Monday 29 April 2013

Vogue Festival 2013- Donatella Versace (Pictures/Videos)

Today, I had the privilege of sitting in the centre front stalls in front of one of the most iconic women in fashion  history. I was aware of her past and the tragic death of her brother, Gianni, but I was unaware of how moved I would be by her words. It was clear that Donatella is not just a designer but a lady of inspiration and encouragement.

At the Queen Elizabeth Hall of the Southbank Centre, Donatella kindly gave an hour-long interview session for the people who most want to hear her words of wisdom. She was the last talk of the two-day festival. What a perfect way to end.

As I entered the Southbank Centre, my eyes were looking everywhere! Women were beautifully dressed in head-to-toe Chanel, whilst Japanese teenagers wandered round in spikes and graphic prints. 

It was amazing to see so many fashion-oriented people come together in one place, all so similar yet so different. 

It was fair to say that I heard the most fascinating conversations and saw the most exquisite clothing and handbags. 

I loved this wall with the Vogue covers:

She came out in an outfit you'd only expect to see on Donatella. A sparkly black jacket, patent leather pants with patent killer heeled boots and the usual peroxide hair and heavy black makeup. 

With her strong accent, it was sometimes hard to understand her but one thing's for sure... she was hilarious!

She said she blamed Christopher Kane for making her wear flats for the first time (I had no idea he was in the first row of the auditorium... my heart quivered when she pointed him out). She spoke of her unwillingness to cook or do any DIY, including fitting things (sounds a bit like me) and she spoke of wearing PVC miniskirts and sneaking off to discos aged 12... as you do. 

Here's a video of the Q&A section:

Donatella said despite her conservative background and her happy childhood, the reason she rebelled is because she wanted more. She wanted more than what she had. I found this fascinating. She clearly had a driven sense from a young age that she wanted to exceed society's expectations of her and she certainly did that. 

She spoke of the pain and heartache that she faced when her brother died. This was what made me listen and see her for the painting of success that she is. She embodies a woman of power and she says she reflects that in her clothes. The clothes aren't for her, the clothes are for the powerful women out there.

When asked about her favourite collection, she said "The next one, I never look back."

Surprisingly to me, she admitted that she was insecure and that it was the H&M collection which gave her confidence. I was honestly shocked as ever. She claimed that the success of it was unprecedented in her eyes and that she never expected so many young people in the UK to go crazy for it. It made her "secure". 

The best part of the night was when she was asked about her legacy. She simply said "I would like my legacy to be 'fight for your ideas'". 

At the end, a random "upcoming boyband" with brightly coloured hair decided to perform their song for Versace. Love it. 

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