Donatella Versace Misses Models With Personalities Who Fought for Their Boobs

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Photo: Getty Images

In the new issue of Love hitting stands today, Donatella Versace laments the current state of the modeling world. She doesn't think they need to be literally fed, but says, "We need to feed the egos of these girls." She misses the era of supermodels, when Kate Moss, Amber Valetta, and Kristen McMenamy would all walk Versace's runway together. Some designers became scared the personalities of such famous models would overpower and distract from the clothes. But not so, says Donatella: "Fame on fame means more fame!" She adds:

"There is an idea of neutrality in models now. Little make-up, no expression, like a robot ... That is very stupid. It is almost as if the models have to have the appearance of something serious, to give an intellectual base, but they themselves are rarely like that."

She doesn't need her girls to be smart, but she wants fashion to be fun again, and it's a model's job to bring it. Or at least it used to be. The models of yore had balls and would run around acting crazy and fighting with each other. Donatella recalls a scene that played out in front of her brother Gianni:

"One day they had a fight about roots. Kristen [McMenamy] had arrived with black roots in blonde hair, and Linda [Evangelista] arrived with black roots in blonde hair; and both of them went mad, both saying they were first. Really, that is a big thing for models — roots! They were calling the hairdresser in New York, the colourist in New York, and I was called on as a witness to say who was the first to do black roots in blonde hair. At the time Steven Miesel [sic] was really inventing the look of the girls in this way, so I knew who was first: Kristen."

See? She egged them on, instinctively knowing at the time, even if her brother didn't realize it, that fashion would be nothing without catfights and egos.

"The first time they got together, it was the big girls versus the new girl. I remember one time backstage: Linda needed to go on the runway. She was about to put in her fake boobs and found one of them had been taken. 'Where is my boob? Where's my boob?' she was screaming over and over. I think it was Kristen — it was always Kristen. Gianni's reaction? [She mimics his angry stage-whisper.] 'You want this, you like this, so you take care of this!' I would be stuck in the middle. And all those girls turned out to be icons: Kate, Amber, Kristen, all icons."

It makes perfect sense. Does the general public want to know about girls who don't steal each other's boobs backstage and openly throw hissy fits? Of course not. We want to know about the girls who yell and claw at each other over bra inserts. Those are the names we remember. All those models who act professional are doing it wrong. If these girls want to become super again, they should start bringing attitudes to jobs — good, sassy ones — and stealing things.

Donatella Versace: 'I'm not a believer in the natural look' [Independent]