By John Legaspi
Written by Roman poet Ovid, the epic poem Metamorphoses mentions the quest of hero Perseus and his battle with Medusa. With vicious snakes for hair and a gaze that could turn any man into stone, Medusa was a great challenge for the demigod to overcome. With the help of goddess Minerva (Athena), Perseus was gifted a polished shield that helped him to decapitate the gorgon, making her head a bounty signifying his strength, tenacity, and heroism.
For the young Gianni Versace, Medusa embodied something more. Seeing the ruins of Reggio Calabria at such a young age, he channeled the character of the Greek mythological creature. Not her rage and deviousness, but her lure, her temptation of love that was taken away by a god. “She was once most beautiful, and the jealous aspiration of many suitors. Of all her beauties none was more admired than her hair,” wrote Ovid in his epic poem. That was what Gianni saw, her ability to make people fall in love with her, leaving them with no way back. This ultimately became the key trait of the woman he loved to dress, and so the gorgon became the insignia of his fashion house.
Fashion needs incredible women, alive, stimulating, with style like Diana Vreeland. She is the most. The way she talks expresses all her values.—Gianni Versace
Founded in 1978, Versace has been making rounds of iconic looks and red carpet and runway moments, earning spots in pop culture history. This includes American recording artist and actress Jennifer Lopez wearing a green bamboo-printed dress with a deep plunging neckline and a citrine-studded crotch at the 42nd Grammy Awards in 2000 and the slinky black number Angelina Jolie wore during the 2012 Oscar Awards, her exposed leg ending up as a Twitter sensation.
Bringing its magic of iconography to the Philippines, the iconic Italian fashion house Versace opened its inaugural store in the grand halls of Solaire Resort and Casino.
From Milan to Manila, the boutique features the brand’s latest fall/winter 2019 ready to wear, the Virtus line that plays with the letter V on its design, and its Icon collection bearing the house’s classic emblem of the gorgon.
“Versace is not very Filipino. It’s very loud, it’s very Italian, and it’s very extravagant,” says brand manager of Versace Philippines Ella Fortun. “But I think Filipinos are very drawn to logos. So the more iconic things they see, the more Versace ’90s icons they see, the more Medusas they see, the more they’ll be lured into it. Versace has been around since Gianni founded it back in the ’80s. We felt like it’s time to bring in Versace here, at Solaire most especially. I think the crowd is ready for it.”
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