Tag Archives: LGBTQ

IMAGINE DRAGONS’ DAN REYNOLDS HOSTS 2ND ANNUAL LOVELOUD FESTIVAL POWERED BY AT&T ON JULY 28, 2018 AT RICE ECCLES STADIUM IN SALT LAKE CITY, UT TO ENCOURAGE GREATER LOVE, COMMUNICATION, AND UNDERSTANDING FOR OUR LGBTQ+ COMMUNITY

LINE UP INCLUDES GRAMMY® AWARD- WINNING ARTISTS IMAGINE DRAGONS, ZEDD AND LINKIN PARK’S MIKE SHINODA, GRACE VANDERWAAL, NEON TREES’ TYLER GLENN, VAGABON AND A.W.

STAND UP COMEDIAN, ACTOR AND WRITER CAMERON ESPOSITO TO PERFORM AND EMCEE LOVELOUD FESTIVAL

LOVELOUD TICKETS GO ON SALE FRIDAY, APRIL 6TH AT 10AM MST AT SMITHSTIX.COM

PROCEEDS TO BENEFIT LOCAL AND NATIONAL LGBTQ+ CHARITIES INCLUDING
ENCIRCLE, TREVOR PROJECT, TEGAN AND SARA FOUNDATION & MORE

Salt Lake City, UT – April 2, 2018 – Dan Reynolds, lead singer of Imagine Dragons today
announced the second annual LOVELOUD Festival (http://loveloudfest.com) designed to
ignite the vital conversation about what it means to unconditionally love, understand,
accept, and support LGBTQ+ youth in our communities. The 2018 LOVELOUD Festival
will be powered by AT&T.

AT&T supports various initiatives that promote safety and inclusion for LGBTQ youth, including The Trevor Project’s suicide prevention and crisis intervention service. Together, through music and an inspiring message, LOVELOUD and AT&T can share our vision of a future where LGBTQ youth are connected to love and acceptance.

LGBTQ+ teen suicide, often caused by a lack of communication or an absence of
acceptance, is one of the most troubling issues in the community. The numbers are
staggering:
• Suicide is the second leading cause of death in the US for youth (teenagers) according to
the Center for Disease Control.
• LGBTQ+ youth that come from a home or community where they are not accepted are
eight times more likely to commit suicide.

“We at LOVELOUD are determined to help create a more loving and accepting environment for them, while also hoping to raise more than $1 million dollars for local and national LGBTQ+ charities” said founder and Imagine Dragons front-man Dan Reynolds. “We look forward to a day dedicated to celebrating their diversity while listening to great music and inspiring speakers.”

LOVELOUD Festival will take place Saturday, July 28, 2018 in Salt Lake City, UT at the
Eccles Stadium and feature performances by Grammy® Award-winning artists Imagine
Dragons, Zedd and Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda along with Grace Vanderwaal, Neon
Trees’ Tyler Glenn and A.W. Stand-up comedian, actor and writer Cameron Esposito will also perform and emcee the day’s festivities. More performers and speakers will be
announced in the coming weeks.

LOVELOUD tickets will go on sale Friday, April 6 at 10AM MST. Festival goers can
purchase tickets HERE. Doors open for the LOVELOUD Festival at 2pm and the music
begins at 3:30pm. The festival will feature food, beverages and a number of other
activities for fans of all ages and interests. The LOVELOUD Foundation will donate
proceeds from this year’s event to benefit LGBTQ+ organizations including Encircle, the Tegan and Sara Foundation and the Trevor Project.

“LOVELOUD’s inspiring goal is to raise $1 million dollars for LGBTQ+ organizations in
one day, and we know that this amazing program of music and speakers will entertain,
educate and inspire everyone who comes out in support on July 28th," said Tegan and Sara. “We started the Tegan and Sara Foundation to bring resources and attention to
issues affecting the LGBTQ community, and we are proud to work with the LOVELOUD
team to amplify their urgent message of acceptance and unconditional love.”

As part of this quest, Dan Reynold’s created a documentary centered around
LOVELOUD, called Believer. The film received runner up for the “Festival Favorite Award” at Sundance Film Festival 2018 and will premiere on HBO in June.

