FASHION HISTORY: Versace's Most Famous Dress

Those of us old enough to remember a time when Elizabeth Hurley wasn’t a household name will undoubtedly remember the defining moment when it finally happened for her. All thanks to the legendary Gianni Versace.

Gianni Versace

Credit: Michel Arnaud/The New York Times

The designer would have been 69 today. To celebrate the occasion, we look back on perhaps his most famous design ever.

At the Los Angeles premiere of Four Weddings and a Funeral in 1994, Hurley accompanied her then boyfriend Hugh Grant, who starred in the film, wearing the now infamous Versace safety pin dress.

The dress itself, made out of silk and lycra fabric and held together by strategically placed safety pins was said to be inspired by the punk movement. The garment not only catapulted Hurley to overnight fame, but also made the Versace name famous.

Elizabeth Hurley Gianni Versace

Credits: The Telegraph, Women’s Weekly, Five/Daily Mail

Marielle Télio

Credit: Télio

Asked about the revealing nature of the dress, Hurley said ”unlike many other designers, Versace designs clothes to celebrate the female form rather than eliminate it.”

In 2012, the talented Lady Gaga spent a few months strictly wearing Versace archive pieces as part of the promotion for her video The Edge of Glory. She wore the famous dress out to meet Donatella Versace.

By today’s standards, given what we see on the red carpet at numerous events, this dress doesn’t seem that controversial, but at the time, it was the only thing people could talk about for months. It was a phenomenon.

It is part of the Versace legacy.

 

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