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All style, no substance

The creations of Gianni Versace are on show in Berlin at a flashy new exhibition.

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Photo by Marko Berkholz

The creations of Gianni Versace are on show in Berlin at a flashy new exhibition.

The timing’s right for a big retrospective on Gianni Versace – it’s been nearly 40 years to the day since his first fashion show, not to mention the current season of American Crime Story – but why here, and not Paris or Milan? Well, it seems that despite only having visited once, Versace “loved Berlin”. Or so claims the website for the exhibition co-curated by Karl von der Ahé, a fashion magnate who apparently wants to further the German capital’s development as a city of style.Over several rooms at the Kronprinzenpalais, he’s assembled a dazzling collection of prints and colours from international private collectors, organised loosely by theme. On the first floor, there’s a “Black and Gold” room featuring the designer’s iconic gold metallic Oroton dress. There’s a “Gods & Goddesses” room, with celebrity garments like Sting’s groom suit and a “Bondage Bodice Dress” worn by Naomi Campbell; and a small silk scarf room that feels wonderfully reminiscent of a souk. Electronic music is played in each room, and you’d almost be forgiven for thinking you were at a fashion show.And you may as well be: for an “exhibition”, the actual info here is awfully limited. If you’re not up on your Versace, you may want to do some homework before coughing up the €14 fee. If you’re very much into your Mode though, this one’s definitely for you. As we overheard one fashionable bystander say: “It just shows that he could do everything!”

Through April 14