LOVELOUD’s inaugural festival bowed August 26, 2017 in Orem, UT at Brent Brown
Ballpark. The event drew 17,000 concertgoers and featured live music from Imagine
Dragons, Neon Trees, Krewella, Nicholas Petricca of Walk the Moon (Acoustic), Joshua
James, and Aja Volkman. In 2017, LOVELOUD Foundation lent its support to various
charities such as Encircle and Stand4Kind, as well as national charities, The Trevor
Project and GLAAD.

The LOVELOUD Foundation is a catalyst to bring communities and families together to
help ignite the vital conversation about what it means to unconditionally love our LGBTQ+youth. LOVELOUD offers hope to young people, letting them know they’re not alone and encouraging acceptance in the home and community. It all begins with talking about, sharing and showing the realities of what LGBTQ+ teens face daily. The LOVELOUD Foundation is a 501c3.

AT&T’s commitment to equality and inclusion for the LGBTQ community began in 1975,
when the company became one of the first American corporations to adopt a policy
prohibiting discrimination against employees based on sexual orientation. AT&T also has a long-standing commitment to fostering an inclusive workplace. LEAGUE at AT&T
(Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Allies Employee Organizations of AT&T) is one of the oldest LGBTQ Employee Resource Groups (ERG) in the nation. In 1998, AT&T
adopted one of the first domestic partner benefits programs for LGBTQ employees. In
2006, AT&T was one of the first U.S. corporations to offer transgender-inclusive health
care benefits. At AT&T, diversity and inclusion will always be top priorities.

‘The Assassination of Gianni Versace’ Finale Recap: A Perfect Boy

Written By | Sewell Chan

Season 2, Episode 9: ‘Alone’

It turns out that “The Assassination of Gianni Versace,” this gorgeous mess of a television series, was neither about an assassination nor, really, about Versace, the fashion designer who was shot to death on the front steps of his Miami Beach mansion in 1997.

It would have been more accurately called “The Agony and the Ecstasy of Andrew Cunanan,” Versace’s killer, whose spectacular orgy of violence briefly dominated headlines around the world at the close of the American century.

Over the eight previous episodes, starting with Versace’s killing, the series drew us back in time, through Cunanan’s killings of four other people; his career as a drug addict and escort; his resentment of the fame and accomplishment of other gay men; his odd childhood; his troubled relationship with his doting but oppressive and mendacious father; and — in the closest thing to a “Rosebud” moment — an imagined encounter between Cunanan and Versace years before the murders.

The finale is a riveting hour of television, filled with anguish and revelation as Cunanan, played by Darren Criss, relives his crime spree through television and radio reports that fill the Miami Beach houseboat where he is hiding out — appropriately blown-up to larger-than-life proportions on a home theater projector, no less. But, like much of what preceded it, the episode is a muddle, never quite settling on a coherent thesis or a sustained argument.

That’s a pity, because the series writer — the novelist Tom Rob Smith, who also wrote the chilling British mini-series “London Spy” — has consistently given the characters flashes of brilliance and insight.

No moment manifests those qualities more than a monologue by Ronnie, a gay drifter whom Cunanan befriended as he was hiding out from the law during the two months before he killed Versace. Ronnie recognizes Versace’s significance. “We all imagined what it would be like to be so rich and so powerful that it doesn’t matter that you’re gay,” he says during a police interrogation.

But he is also angered that the authorities were slow to alert the gay community and to solicit its help in the manhunt — until, as Ronnie notes, one of the victims was famous. “You’re so used to us lurking in the shadows and, you know, most of us, we oblige,” he says. “People like me, we just drift away. We get sick? Nobody cares.”

“But Andrew was vain,” he continues, as a flicker of something almost like pride, or at least defiance, lights his eyes. “He wanted you to know about his pain, he wanted you to hear, he wanted you to know about being born a lie. Andrew is not hiding. He’s trying to be seen.”

Maybe. But at that moment Cunanan is, in fact, hiding out on a house boat. If he had a message to communicate about his pain, he did not share it.

