BACK IN 1992, when the rest of the fashion flock was celebrating the late 1980s boom by buying yachts, or homes in Capri and Monte Carlo, Gianni Versace began restoring a rundown building on what was then considered the wrong side of the tracks of long-since-faded Miami Beach. Thus began the designer's love affair with the city's vibrant colors and Art Deco architecture. His spring collection that year was filled with boldly colored silk prints inspired by Miami—a look that would become the designer's trademark, covering everything from clothing to couches.
Fast-forward 14 years to the Versace men's collection for spring 2006 in which Donatella Versace joyfully revisited her brother's Miami moment with an updated look at the prints that started it all. She was not the only one paying her respects. As the '80s look comes roaring back, designers have turned to Versace for inspiration, showing Miami-inspired prints on evening wear. Alexander McQueen took his cue from the short, sexy Versace dresses celebrities like Madonna favored, and Stella McCartney studded jackets in a Versace-like fashion. At Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs reinvented Versace's fall 1993 cowboy collection with fringed and studded minidresses complete with a witty version of the house's Medusa logo.
"In all of Gianni's collections there is boldness, modernity and above all glamour—all qualities that seem rare in these last, more subdued years of fashion," says Donatella Versace, by way of explaining the current fascination with Versace. "Gianni's creations have always aimed at glorifying the body. This is why they're still so appealing."