Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

The Darling of Celebs

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

The Darling of Celebs

Article excerpt

Nobody knows how to whip up the fashion faithful like Gianni Versace.

When he touched down for the showing of his spring fashion collection in New York, he bounced around like a presidential candidate.

There were the dinners at his splashy new townhouse, lunches in his honor, awards shows, fashion shows, boutique openings and, of course, plenty of press. And for someone who claims not to do much television, Versace was smooth as silk when he stopped by the "Today Show" for a quickie interview and mini-fashion show. "I don't like doing TV," he said. "It's not my job. It's not appealing to me - but Katie is. I like her. She makes you feel like yourself." "Katie" is, of course, America's sweetheart, Katie Couric. Short of running a couple of minutes late, Versace was a natural. He breezed into NBC's Rockefeller Center studio at 8:30 a.m., just as the models - Naomi, Shalom and Kirsty among them - made their way past a chipper Al Roker to the outdoor runway on Rockefeller Plaza. "This is a good family show," said Versace after kissing Couric goodbye. "And I'm a family guy. So we work well together." In keeping with those family values, Versace took a moment to applaud his sister Donatella's tireless efforts with the Versus line. "She takes care of everything," he said, with a smile. "This is her show." And at Donatella's star-studded Versus show, she picked this season's hallmarks of hip: Flowers, fishtails and skinny knits, laced with a trace of the Orient. She put her own spin on them with a palette of quirky neutrals and strong colors, shown in those mismatched patterns that have become a staple of the line. This was not an attempt to make fashion history but to put the Versace stamp on every hot trend. Despite the buzz out front, the mood was surprisingly calm backstage. Moments before the first exit, Donatella and Gianni stood in private conference while Kyra Sedgewick listened intently as Shalom discussed the modeling trade while applying base. …

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