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NSFW: The Rise of Versace’s Sexual Aesthetic

By October 25, 2014Culture, Fashion News

Versace Blurs the Lines between Taste & Decency with its Sexual Aesthetic.

Nolan funk versace

Nolan Funk for Versace’s Spring/Summer 2014 Ad Campaign

Glitz and glam have been pegs on which Gianni Versace built his brand. Since his passing, Chief designer Donatella has kept the ethos in line albeit raising the bar a lot higher than Gianni might have intended but we’re sure he would approve of. The talk of sex & fashion or using sex to sell fashion is banal these days and it’s usually not new even to fresh fashion enthusiasts. Clearly when it comes to menswear it’s arguable that Versace is one brand that takes advantage of these sex codes not only in its marketing and editorials but also in their design and presentation of collections over the years. It has in fact become a mainstay in every collection and plays a large role in the brands aesthetic.

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Filip Hrivnak for Versace’s Spring/Summer 2014 Ad Campaign

Versace’s Autumn/Winter 2014 collection can be classified as Tumblr worthy soft porn as Donatella sent men out in leather, bandanas,  mesh underwear and codpieces responding to homophobia in politics. She explained that for her it was an expression of freedom, which made it all the more appealing because people thought beyond the man cleavage and glutes on display, and focused on the serious message. The theme for their Spring/Summer 2015 collection was drawn largely from Greece and the Spartacus era, again half naked men straddled down the runway in mesh, jewels and heavily logo-ed Versace silk.

Very provocative, over the line or just unabashed sex pedding are some of the terms that have been associated with the Versace’s menswear collections in the past but the majority appreciate the luxurious and artistic value of the brands rich aesthetic.

This is where the brand Versace has managed to blur the lines between what is decent and tasteful. But could it be just political messages, clever marketing and tapping into sexually revered cultures that lessens the heightened sexual notes in the labels aesthetic or is it that in this age of accessible internet porn that our tolerance thresholds have increased dramatically.

If indeed it’s still true that sex sells fashion, it’s safe to say that every season Versace creates bestsellers.

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Backstage at Versace’s Autumn/Winter 2014 Show

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Backstage at Versace’s Spring/Summer 2015 Show

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Backstage at Versace’s Spring/Summer 2015 Show

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Versace’s Spring/Summer 2015 Runway Show

Words: Terence Sambo

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