The series is loosely based on Maureen Orth’s gossipy book “Vulgar Favours,” but the dramatizations and embellishments are so extreme that the series appears more a flight of wishful fantasy than an act of journalistic reconstruction. Also extreme is the director Daniel Minahan’s insistence on making this finale a retrospective of horrors.

Until now, the series was told in reverse chronological order. But the finale circles back to where it started, and it is bursting at the seams with tangential characters, visual cues and over-the-top emotions that leave a jumble of impressions instead of delivering a clear punch.

We pay a visit to Marilyn Miglin, a self-made cosmetics magnate who sells her wares on television and whose husband, Lee, a Chicago property developer, was the third of Cunanan’s five victims. She happens to be in Tampa, Fla., while the manhunt following Versace’s murder occurs. The local police urge her to return to Chicago for fear that Cunanan may be after her, but she refuses.

Her strength and resolve are admirable — and Judith Light turns in a magnificent performance — but we hardly learn anything that we didn’t know from Episode 3.

Similarly repetitive is a scene in which the father of David Madson, the Minneapolis architect whom Cunanan forced to flee home before he killed him, communicates his anguish in a TV interview. We knew from Episode 4 that the father and son were both pretty decent people.

The most strange and haunting moment of this finale comes when Cunanan, desperate and reduced to eating dog food, dials his father, Modesto, a disgraced former stockbroker who fled to his native Philippines after some shady financial deals. Andrew is sobbing, a man of 27 reduced to helplessness. “Dad, I’m in trouble,” he pleas. “I need help. I need you to come get me.” Modesto promises Andrew that he’ll drop everything and race to Miami to rescue him. “I will find you and I will hug you and I will hold you in my arms,” he says.

Of course he doesn’t. He’s a hustler.

The next morning, it’s clear to Andrew that Modesto isn’t coming. In fact, he hasn’t even tried to leave the Philippines. “My son is not and has never been a homosexual,” he tells television reporters as his son watches from Florida. He adds: “He was a perfect boy, the most special child I ever saw. The idea that he could be a killer makes me angry.”

Modesto tells the reporters that Andrew called him a night ago. Asked what they discussed, he replies: “The movie rights to his life story. I’m acting as the broker, calling Hollywood from here in Manila. Andrew was very particular about the title.”

The movie, he says, will be called “A Name to Be Remembered.”

It’s disturbing and nauseating, of course. But we already knew from Episode 8 that Modesto was a pretty despicable guy.

Then there’s a jarring shift to Milan, where Versace is honored with a ceremony akin to a state funeral. We are reminded — as we learned in Episode 2 — that his sister and de facto heir, Donatella, and his partner, Antonio D’Amico, have a frosty relationship. Antonio wants to move to one of Gianni’s properties, on Lake Como; Donatella says it’s up to the company’s board to decide. (Later, we are shown, Antonio is driven to such despair that he attempts suicide.)

Watching the live broadcast of the funeral, Cunanan kneels before the television and makes a sign of the cross: a shockingly sacrilegious moment, but hardly of great emotional power since Cunanan’s Catholicism hasn’t really been a theme at all. A scene with Cunanan’s friend Lizzie, whom we have barely heard from, is similarly lacking, as she begs him on television to turn himself in. Lizzie — a straight, older friend who asked Andrew to be the godfather to her children — has intrigued me throughout the series, but the underinvestment in her character makes her plea seem wooden.

The one time when Cunanan’s eyes suggest remorse comes when he sees his fragile mother being hounded by reporters outside her California home.

Otherwise, Cunanan’s victims flicker on the screen like Macbeth’s ghosts, and finally he is visited by one — himself, as a child of around 11. And then we have the final flashback, the “Rosebud” moment: a scene in which we return to the San Francisco opera house where, it is imagined, Versace and Cunanan met during a 1990 production of “Capriccio” that Versace designed.

Cunanan, at that point 21, tries to kiss Versace, but the designer turns away.

