Donatella Versace authored the defining moment of Milan fashion week on Friday with a blockbuster show honoring her late brother Gianni which closed with a surprise supermodel reunion that brought the cheering crowd to its feet.
Security guards had to brush back the audience when it rushed the catwalk once a white curtain at the head of the room peeled back at the show’s close to reveal the guests of honor.
Out stepped Cindy Crawford, Carla Bruni, Naomi Campbell, Helena Christensen and Claudia Schiffer in the gold lame as the George Michael anthem “Freedom ’90” pounded from the sound system.
Each of the women — all now in their 40s or 50s — had personally worked with Gianni during their years on the runway.
“Gianni this is for you,” a voice declared throughout the show, which featured the greatest hits of the murdered designer’s canon.
There were his iconic baroque designs on a dress and trouser combinations, a glittering number bearing Andy Warhol’s pop art Marilyn Monroe and rock’n’roll leather adorned with shimmering tassels.
Broad, square-shouldered suits, tight pastel-colored velour-looking dresses as well as swimsuits adorned with sea stars and shells defined the collection.
It was all done before a starry crowd including Formula 1 champion Lewis Hamilton, Kardashian mum Kris Jenner and Gucci creative mastermind Alessandro Michele. Superstar model sisters Gigi and Bella Hadid were there too — but to show off the collection to the crowd of buyers, fans and bloggers.
On July 15 the two-decade anniversary came and went for the murder of Versace, who was shot dead on the steps of his Miami Beach mansion. The gunman, 27-year-old Andrew Cunanan, took his own life days later after an inexplicable crime spree that left at least five dead.
“We pay homage to not only (Gianni’s) artistic genius but to who he was as a man, and above all, as my brother,” Donatella wrote in her notes on the Spring/Summer 2018 collection.