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SURVIVING THE GUTTER Part 1 (1 OF 15)
"Living By Conviction In A Secular Culture"
Rev. Jim Henry
It made the headlines for several weeks, the
assassination of Gianni Versace in Miami. But
somehow behind the scenes a lot of things were not
said. In some ways he was seen as the bad boy of the
fashion world; he made his reputation by adding
glitter to the gutter. Richard Martin of New York's
Metropolitan Museum of Art put it this way: "Versace
is so important because he puts sexuality first.
Designers have always looked to the street; he looked
to the streetwalker. Sexuality was not merely first
with Versace it was first, last and everything in
between. Unapologetic experiments with sexuality were
his trademark. His 1992 collection featured a line of
leather bondage dresses. The next year he extended his
reach into sexual deviance with even more leather.
'They said these clothes only belonged in a leather
bar', he smirked. And now, last night there were two
hundred socialites in bondage." Richard Martin
described Versace as the great post-Freudian designer,
one who had no guilt whatsoever. He created things
about sexuality and sensuality; it was all unabashed.
One London commentator explained, "Versace looked
beyond the sensual and found the sexual instead--
leather and latex, body harnesses, studded skirts,
spike heels and thigh length boots." Rachel Campbell-
Johnson concluded: "By sheer force of personality he
forced the richest and loveliest women in the world to
dress like prostitutes." Heterosexual celebrities
wore his Homoerotic designs. His parties were epic in
scale including a New Year's bash at the Warsaw
ballroom, a prominent fixture in Miami's gay culture.
Newsweek reported that some of Versaces friends
gathered at the Warsaw Ballroom last week to mourn him
and held a moment of silence. Just before the Amateur
Strip Contest." Interviewer Andrea Lee ...
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