Last summer, Gianni Versace : murder in the sun

In the summer, there is something magical. The heat pierces the skin crame, you can’t think of to throw into the water. Gianni Versace, as powerful as it is, feels this kind of simple pleasure when the temperature climbs. On 13 July, a commercial flight from New York to file the couturier and his companion in Miami. “Gianni was happy “, says modestly, Antonio D’amico.

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Gianni and Antonio complement each other so for the past fifteen years. Versace, fashion designer in vogue, has melted to this dummy insolent beauty of 23 years, after a performance of “The legend of Joseph” at la Scala in 1982. At the request of Gianni, Antonio, invited by a mutual friend, sat down at his side at the dinner which followed. Since then, Antonio draws in the sport collection of Versace, a second-line, and support for opera costumes… It even became the companion of Gianni.

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In 1995, in an interview of Versace in the bi-weekly ” The Advocate “, Gianni evokes a public homosexuality that is not a secret for anyone, and presents it as his partner. “It was to protect me. We do not envisage such a gay couple rather as two people who were chosen to be together. We never would have married, ” remembers Antonio.

The small Calabrian, without fortune, son of a mamma was a seamstress and father a seller of coal, orchestra shows fiery with her girlfriends supermodels Cindy, Claudia and Naomi

This was 1997, they have planned to stay two weeks in Florida to decompress. Miami, their refuge. Gianni fell in love with the wildlife of South Beach in the early 1990s. In stopover before taking off for Cuba, a walk was like a revelation. Of young men sculpted body lurch, his chest to the air ; the chrome of the Cadillac shine… Dazzled by the spectacle, he forgot Fidel and Havana. The joy of sex without coercion, hedonism skates… Miami explodes the retina of Gianni. “He spotted a house and called his brother, Santo, that he should do the steps in order to acquire it “, said Antonio. A kid who requires a new toy. The Amsterdam Palace, formerly known as Casa Casuarina, 1116 Ocean Drive, the only private residence on the avenue bordering the beach, is a house with history. Created by an architect in 1930, she is the replica of the palace of the sons of Christopher Columbus in Santo Domingo. Nearly $ 3 million, and Gianni takes it over. And then the emperor pours out of the bundles to renovate it, purchase of the adjacent hotel, the Revere, dig a pool, add a wing. The place is huge, baroque, crazy. Vases carved in the Sixteenth century, consoles Empire gilded bronze, of numbers of columns, paintings of angels bare, ceilings with frescoes worthy of the Renaissance, a toilet bowl gold, marble busts… The Casa is overflowing.

“And you haven’t seen Milan ! Gianni didn’t like the money, but he liked to possess objects. He built his world, to be revenged also of those who had despised. Hardly the decoration was completed, he started in quest of another place. “Antonio describes a man in a hurry, compulsive shopping, of life, of creation, of everything, as if he foresaw that the time would come to miss it…” I kept saying to stop, to rest, but his head was bubbling. The night, it woke me up to talk about his ideas. “The pace of a fashion designer, spikes and downturns, depending on the collections. With Versace, the master of color and excess, nothing ever happens as planned. The small Calabrian, without fortune, son of a mamma was a seamstress and father a seller of coal, orchestra shows fiery with her girlfriends supermodels Cindy, Claudia and Naomi. It embodies the opulence. Spectacular, sexy on the edge of vulgarity, the woman Versace has the thigh free and the breast bounced, shapes, looks great. It dominates in the air subject. Gianni comes out of an intense period of hard work, he has designed the fall-winter season ready-to-wear masculine in the month of June, in Milan, without forgetting the stitching.

Gianni was devouring the newspapers, he was obsessed with what other people were doing. Me, I was watching the sport

