Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Fatal Attraction

One of the things I'm currently interested in is Greek and Roman mythology. One of the most intriguing creatures from these wonderful myths is the Medusa.

In Greek mythology, Medusa (Μεδουσα "Queen"), was a monstrous female character whose gaze could turn people to stone.

Some classical references describe her as one of three Gorgon sisters. Medusa, Stheno, and Euryale were monsters with brass hands, sharp fangs and hair of living, venomous serpents. The Gorgons and their other sisters the Graeae (and possibly the Hesperides) were daughters of Phorcys and Ceto.

In the most well known version of the myth, Medusa originally started out as a beautiful human. She was raped by Poseidon in Athena's temple. Poseidon was an arch-rival of Athena's since at one time he vied for patronage of Athens; the soon-to-become Athenians chose Athena's offering of the olive tree over Poseidon's offering of horses or a spring of water.

The world of the Italian designer Gianni Versace is reflected in the Medusa-head symbol, that is ornamented in a typically Greek fashion. The choice was made deliberately. Medusa does not only epitomise beauty - Greek art and philosophy, however, attributed also a fatal fascination to her. Her beauty is of a kind that is spell binding and confusing.

Asked in 1995 why he chose Medusa, Versace said, 'She is seduction, a sense of history, classicism ... She is fatal attraction.'

Today, years after Gianni Versace's murder, the medusa remains the symbol of the house of Versace, which has been successfully managed by his sister, Donatella Versace. It is found on the medallion on all of their seductive bags, which reflect the dangerously seductive style of Versace.

I would go on to talk about Gianni, but that would take ages to complete. Meanwhile, I leave you with the most famous dress he ever designed. The dress that people talked about, the dress that propelled its wearer into the spotlight. THE risque dress worn by Elizabeth Hurley in 1994 London premiere of Hugh Grant's film Four Weddings and a Funeral.