The Versace Verdict: The Man Who Would Be Vogue

Welcome my friends. Today marks an exciting day for me. I have been given the chance to not only discuss another genius vision directed by Ryan Murphy, but to discuss a story that is near and dear to my heart. Versace to me is more than just a fashion brand. Versace is a force solely responsible for sparking the creative and imaginative light within me.  One could say that Versace is one of the big reasons why I decided to even pursuit fashion… moving away to Los Angeles to contribute to an industry that I wasn’t even sure I had a part in. When I heard Murphy was taking on such a project, I knew I had to be one of those being a part of the conversation. Thus birthed our new series at WERRRK, The Versace Verdict. I plan to discuss and analyze not only the messages within this story,  but the historical accuracy and of course…. the fashion. I promise to try not to just blab on about how much I love Donatella but there are no promises. Lets get this started shall we?

The Man Who Would Be Vogue

Where do I even begin with this show? Well we are one episode in and honestly, I love it so far! The emotions just feel so real and I can already smell the Emmy nominations for this cast. Each one of them are true masters at their craft. Édgar Ramírez plays Gianni Versace and I feel like he really portrays the grace of Gianni in a realistic way. When you think of Gianni, you think of his kind, gentle attitude who just had a passion for the beauty in life. Édgar has so far really delivered on that tone. Then we have Darren Criss as Andrew Cunanan who is another perfect match. Originally I was nervous to see Darren’s name on the cast list only because I am skeptical of Glee ever coming too close to one of Murphy’s more serious projects. However, I think Darren’s acting so far has been quite exquisite. His ability to play the many sides of a prolific liar struggling with personality disorders is award-worthy.We haven’t got a lot of screen time with Ricky Martin playing as Antonio D’Amico, but the scene with Antonio discovering Gianni was horrific and I felt every emotion Ricky was releasing in those screams. Lastly, I wanted to talk about Penélope Cruz playing my idol, Donatella Versace. Penélope has perhaps one of the more difficult acting challenges of them all and I think she has absolutely nailed it so far. You can feel the terror within Donatella’s voice as she tries to find the courage within herself to be strong and lead the family through this dark time. By the way, Penélope has Donatella’s accent completely down. I have studied Donatella’s voice to know what it sounds like, and Penélope nailed it.

So far I believe the story is really interesting. Most people saw this story as a simple murder and that is it. Murphy is going deep as we try to not only appreciate the contributions of the Versace family, but to understand the motive behind the murder. Cunanan was a sick man who had many different layers to him. In order to understand tragedies such as the murder of Gianni Versace, we need to put ourselves in the shoes of others. We delve deep into the life of O.J Simpson with our last series, and we are going to do the same thing with this one. I am excited to see how these characters develop throughout the season. I hope to see how Cunanan brought himself to a place where he could kill Gianni with a smile on his face. On the other hand, I am most excited to see how Donatella was able to overcome the darkness and lead this company to where it is today.

Lastly, I just want to talk about the visuals in this show. Everything from the location, the architecture, the fashion, the color… it’s all just beautiful. There is so much attention detail in this. I believe if you were to mute the show, it would still just look like a beautiful art piece. The costumes in this show though are out of this world gorgeous. They play directly to the Versace aesthetic. Lou Eyrich and Allison Leach are the two costume designers assigned to this show, who also take care of American Horror Story and Scream Queens. As always, they do amazing work. I absolutely loved the coral robe Gianni wore in the opening scene as he stepped onto his balcony. But of course, my favorite piece was the black outfit Donatella wore as she emerged from the airplane. I think I might have blacked out for a minute. Oh, and of course the black suit Donatella wore with the signature Versace clip in the lapel. Wow, is this a dream? It feels so inappropriate how a show so dark and depressing can actually make me so happy on the inside… Read this article from In-Style as the costume designers discuss their approach to the costumes for this show.

In summary, this show is off to an excellent start and I am in love with it! Everything about this show seems to be top-level. The acting is emotional and believable, the visuals are captivating, and the story is powerful. I can’t wait until next weeks episode.

There has been a lot of conversation this week regarding the Versace family’s decision to stay away from this project. The reason being seems to be wrapped in the fear that a television show such as this will slander the Versace name, more importantly Gianni’s. However, I really believe in the message behind this show. I think it plays an important role in today’s society regarding mental health, family, sexuality, and feminism. I understand their reason to avoid this show, but I really think this show ultimately pays tribute to a man who championed women. Like Donatella says in the show, “my brother is still alive, as long as Versace is alive.

Thank you all for joining me and I am looking forward to next week. Buckle up everyone! Ciao.

About Spencer Williams 211 Articles
Spencer is a Designer, Event Planner, and Television Nerd in Los Angeles; not to be confused with his look-alike... Chris Pratt. When Spencer isn't talking about fashion, he spends most of his free time eating burgers, hoarding Funko Pop-Vinyls, and talking your ear off about Game of Thrones.

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