were not even born when these things first came out, but the reaction was amazing. I was talking to kids and to the internet. I was surprised and honoured, I felt so humble. You know, because this is not journalist to journalist, ?it’s the world’

On how the safety pin became a Versace trademark; ‘For me the safety pin is about rebellion, and I’m punk in the soul,’ Donatella explains, then tells the story; ‘when Gianni [Versace, her late brother and founder of the house] asked me to design the first Versus collection in 1993, that was my time of rebellion, my time of provocation, my time of daring, when I wanted to do something different and not be safe. At the same time, ?I was also doing haute couture with Gianni. I was in a fitting for couture and they were very precise and Gianni asked me to go back to do a fitting. I said, ‘Come on Gianni, don’t make me go back.’ So I took a safety pin to pin the dress – I said, ?‘Who’s going to see? . . . And from then on I got obsessed. For me safety pins are something that belongs to us. We did it with Versus and then we did also Versace with Liz Hurley. It’s something we kept going back to. It was a moment of rebellion, you know. I started something else.’

JW Anderson and Donatella Versace at the Versus show in May 2013

On why she chose to work with JW Anderson on Versus, after the extremely successful partnership with Christopher Kane ended last year; ‘I was obsessed with the men! [male models in the show] I think when I saw your work first, I liked it very much but at the same time I didn’t understand it. But then I went back and went back. Then I said, ‘This guy is a genius. I need to have a conversation with him because we need to exchange what we believe in.’ I like that you’re fearless and not afraid to provoke.’

And JW Anderson on being a lifelong fan of Donatella’s, have grown up in in rural Magherafelt, ‘wearing a promotional Versus Jeans t-shirt, cycling shorts and jelly shoes, and you can imagine how that goes down in Northern Ireland!’

Sounds like a match made in fashion heaven!


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