MILAN — Versace is further leveraging recognizable symbols and prints from its fashion line and translating them into its latest Home collection, which will be presented with a special installation running April 10 to 14.
Staged at Versace’s storied palazzo in Via Gesù here, the exhibit will be part of the Fuorisalone events held concurrently with the international furniture and design trade show Salone del Mobile.
On this occasion, Versace has collaborated with interior designer Sasha Bikoff and artist Andy Dixon. The furniture is all created by Versace.
Bikoff’s eclectic touch — influenced by cities such as New York and Miami where she grew up, and everything from 18th-century French Rococo mixed with Sixties Space Age Modern, to Seventies French Modernism and Eighties Italian Memphis Milano — will forge the installation. The American interior designer has conceived sets drawing inspiration from Versace’s fall 1994 campaign photographed by Richard Avedon, connecting the brand’s fashion with its home line.
“I have always felt a deep connection to Versace as it embodies everything I believe in, a sense of fun and freedom to be daring,” said Bikoff, adding that she has always been inspired by the brand. “Versace lives through color and pattern-breaking rules and promoting a sense of confidence and glamour, which is how I decorate.”
Classic Versace motifs appear on a candy swirl-like carpet, while neon clouds and islands enhance the fantasy setting. In addition, Bikoff has created individual sets that showcase special reinterpretations of pieces from past Versace Home collections, with a playful reference to the brand’s imagery and materials.
A key piece created by Dixon as part of his recent exhibition held in New York called “Look at This Stuff Isn’t It Neat” will be revisited for Design Week and displayed at Versace’s palazzo. This is a hand-painted, 9 by 7 foot Versace shirt. Working with the brand’s men’s wear design studio, the Canadian artist, who is based in Los Angeles, developed two new prints that mix elements of his own art in a Versace context, including a motif of the original shirt he created. Two of these shirt artworks will be displayed at Versace’s palazzo along with the original, and two others will be shown in the label’s store windows in Milan. In addition, Dixon will create custom wallpaper designs displayed in Via Gesù.
“I have always been drawn to Gianni and Donatella’s work, especially the imagery used in patterns,” said Dixon, whose influences range from Flemish still-life to vintage Playboy magazine spreads. “There are a lot of commonalities between Versace and my own work — how we both plunder culture and art history, collaging tropes into new ideas, playing within the space where high and low-brow kiss.”
The exhibit will allow visitors to enter Versace’s palazzo, which is not something that happens every day. A limited number of tickets will be issued to the public for each day of Design Week. For public access to the exhibit, additional details for registration will be released on Versace’s Instagram account in late March.
The Versace Home collection, launched in 1992, spans from bedroom and dining to the living room and for the first time will also display an outdoor line called Jungle from the name of a print that was part of the spring 2000 collection, which that same year made news with the green gown with a tropical print worn by Jennifer Lopez at the Grammy Awards — sparking the launch of Google Images. The home line is crafted from grey teak wood and features outdoor high-tech suede accents. The line comprises outdoor sofas, armchairs, a hanging bed, a sun bed, lanterns and a fire pit table.
Separately, the Pop Medusa chair is fit for both outdoors and indoors. Crafted from a durable polyethylene, it is weather resistant. With a bold sculptural Medusa motif in reverse and available in vibrant colors such as pink and yellow, it’s hard to miss. The Pop Medusa chair is accompanied by a laminated glass cube that features a three-dimensional Medusa inside, which can be used as a stool, side or coffee table.
Other staple Versace symbols are seen in the Rhapsody line, which includes a sofa in a multicolored Baroque print tapestry-jacquard upholstery and pieces with leather bondage and metal Virtus (from the name of the Roman deity of bravery and strength) or safety-pin embellishments. There is also a Logomania line with geometric pieces featuring Versace’s Nineties logo or three-dimensional metal Medusa embellishments, velvet details and ash wood with dark gloss legs.
There is one dedicated Versace Home flagship store in Milan’s Via Borgospesso, but the collection is available in all Versace fashion boutiques, as well as at select retailers.