“It’s not because I don’t find you attractive,” Versace says. “I invited you here because you are a very interesting young man. I want you to be inspired by this, to be nourished by tonight. If we kissed, you may doubt it.”

Versace, in this telling, had some useful advice for Cunanan: Success isn’t about convincing people that you’re special. Success is about hard work. It is sad that Cunanan didn’t learn this from his deadbeat father, but it takes us nowhere in explaining the bloodthirst that followed.

Homophobia, mixed-race identity, sexual abuse, the lust for fame, the worship of celebrity — each of these themes has been brought forward and then discarded.

Like many a true-crime drama, this second season of “American Crime Story” was more interested in the journey than the destination. I get it. But in the end, like Cunanan himself, the show was a beautiful, glittery, violent, extravagant mess.

 

Sony Debuts Virtual Reality Mapping Technology in Groundbreaking Music Video at SXSW

It’s the first time the tech was used in a music video

Written By | Ann-Marie Alcántara

Sony closed out its week-long activation at South by Southwest with some fluffy clouds, a cash bar, special musical performances and a new type of virtual reality experience.

The second half of Sony’s activation, which ran from March 15-16, concluded with the debut of artist Khalid’s “Young, Dumb and Broke” VR music video. For the first time in a music video, VR projection mapping technology was used. The technique enhances VR with 360-degree “stereoscopic” images, making it possible to display images on objects within the experience. In this case, Khalid’s original video, “Young, Dumb and Broke,” is being projected onto different aspects within the video, like the ocean and planets.

“This idea of using projection mapping inside a virtual world was something that was created through an original Sony interactive entertainment engine,” said Miki Anan, senior manager, entertainment partnerships at Sony.

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Christina Chi Craig

Visitors who came to Sony’s “Lost in Music” event put on Playstation VR headsets and were first guided through the company’s “acoustic vessel odyssey,” an audio journey with an immersive sound experience. The audio and light show included a whopping 576 speakers, as well as a unique light installation created by digital artists, Kimchi and Chips.

After seeing, hearing and taking plenty of Instagram-worthy photos, guests then entered the “dreamscape” room, where they could watch the new VR video and get some drinks. They were also treated to performances by artists Tinashe, A.CHAL, Leikeli47, Olivia Noelle and, at the end, Khalid himself.

Sony worked with agency Ralph to come up with the creative for the event, using Mission to put the production together.

We wanted to bring together a completely new type of immersive experience to music lovers,” Anan said.

Anyone who owns a Playstation VR headset will be able to download the video come spring.

The first half of Sony’s activation (March 10-13) included the Wow Studio, which showcased different technologies like Aibo, an AI-driven robotic dog that responds to touch and even barks. The studio was taken down after the interactive portion of the festival ended; the space then solely focused on Khalid’s VR experience during the music portion of SXSW.

Sony will wrap its “Lost in Music” campaign at SXSW on March 16 with performances by Noah Cyrus, Cam, Caitlyn Smith, Lo Moon, Morgan Saint and The Accidentals.

The technology Sony debuted was yet another example of brands breaking the mold with unique activations during the festival. As Adweek senior tech editor Lauren Johnson noted, while there have been less activations than in past years, this year’s presented a host of new and unique experiences, including BeautyRest inviting 150 people to sleep on its beds and Grindr editing over 50 Wikipedia pages to add LGBTQ information.

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Cardi B, Khalid, Lorde, Childish Gambino & Thirty Seconds to Mars Playing Pre-Grammy Parties: See the List

Written By | Gil Kaufman

Music’s biggest night will be turned into music’s biggest week thanks to a string of A-list parties and shows planned all over New York, in the lead-up to Sunday night’s (Jan. 28) 60th annual Grammy Awards. Starting Wednesday night (Jan. 24), the city will be lit up with big-name acts warming up stages all over Manhattan in special showcases and parties starring some of your favorite acts.

Wednesday, Jan. 24

CITI At Irving Plaza

Irving Plaza, 17 Irving Place, New York, 8 p.m.

Thirty Seconds to Mars launch Citi’s second edition of the Sound Vault Series, with a show at the 1,025-capacity Irving Plaza.

