When you list the personality traits that can generally be attributed to fashion designers, having a sense of humor is not exactly high up on the list. So when Maya Rudolph began impersonating Donatella Versace on Saturday Night Live, it all seemed...
When you list the personality traits that can generally be attributed to fashion designers, having a sense of humor is not exactly high up on the list. So when Maya Rudolph began impersonating Donatella Versace on Saturday Night Live, it all seemed like a recipe for...well...a lawsuit. What designer, after all, wants to see themselves lampooned on national television by a snarky comedienne playing them drunk as a skunk, excoriating Ian McKellen portraying Yves Saint Laurent in an equally inebriated state? And more importantly, since when were designers famous enough to warrant the attention of America’s leading late night comedy team?
While SNL’s fascination with Donatella Versace began with Maya Rudolph (the self described wannabe diva with whom the idea originated), the sketch itself pointed to the way in which fashion spread beyond the world of haute couture and into American living rooms. It began in 2001 with Ben Stiller’s fashion farce, Zoolander, and will continue in 2003 with fashion world roman á clefs by Plum Sykes ("Bergdorf Blondes") and Lauren Weisberger ("The Devil Wears Prada,") for which both first-time authors received unprecedented mid-six figure advances. And though it remains to be seen whether anyone in America can keep a straight face when it comes to the world of high fashion —all of the examples listed above belong squarely in the world of satire, suggesting that on some level, average Americans are still more likely to be amused by fashion folk than they are to identify with them — at least the real Ms. Versace is taking it all in stride.
"I’m always the first to laugh at myself and Maya certainly makes it easy," Versace told WWD.
In October, the designer even appeared with Rudolph at Radio City Music Hall for the Vogue/VH1 fashion awards, where she walked out on stage and said, "What are you all doing in my bathroom?" in reference to the perceived ostentatiousness of the Versace house.
Still, divas being divas, Versace did have some urgent advice to dispense to her comedic counterpart. In a question and answer session with Rudolph for Interview Magazine, the designer said, "Forgive me if I immediately start to bitch a little bit [but] I can tell from a mile away that your jewelry is fake. You can’t do that to me, darling. You can’t wear fake jewelry. I’m allergic to it..."And..."A real diva would never scream at her guests to get out-she would ask her assistants to make the guests get out..."And..."The hair doesn’t move enough. It looks so fake. From Italy to New York you can see it..."And..."It takes a while to make yourself a diva...Oh my god, at least 10 years...Of course, I was born with it. That was in my fingers in the nursery room. Anyway, I speak englsh very badly, but not as badly as you do when you’re being me...You make me sound like a Brooklyn girl. I never go to Brooklyn! Always Manhattan. But I don’t want to offend you. I really like you."Viewers have had fewer complaints. In fact, Rudolph’s portrayal of Versace has been so well received that it became a regularly recurring sketch, which also featured Mick Jagger appearing as Karl Lagerfeld and castmember Tracy Morgan as Puff Daddy.
Just last week, Rudolph was in rehearsal for an upcoming Versace sketch with Robert De Niro as one half of the Siegfried and Roy team.
"I’m sort of a frustrated fashionista," Rudolph said in March. "I went to Parsons for a little while but chickened out on the whole fashion thing."
How fortunate for us that she’s decided to return to it.
“My personal philosophy to beauty is paying attention to oneself. I love to be outdoors, lots of fresh air, trying to take care of yourself as best you can. I always notice that comes through,” says Felicity Jones, the global face of @shiseido-owned @cledepeaubeauteus, which launches today. Head to WWD.com to read more about the actress’ love for beauty and how she prepared for her new role in “The Basis of Sex,” playing the young Ruth Bader Ginsburg. #wwdbeauty (📷: @dandoperalski)
For men’s fall 2018, @giuseppezanotti drew on elements from streetwear, sport, biker, combat and rock ‘n’ roll. Pictured here are a pair of shoes from the collection, featuring zippers, rhinestones, and silver hardware. Head to WWD.com to see a roundup of the accessories from Milan’s men’s fall 2018 shows. #wwdfashion (📷: Andrea Delb)
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of @ralphlauren’s snowboarding collection, the brand is mining its archives. The iconic brand is reintroducing vintage styles and dropping new designs for a color capsule that will be available in Ralph Lauren stores and @openingceremony on January 25. The capsule will consist of 10 pieces, including the Snow Beach Pullover, pictured here, which is a collector’s item that rapper Raekwon wore in Wu-Tang Clan’s “Can It Be All So Simple” video. #wwdfashion (📷: Tom Gould)
For @rochasofficial’s pre-fall 2018 collection, creative director Alessandro Dell’Acqua channeled the sophisticated and intriguing Catherine Denevue in the film “Belle de Jour.” Polished collarless coats, midi skirts, suits and ’60s graphic motifs were all featured in the collection, adding a sense of discreet luxury. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion
“We tried to produce clothing of that couture quality, but the most daunting part was that we only had a matter of days [to do it],” said costume designer Lou Eyrich, who recreated Gianni Versace’s iconic looks for @americancrimestoryfx. Eyrich searched online retailers and vintage shops for original pieces from the design house and for @penelopecruzoficial, who plays Donatella Versace. Head to WWD.com to read how she created the Versace world. #wwdfashion
Only three months after her stellar debut catwalk season, @kaiagerber has inked her first big design collaboration –– with @karllagerfeld. The collection blends Lagerfeld’s Parisian chic aesthetic and the model’s signature West Coast casual style via RTW, accessories, footwear and more. The #KarlLagerfeldxKaia collection will launch in September with a series of events. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews