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Atelier Versace

Italian

Subversive, maximalist and unabashedly seductive, Gianni Versace’s (1946–97) designs infused high fashion with an entirely new ethos. “I don’t believe in good taste,” the legendary Italian couturier once explained. Instead, he had a sexy good time with fashion — as he did with life.

Today, vintage Versace clothing, handbags and other accessories look astonishingly fresh and freshly relevant. The designer debuted his Atelier Versace line — which was part of his first haute couture collection — in 1989. 

More than any designer before him, Versace mined celebrity, music and Pop art for inspiration. In fact, the New York Times noted in 1997 that the fashion industry “is now driven by contemporary culture because Mr. Versace made it that way.”

Insiders consider his 1991/1992 Autumn/Winter runway show — which featured supermodels Christy Turlington, Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell and Linda Evangelista lip-synching George Michael’s “Freedom! '90” — the moment when the two worlds of fashion and pop culture became one, changing both forever.

Versace was born in Reggio di Calabria, Italy. His mother was a successful dressmaker who employed more than 40 seamstresses. As a child, little Gianni marveled at her workshop, which would become a university of sorts, where he learned the exceptional construction techniques that were at the foundation of his creative expression.

In 1972, at age 25, Versace moved to Milan to work in fashion. He launched his first collection — and his label — in 1978, with his older brother Santo managing the business concerns. Soon, sister Donatella, whom Gianni dressed and took to discos when she was still a child, joined the family venture, where she had a creative role and managed enormously popular ready-to-wear lines such as Versus.

Vintage Versace — and 1989's Gianni Versace Couture — has become catnip for modern fashion enthusiasts who seek out the now-iconic house codes that originated in the designs of the 1980s and 1990s. His glamorous and seductive apparel — the clingy skirts and slender, strappy party dresses, as well as the erotic magazine ads that publicized them — looms large, but Versace’s art and historical influences were also vast.

Versace was an art collector, and he took on commissions to create costumes for theatrical performances during the 1980s and spoke of looking to numerous cultures for inspiration. This adventurous spirit of design resulted in his creating jewel-toned prints rooted in Grecian motifs, Etruscan symbols, the Italian Baroque and Andy Warholʼs Marilyn Monroe. There were slinky dresses in Oroton, his patented chain-mail textile that draped like satin, and leather bondage ensembles. Sex sold, for both women and men. Wrote the late curator Richard Martin, “[Versace] became the standard-bearer of gay men’s fashion because he eschewed decorum and designed for desire.”

Following Versace’s tragic murder in 1997, Donatella took over the role of artistic director and continued to evolve the house codes with a twist of her feminine and feminist perspective. Today, Santo Versace is chief executive officer of Versace and Donatella is its chief creative officer.

Browse an extraordinary collection of vintage Atelier Versace dresses, evening gowns and more on 1stDibs.

Average Sold Price
$5,804
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S/S 1991 Atelier Versace Haute Couture Runway Mini Dress Rhinestone Tassel Set
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Fall 1991 Atelier Versace Gianni Vintage Black & Cream & White Dress
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1990s Italian Atelier Versace

1990's strapless blue silk feather and strass evening dress Versace Couture
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1990s Italian Atelier Versace

ATELIER VERSACE 1999 Black Strapless Boned A-line Front Slit Dress
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1990s American Atelier Versace

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Early 2000s Italian Atelier Versace

ATELIER VERSACE S/S 1990 Mini Navy Embellished Medusa Cuff Sleeve Tunic Dress
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ATELIER VERSACE S/S 1990 Mini Navy Embellished Medusa Cuff Sleeve Tunic Dress Brand / Manufacturer: Atelier Versace Collection: S/S 1990 Designer: Gianni Versace Style: Mini tunic d...
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1990s Italian Atelier Versace

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Atelier Versace fashion for sale on 1stDibs.

Find an extraordinary range of authentic Atelier Versace fashion available on 1stDibs. If you’re browsing our collection of unique vintage and designer fashion to elevate your daily look or to introduce new colors to the dazzling formal wear in your wardrobe, this designer’s body of work includes elements of purple, red, pink and other tones. Most of the items here were designed during the 20th Century, but you can find examples that were created as recently as the 21st Century and Contemporary. Customers who are interested in this designer might also find the work of Versus, Blumarine, and Giambattista Valli appealing. On 1stDibs, find haute couture, vintage and designer Atelier Versace fashion from top boutiques around the world. Atelier Versace fashion prices can differ depending upon time period and other attributes. On 1stDibs, the price for these items starts at $434 and tops out at $57,600, while the average work can sell for $7,196.

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