Ally Coalition Talent Show

Town Hall, 123 W. 43rd Street, 7 p.m.

4th annual all-star Ally Coalition Talent Show, benefiting LGBTQ causes, which will feature sets from Kacey Musgraves, Lorde, Bleachers, Shamir, members of The National and Spoon, Aparna Nancherla, Phoebe Robinson, Jacqueline Novak and Andrew Dost.

Mastercard House

60 10th Ave., 9 p.m.

Best new artist Grammy nominee SZA hits the stage.

Thursday Jan. 25

CITI at Irving Plaza

Irving Plaza, 17 Irving Place, New York, 8 p.m.

The National are next up at Irving Plaza for the CITI series.

The Grill/The Pool

The Seagram Building, 99 East 52nd St.

Grammy performer/nominee Cardi B who will play a Warner Music Group-sponsored gig before what will surely be a big night for the “Bodak Yellow” rapper.

The Rainbow Room

30 Rockefeller Plaza, 65th Floor, 7 p.m.

Alicia Keys and hubby Swizz Beatz will hold it down at the Recording Academy Producers & Engineers Wing Event.

Skylight Clarkson SQ

550 Washington St.,

Khalid, SZA, Julia Michaels and Alessia Cara will hit the Spotify Best New Artist 2018 Pre-Grammy Party.

Metropolitan Pavilion

125 W. 18th St., 4-7 p.m.

The Canada “Northern Beat” Showcase will feature Daniel Caesar, Neon Dreams, Dear Rouge and Iskwe.

Mastercard House

60 10th Ave., 9 p.m.

The #TBT Night brings some major hip-hop firepower from the likes of EPMD, Big Daddy Kane, Biz Markie and Ghostface Killah with Raewkwon.

Location TBD

Delta Airlines Party with Julia Michaels, Funk Flex and Vanessa Hudgens.

Friday Jan. 26

CITI at Irving Plaza

Irving Plaza, 17 Irving Place, New York, 8 p.m.

Eminem storms the stage for a rare ballroom gig at Irving Plaza for a CITI show.

Carnegie Hall

57th St. and 7th Ave., 2:30 p.m.

The suit and tie crowd will check in at Carnegie Hall for the Grammy Salute to Classical Music’s tribute to Leonard Bernstein hosted by legendary pianist Lang Lang with performances by Ledisi and Isabel Leonard.

Radio City Music Hall

45 Rockefeller Plaza, 7:30 p.m.

The MusiCares Tribute Concert to Fleetwood Mac will bring sets from Lorde, John Legend, Harry Styles, Keith Urban, Haim and OneRepublic.

Mastercard House

60 10th Ave., 9 p.m.

Portugal. The Man and Francis and the Lights light up the night.

The Pool

The Seagram Building, 99 E. 52nd St, 9 p.m.

Khalid and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band will keep the party going at the Nielsen pre-Grammy party at The Pool.

The Cadillac House

330 Hudson Street, 9:30 p.m.

Republic Party

Esther & Carol

341 Broome St., 6-9 p.m.

Morgan Stanley/Lava/ConcertPass Party

Venue TBD

The Chainsmokers Grammy Party

48 Lounge

1221 Avenue of the Americas, 8 p.m. – 1 a.m.

EMPIRE Grammy Party

Saturday Jan. 27

The Standard

848 Washington St., 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

ASCAP Grammy Nominee reception

Apollo Theater

253 W. 125th St., 1-3 p.m.

BMI “How I Wrote That Song” panel with RedOne, Faith Evans and more artists TBA.

Mastercard House

60 10th Ave., 3 p.m.

Austin Brown live in-store performance.

Spring Studios

6 St. Johns Lane, 11:30 a.m.

This low-key UMG Showcase will feature a number of emerging and established UMG acts.

Joe’s Pub

425 Lafayette St., 1-3 p.m.

Folk Alliance Grammy event at Joe’s Pub honoring nominees Olivia Chaney, The Secret Sisters, Dar Williams, Guy Davis, Fabrizio Poggi and Ashley Campbell.

