"Ladies and Gentleman, this collection is inspired by Gianni Versace," announced emcee Hrishikesh at the show. This was way back on 16ht July 1997, the day I was launching my first collection.
As, the collection was inspired by Versace, the dresses had a bare dare attitude and colour of Miami.
The show was on in a full swing and some models were on the ramp. I was in the green room getting other models ready for the next scene.and my friend walked in with the shocking news. "Gianni Versace was shot dead a few hours ago," he said.
I couldn't believe my ears.
The show was still on. The models was walking the ramp displaying the dresses. For others it was just another creation but for me, it was the journey down the lane, as each dress displayed on the ramp reminded me of Versace's collection that had inspired me.
For instance my Bare dare Gown Collection was inspired by his silk crepe ankle length dress, which was cut into pelmet length and seemingly held together by a couple of stitches.
The other dress was inspired by his silk evening dress, which had that slept-in-all-night, just-got-out-of-bed look.
Vesace's designs always had a great impact on me. The former master of kitsch for the rich had turned himself into Edward scissor hands, shredding and slashing his own most lavish creations.
I remember seeing the clippings of one of his shows, when I was at the design institute. The collection of this master of sex and excess was dangerously vampish. The show opened with Emma Belfour, all doe eyed and wispy blond hair, in a steel grey velvet trouser suit covered in a spidery web of black thread skillfully slashed with designer scissors.
But one dress that really inspired me for my first collection was his evening wear, which had a daring lingerie feel. I used black lace and velvet for the dress that was held in place by impossibly thin stripes of fabric.
And the "show-stopper" dress of my first collection was a pure Versace - the black velvet, stripped of its genteel image, bisected and overlaid with lace, and cut to reveal more of human form than it concealed.
When the show ended I was called on stage to say a few words, the only thing I could speak was, "This show is symbolic to Gianni Versace's life because it started with the note that it was inspired by the living legend of fashion and now it ends as at tribute to him".