Gianni Versace is a great fashion pioneer who combined the worlds of high style and popular culture. A charismatic and accomplished designer of clothing and theater costumes, he was influenced by Andy Warhol and modern abstract art. He also appreciated a range of historic attires, which he incorporated in his creations. Greek and Roman classic designs, 18th and 19th century gowns and the styles of the 1920's and 1930's were innovatively wed to new materials such as plastic, leather and metal mesh.
Versace has been referred to as the rock-and-roll designer and clients include Phil Collins, Bruce Springsteen, George Michael, Eric Clapton, Elton John and Michael Jackson. He has also made clothes for the Princess of Wales and Caroline of Monaco. In 1982, Versace opened a new chapter in his career, making costumes for the theatre, opera and ballet. He began a close collaboration with choreographer Maurice Bejart. He went on to design accessories, jewellery, furnishings, and china.
In 1998 the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of New York held an exhibition of Gianni Versace's creations, from the ultra-classic to the cool and modern. His flair and daring will always be remembered.