Mastercard House

60 10th Ave., 9 p.m.

Dua Lipa will rock the stage at this Billboard-presented event.

CITI at Irving Plaza

Irving Plaza, 17 Irving Place, New York, 8 p.m.

Grammy nominee Childish Gambino playing at CITI’s Irving Plaza series.

Sunday Jan. 28

CITI at Irving Plaza

Irving Plaza, 17 Irving Place, New York, 8 p.m.

Dave Matthews will plug in at Irving Plaza to cap the CITI series.

The Whitney

99 Gansevoort St.

Sony After Party

Spring Studios

6 St. Johns Lane

UMG After Party

Barney Greengrass

541 Amsterdam Ave. 1-4 a.m.

Glassnote After-After Party

Bryant Park Grill

25 W. 40th St., 9:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Concord Music Group After Party

 

Inside Gianni Versace’s Final Fashion Show

Written By | Julie Miller

Wednesday’s episode of American Crime Story flashes back to Gianni’s last fashion show, which was staged in Paris nine days before his murder.

Just nine days before Gianni Versace was fatally shot outside his Miami mansion, the designer had been in Paris, debuting his haute-couture fall-winter collection in extravagant style at the Ritz. Models including Naomi Campbell, Amber Valletta, and Stella Tennant, dressed in body-clinging chain mail and silk jersey gowns, descended from a double staircase and strutted down a glass catwalk that had been erected theatrically over the neoclassic swimming pool.

The second episode of The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story,“Manhunt,” flashes back to Versace’s last fashion show, revealing the creative tensions simmering between the designer and his sister shortly before his death. According to one biographer, however, the stress-filled showdown hours before the fashion show was even more volcanic than what’s being shown on television.

As depicted on American Crime Story, the siblings clashed backstage over the women they wanted showcasing the collection. Donatella had booked models with skinny, “heroin-chic” builds—including Karen Elson, the fair-skinned, flame-haired up-and-comer Donatella selected to wear the collection’s climactic piece: the wedding dress.

Archival photos on Getty show Elson in the Versace atelier being fitted with the piece—a slinky, metallic-silver baby-doll dress, accessorized with a veil emblazoned with a silver Byzantine cross. But on the show day, the collection’s marquee piece was reassigned to a proven supermodel and Gianni favorite, Naomi Campbell.

“Gianni never liked [Elson],” explained Deborah Ball in her 2010 book, House of Versace: The Untold Story of Genius, Murder, and Survival. “‘Why are you so pale?’ he used to demand of Elson, in Italian. The British girl looked blankly at him. ‘Why don’t you go get some sun?’”

Ball reported that, during rehearsals the day before the show, Gianni erupted in front of his sister and Elson, who had never before walked a runway.

He bristled as he watched Elson nervously descend the stairs and walk the runway. Gianni didn’t like her lopey, horselike gait, and he raged at Donatella for having suggested the girl in the first place. So he substituted Naomi, who did him proud as she sauntered by in the wedding dress [. . .] Elson burst into a fit of tears, while Donatella wore a stony look on her face. Gianni’s ruling showed he didn’t trust her with key decisions.

(Elson, who returned to the Paris runway for another Versace couture collection in 2016, diplomatically told Vogue that year, “I remember [Gianni] being very tender and sweet to me. It was daunting, as every supermodel on the planet was there and I was the ‘new girl’ at school, so to speak.”)

By Michel Euler/AP/REX/Shutterstock.

Clashing was nothing new for the Italian siblings. Earlier in 1997, Donatella’s husband at the time, Paul Beck, told Vanity Fair contributor Cathy Horyn that it took him five years to get used to the “Versace verbal dynamic.”

“I thought somebody was going to kill someone,” Beck said of witnessing their first fight. “I had to leave the room . . . And the argument would be over something like where to put the sweaters in the new boutique on Via Monte Napoleone.”

But as the tensions escalated within the Versace empire, so did the fights. Gianni had long been the creative genius and workhorse behind the fashion house, counting on Donatella as his muse and critic. For Donatella, who was more of a brand ambassador in those days, her ability to stand up to Gianni was part of her value.

