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1992-1994 versace dress (1998.171)

This sundress or summer cocktail dress is made of a flamboyant cotton, printed with scrolling baroque leaves and classical-style masks. This exemplifies Italian designer, Gianni Versace's, taste for the brash, the extravagant and the theatrical. Born in 1946, Versace became world-famous for his glitzy designs during the 1980s with the help of a celebrity clientele, which included such icons as Elton John, Madonna, and Diana, Princess of Wales. He was able to produce dramatic outfits which made a bold statement on the red carpet, providing publicity for such high-profile clients as Elizabeth Hurley, who famously stunned the crowds and the media with a famous skin-tight, flesh-baring safety-pin dress when arriving to a film opening with Hugh Grant.

Gianni Versace started his own label in 1978 and during the 1980s built a fashion empire around his extrovert styles. Versace strived for excess, and flaunted his extreme styling and daring cut, saying, "I don't believe in good taste." Since his dramatic murder in 1997, Versace's sister Donatella has continued to mastermind the international company, designing flashy, daring clothes for the rich and famous in her brother's tradition.

Full item descriptions:

"dress & trousers & shirt" [1998.171], Versace, Gianni