Maurice Bejart, a close, choreographed by the show ” man ” in Florence, at the beginning of July. Naomi Campbell, a fake revolver in hand, pulls up and knocks down a model male. In Paris, on 7 July, the seam is more sober, crosses byzantine dot dresses in the dark shades. The shots, the religious symbols… is this the death that lurks ? Antonio shakes the chin : “it was a premonition ! Gianni had visited an exhibition on the byzantine theme with his friend the journalist Ingrid Sischy, and the desire has germinated. As for the revolver, it is a staging of Béjart. “At the Ritz, jewel parade, and shelter-the usual parisian nights of Gianni and Antonio, the mood is both joyful and studious. In the morning, the couple china antiques with Francesco, a friend of a connoisseur. Privilege of the mighty of this world, the shops are open just for them, before the schedules reserved for beggars. When Gianni arrives, how can you resist ? The man whose emblem is a head of Medusa furniture as it breathes the villa Fontanelle on lake Como, the penthouse in New York, the former palazzo of the publishers Rizzoli in Milan, the Casa de Miami. It collects and sends the objects in its fortresses, temples, a violent taste maximalist. “I told him feeling the serenity, the peace and quiet. We were nests. Rather than the gala dinners, we preferred the evening meals. Gianni was devouring the newspapers, he was obsessed with what other people were doing. Me, I watched the sport. “

Allegra embodied the future, but he didn’t know if she would be gifted with artistic abilities

The good reviews just published, all two of them leave the France on the Concorde, in the direction of New York. No appointments, nothing special. They rates walking around the museum, buy Italian newspapers. Gianni shopping in the boutiques of SoHo. The ipo of the empire Versace, in September, the turlupine. Santo has settled the final details with the merchant bank Morgan Stanley. “Gianni wanted to diversify the group, ensure its longevity, even if the family would have retained the majority of shares. Allegra embodied the future, but he didn’t know if she would be gifted with artistic abilities. If this was not the case, Gianni did not exclude the possibility to appoint an external creator “, points out Antonio. Gianni spoils Allegra, his niece, whom he nicknamed ” my princess “. He glorifies, the stares as his most beautiful creation. She admires him as a wonderful mentor. Gianni will see it maybe in August, in the villa from the shores of lake Como. In the meantime, she remains in Milan with his father, the former model Paul Beck, and her mother, Donatella, sister of Gianni. A more open relationship between them, she and Gianni. “No one could interfere between them. At the beginning, our relations were cordial. Without doubt Donatella she thought that our story would not last. We shared Christmases… She had a need for recognition, he was trying to give. She had wanted to greet people after a parade of his line Versus. Gianni laughed… It was him, the genius. Punto ! “After three days, Gianni and Antonio climbs out of the Big Apple to Miami, sixth-largest city the deadliest in the United States.

Thanks to Diana, prince Charles had found him a superb house, London, historic, classified. He was going to sign the purchase

Suspect they only did this fury underlying ? Miami, when one is very rich, very well known, so this is the new attraction that is plugged in. This is beautiful lurette that the city has buried its reputation as a resort town for retirees, mafia and castro nervous. The girlfriend Madonna, who dropped the old Los Angeles, just enjoy pizzas at the Casa, Stallone shows up in neighbor, Elton, Sting, all are welcome. “The holidays there were, of course. Madonna celebrated her birthday with us… But we can lead a tranquil existence, ” insisted Antonio. An unauthorized biography of Maureen Orth reports that Versace had been frequenting the gay nightclubs. Antonio denies this. Gianni, diagnosed in 1996 of a malignant tumor located on the facial nerve, at the side of the ear, came out of a difficult period, black. “Hear the word “cancer” causes him to think. He had undergone radiation treatment, the healing was relieved and he regained his pace of work hectic. “

Antonio smiled when he spoke of the great project of Gianni, that summer, always this obsession : “Thanks to Diana, prince Charles had found him a superb house, London, historic, classified. He was going to sign the purchase. “One more for Gianni, collector, overwhelming, exhausting, even if he tires quickly and goes to bed rarely after 22 hours. The two companions learn about the program of the local cinema, Miami Beach, July 14. Go to ” Contact “, a science-fiction film with Jodie Foster, which is 17 hours. A friend accompanies them. Gianni likes ; Antonio, at least. He feels an anguish diffuse. They have their dinner and go to bed. The next day, the Casa rustling of a serene silence. The butler is active and that the cook, Charles, prepares the breakfast. Antonio is preparing to play a game of tennis with a neighbor. Gianni, him, hate the sport. He left alone, in shorts, looking for his drugs-and-News Cafe : the press. Gianni Versace will come back with ” Vogue “, ” People “, ” Newsweek “, “Entertainment Weekly” and ” the New Yorker “. But at 8: 40 a.m., two sounds are dry and loud, tearing apart the dullness. Noises that resemble gunfire. They come from behind the portal-adorned head of Medusa. The summer is ending.

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