Versace at the Met


After visiting the Metropolitan Museum of Art, I fell in love with the elegant display of fashion throughout the decades from both American and European designers. Unlike most museums, the Met did not display the garments as a timeline, they displayed them based on aesthetics. For example, the red dresses were in one section and the more abstract dresses were in a separate room. Though I found the majority of the pieces shown absolutely beautiful, there was one in particular that caught my eye. This was a black evening dress with gold detailing by Versace.

First of all, the brand Versace was founded by the Italian designer Gianni Versace in 1978. His siblings and other relatives have played a massive role in the brand as well especially his sister Donatella. In general, Versace dresses tend to be sleek with a little bit of scandal. The dress displayed in the Met fits that image. It is long, sleek, tight fitting, has gold safety pin embellishments, and has cutouts and a deep v neck for exposure. The dress is described as “2016; origina design: spring/summer 1994 Black silk-synthetic crinkle-crepe with gold-toned metal safety pins embellished with crystals.” This piece was gifted to the Met by Donatella and Allegra Versace.

Though this specific dress is contemporary, it was inspired by one of Gianni Versace’s original designs in 1994. Gianni Versace was the first to bring in the glitz, and flash into Italian fashion during this time. He did this by creating his own avant garde rendition of The Little Black Dress originally designed by Coco Chanel. That dress is known as one of Versace’s most iconic pieces. Unlike the Little Black Dress, Versace’s rendition was scandalous. With gold embellishments, clingy material, a low v neck, and a side cut outs, Gianni Versace changed the image of a once conservative style.