International View



the age of VERSACE GOLDEN HowVersace is taking elements of its golden past andmoving forwardwith characteristic determination

By Peter Howarth

W hen you meet Audrey, Donatella Versace’s dog, it comes as quite a surXrise to Ånd she is a 2aKS :ussell and not soUe XoKSet XooKh that could slip easily into a Versace handbag. ‘She is not really a dog at all,’ says Versace in her deep Italian accent. ‘She’s a Versace woman.’ Now Audrey has a collection too – for humans, you understand – of T-shirts, bags and wallets that feature an illustration of her. She also has some 19,000 Instagram followers, which – while dwarfed by her owner’s 2.3 million – is not bad for a canine. And on enquiry, it turns out that Audrey, as constant companion to one of the world’s most iKoniK and inÆuential fashion desiOners, does not e`aKtla lead a dog’s life. She has a rub that softens her fur, and eats the Jest >ersaKe hoUe KooSinO. ;he also Xossesses an e`tensi^e personal wardrobe of Versace chains and collars, complete with the house’s signature golden Medusa motifs, and has Jeen Sno_n to sXort a studded >ersaKe leather RaKSet. That Audrey Versace should be something of a celebrity hiOhoKtane Xet is to Je e`XeKted. 0er o_ner is, after all, a _oUan _ho has said that the Uost o^errated fashion trend is »UiniUalisU¼ and that she ne^er _ears anathinO on her feet but stilettos. There is nothing shy or retiring about Versace – the house, the woman, or the dog. And therein lies its continuing appeal. Today, we are with Donatella Versace in one of the rooms in her historic palazzo in Via Gesù, Milan. This was her late brother’s home and the spiritual

Jase of the fashion house. ?e ha^e Jeen adUitted to the usualla o ٺ liUits Årst Æoor" the li^inO Yuarters. ersaKe siOnatureXrint Kushions and deKorati^e KroKSera, UuKh of it froU the >ersaKe 0oUe KolleKtion. 1t is an hour and a half before she is due to debut her spring/summer  Uens_ear in the ^ast ornaUental Oarden of the Xalabbo,

and ,onatella is e`XlaininO why, after a hiatus, she has decided to return to this late 18th-century building in the centre of Milan, to onKe aOain Xresent her _orS. ‘With this collection, I wanted to come here and show in a much mo r e i n t i ma t e w a y. It’s now 20 years since Gianni passed away and 1 _anted to Je JaKS in the building that represents Versace, and the building where my brother and 1 _orSed so Klosela toOether for so many years – where Gianni and I had so many

Opposite page: Naomi Campbell This page: Donatella Versace



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