“I thought of myself as the one who really was able to tell Gianni the truth, because with a big designer, nobody is able,” Donatella told New York magazine. “That’s the big threat for a big designer.”

As Vanity Fair contributor Maureen Orth wrote in her book Vulgar Favors: Andrew Cunanan, Gianni Versace, and the Largest Failed Manhunt in U.S. History, Donatella stepped up to help manage the company when Gianni fell ill in 1994, and was being groomed to take over the fashion house. The relationship fractured unexpectedly when Gianni recovered several years later and attempted to reclaim his position.

“We know that Gianni was very, very sick in 1994—he was struggling to walk to the news stand in Miami,” explained Tom Rob Smith, who wrote Wednesday’s episode. “He was working closely with Donatella to [prepare her] to take over the company. There was this real sense that she was his heir, and then, unexpectedly, he gets better. That is a very tricky situation for anyone—if you’re about to be given control of something and then that control is suddenly modulated.”

Gianni and Donatella “acknowledged friction during the winter and spring of 1996, when Gianni disagreed with her choices for an advertising campaign and she seemed to overstep her bounds,” reported Orth in her book, which is the basis for the FX series. The siblings were struggling to find a power balance and share footing in the spotlight. Ball claimed that Gianni’s decision to change his will in September 1996—leaving his shares of the company to his niece Allegra, rather than his brother or sister—was done in secret and fueled by his frustration and resentment towards his siblings.

“That tension you see in the final fashion show . . . You feel like Donatella felt she was no longer subservient to her brother,” continued Smith. “She was his equal. It’s hard in those creative industries to have parity. Someone ultimately has to make the final decision. So you start splitting everything up—you could have some models, and he could have other models. They had different styling on the models and different ideas. It didn’t really coalesce as well as a singular vision might have.”

The aesthetic disparity between brother and sister Versace was so apparent during this particular runway show that American Crime Story costume designer Lou Eyrich told Vanity Fair that she took special care to craft a dozen looks for the series that represented Gianni and Donatella’s different ideals.

“Gianni had a more colorful look, so the creams and the pinks and the yellows and the reds were Gianni,” Eyrich explained of the costumes she attributed to Gianni. “Donatella’s models, meanwhile, were more waif, heroin-chic models who wear all black and had the heavy eye makeup. It was important to show the difference between the designers’ visions at the time.”

In spite of the tensions simmering behind the scenes, Versace’s final fashion show was widely praised. Even though the house faced fresh competition from flashy rivals like John Galliano and Alexander McQueen, Versace got first billing in the Associated Press’s write-up: “Gianni Versace reigned supreme with his ‘King of the Night’ pool runway.” Joan Kaner, then the fashion director of Neiman Marcus, was quoted as calling the collection “terrific, sexy, and modern.” The New York Times, meanwhile, acknowledged the disjointed feel of the collection, writing, “for every dress that took the idea too far, there was one where the idea worked.”

“When Gianni died, things were unresolved with Donatella, and how awful must that have been for her,” added Smith. “For Gianni to die and to think, ‘What were we even fighting about? Models?’ It was utterly trivial.”

Indeed, Donatella has said in the years since her brother’s death, “My brother was the king, and my whole world had crashed around me.”

By 2012, though, 15 years after the murder, Donatella had found the strength to keep her family’s company afloat and develop her own identity as a designer. She was finally able to look back at the defining details of her brother’s final collection—the ones that she hadn’t necessarily liked at the time: the Byzantine crosses he applied to his dresses and the slinky silver-metal mesh he had specially created—and incorporate them into her 2012 fall-winter collection.

Speaking to The New York Times about finally having “the courage” to face and find inspiration in Gianni’s final fashion show, Donatella said, “I can look at it now with a smile . . . I remember my last moments with Gianni, the rehearsal, the show. But finally I have freedom. I am not afraid.”

To find out more about the true Versace story, the series itself, and everything between the two, subscribe to Still Watching: Versace on Apple Podcasts or your podcast app of choice. New episodes, including behind-the-scenes interviews, air every Wednesday.