In case you missed it, June was a somewhat paradoxical month for Madame Versace; strangely enough, the notorious designer came face-to-face with herself – except its wasn’t some creepy clone or unlikely doppelganger infiltrating the matrix, it was a dress… A zany, grotesque dress, like an effigy dipped in uncanny sophistication with Donatella’s famous face blown-up, splayed out and plastered across the shapeless shift, framed in platinum tresses with hot pink Medusa clips to boot. It was an enigmatic creation, a nonsensical style imbued with humour brought into being by none other than a Canadian, post-gender 20-something.
Enter: Daniel Bosco, the mind behind the quirky dress and a young designer who has seemingly perfected the art of eccentricity. Leading up to the big reveal, Bosco and their classmates were tasked by Parsons Paris and Versace to create a look drawing inspiration from two archival pieces – one by Gianni and the other Donatella. Bosco looked to Gianni’s work with Andy Warhol’s surrealism for SS91 and Donatella’s iconic, self-curated image making. After visiting the atelier’s private archives and meeting with the visionary for the project briefing she, Donatella, so irrefutably became Bosco’s muse. A short while later, a small selection of students were flown out to Milan to put on a mini-catwalk for the Madame. Bosco presented his bottle-bleached, kohl-smudged smock last; its flouncing golden locks closing the show.
When asked about their improbable meeting with Ms. Versace to showcase their kitsch creation, they immediately say that they’re, “Still shaking”, but honestly, who the hell wouldn’t be – Bosco put a garment with her face on it, right in-her-face. There’s nothing more iconic than that, except maybe Donatella herself – if it were us we’d be downright floored. But, Bosco managed to ace the meeting with nothing other than the mogul’s own face. “Obviously it’s a risk to present Donatella to Donatella, but she couldn’t have loved it any more than she did,” they reveal. “I will never stop telling people that she said she wanted a photo of my dress hanging in her house,” – nor should they. Oh what a moment to remember.
Kitsch is the simplest way to describe exactly what it is that Bosco creates. Their particular proclivity for a self-proclaimed “lack of seriousness” so easily sets them apart from their cohorts. You only need glance at the tongue-in-cheek Spaghetti Bolognese dress they concocted before the Donatella one to perceive just how ridiculously facetious their work tends to be. “Humour is the tool I use to transform everyday objects into materials, sculptures, performances and inspiration. I love pop-culture, trashy films, and partying,” they say, adding: “I think my designs – especially the sculptural pieces – are a meeting point between the chaos and the calm.”
This time next year, Bosco will be presenting their first full collection as a part of their Parsons Paris thesis and if we’ve learned anything about this quirky kid, then we certainly know it’ll be a mischievous play on surrealist tropes. In their own words, it’s set to be, “Kitsch, big, and in-your-face.” But, only Bosco really knows what’s next: perhaps some Lagerfeld leggings, anybody?
Photography courtesy of Daniel Bosco.