And no, we’re not talking about ‘The Assassination of Gianni Versace’, that’s a different Versace-themed glamorous murder-mystery. This time, the Italian fashion house, known for its drama and campy decadence, produced a whole bite-sized Telenovela featuring its holiday 2019 collection. Think Veronica Castro in the 80s; big perms, bold statement jewelry, betrayal, murder and tax evasion. Not even Telemundo could’ve thought of a more twisted and fabulous story.
Versace’s Holiday Saga is a tumultuous and OTT Telenovela.
The concept was first ideated in collaboration with the American artist Sarah Baker and the UK art and fashion journal; Baroness Magazine. The six-part micro-telenovela includes all the traditional elements of Latino soap-operas that we’re all too familiar with; such as a filthy-rich family who owns an over the top mansion, a greedy antagonist (usually a sexy female), the wronged husband, the ingenue and the sketchy accountant.
The protagonist, Angelina, is a rich business woman who is suspected of having committed a crime.
Constructed as a series of letters written by the protagonist to Donatella herself, the story follows Angelina (played by Baker), the CEO of Narcissist Records who has been accused of stealing the smash hit “Spritz Me With Your Love” (lol), from an uncredited writer.
In telenovelas, people return from the dead, blackmail each other and plot the protagonist’s demise, and Versace’s version isn’t short of all that drama.
The writer of the song is in fact Angelina’s boy toy, “Angelo,” who —in true Telenovela style— appears to have mysteriously died after falling off a cliff. Angelina, suspects that her archenemy The Baroness—Angelo’s wife— played by top model Helena Christensen, is to blame.
If it all sounds twisted, over the top dramatic and just all around extra; wait until you see the visuals.
The 6 mini-episodes not only feature fabulously dressed models clad in all Versace outfits, but also a huge assortment of random Versace-emblazoned items. There’s Versace silverware, a Versace pool float, a Versace volleyball, a Versace ash tray, Versace martini glasses, and the list goes on.
By this point, if you grew up watching Telenovelas, you should know that nothing is as expected.
Telenovela plotlines are a twisted business. If you’ve watched classics like ‘La Usurpadora’, ‘Los Ricos Tambien Lloran’, ‘Rubi’, or ‘Maria Mercedes’, you’d know better than to assume that things will follow their natural course. In Versace’s story; Angelo is of course, not dead. The accountant is plotting to frame Angelina and marry her daughter —the ingenue— to keep Narcissist Records for himself. Angelina had an affair with her frienemy ‘The Baroness’s’ husband Angelo, and The Baroness is actually… drumroll please… an undercover spy.
You can watch the six-part series on Versace’s holiday campaign website.
Versace unleashed the first full episode as well as a director’s cut on their Youtube channel. The Italian house’s complete 6-episode soap opera, is available to view for free in the form of a ‘Versace Holiday Saga’ on the brand’s website.
There will also be a print edition of the story.
The actual print edition of the art and fashion magazine ‘Baroness’ will feature the story alongside an accompanying editorial shoot —which seems to be even steamier than the video clips.
Donatella’s take on the classic soap-opera has all of our Telenovela-loving hearts, obsessed.
Versace knows the importance of spectacle and drama. Donatella embraces over-the-top luxury and this tongue-in-cheek take on the campy Telenovela, is evocative of the 80s and 90s classics, us Latinx millennials, grew up watching. Angela and The Baroness might as well be characters in ‘Maria Mercedes’ or ‘Los Ricos Tambien Lloran’ and we can’t stop watching. It’s ridiculous and we’re sure you’ll love it, too.
As ridiculous as the narrative might seem, The Versace Saga gives us every single thing we need out of a Telenovela: sex, scandal, intrigue, decadence and sisterhood.
After the unravelling of the scandalous lives of the female protagonists, the campaign teaches us an important lesson in empowered sisterhood. Dismantling the misconception of ruthless powerful women in popular culture as spiteful, Angela and The Baroness actually patch things up and work together to unmask the real villains; Jacob and Angelo.
In this project, Baker and Donatella aim to subvert the judgement of ‘passional’ soap-star females fueled by theatricality. Instead they celebrate sisterhood by wrapping up the story with a collaborative female effort to overthrow the pangs of blackmail and deceit.
The holiday campaign features Versace Cruise 2020, and a wide selection of the brand’s famous medusa, emblazoned on household items. The collection is now shoppable on versace.com
It’s hard to believe it’s been 15 years since the teen telenovela “Rebelde” first aired on Televisa. At the time, who would have thought that the Mexican soap opera would become an international sensation? As a refresher, “Rebelde” was a Spanish-language soap that ran from 2004-2006 for three seasons. The story focused on Elite Way School, a prestigious Mexico City prep school. The plot revolved around a group of students trying to form a pop band (RBD). At the time, Rebelde” was Touted as “Beverly Hills: 90210” with songs. The show was so successful that it had teens wearing loose dress-ties and short plaid skirts all across Latinidad. “Rebelde” paved the way for “Gossip Girl” and “Pretty Little Liars”, and the legacy definitely lives on.
On Sunday, Twitter user @EseGueyBeto revealed that his cousin threw a “Rebelde”-themed going away party, proving that the dearly-departed teen soap is still very much a part of the zeitgeist.
@EseGueyBeto posted a video of the “Rebelde”-themed party, and it did not disappoint. The 16-second video shows a group of people by a pool dressed up in very authentic-looking Elite Way School uniforms. The party-goers wear maroon blazers, unbuttoned dress shirts, loosened dress ties, and skirts short enough to shock your abuela. “Dawg my cousin from Mexico had a going away Rebelde party,” @EseGueyBeto captioned his Tweet. “I just know Mexican Twitter is here for this”. And boy, was he right.
@EseGueyBeto followed up his Tweet with another video of the party-goers group singing “Sálvame” while waving sparklers in the air. “The answer is yes,” @EseGueyBeto said. “They did play sálvame at the end of the night”. As he also eloquently put it, everyone was ready to create a “whole ass fire hazard” in order to “be on their feels for sálvame”. Can we blame them? That definitely looks like a party we would have loved to be invited to.
Currently, @EseGueyBeto’s tweet has racked up over 23,000 retweets and almost 80,000 likes.
Latinos flocked to the Tweet to express their admiration for the theme party. One glance at the thread shows that the video has sparked quite a few people’s imaginations — people were planning on stealing the idea for everything from quinceañera themes to Halloween costumes. The tweet reignited peoples’ interest in the rousing discography of RBD and brought a much-need dose of nostalgia to Latinos who came of age in the early 2000s.
On @EseGueyBeto’s Twitter thread, “Rebelde” fans from all over the world are coming together to reminisce about the good-old-days, sharing their memories from 2004 and revealing how much they loved the show in their youth. It seems that the great uniter amongst Latinx countries is actually the love for “Rebelde” (the Spanish language is a close second).
The Twitter thread seemed to reanimate RBD’s dormant fandom, and people responded to the Tweet with unparalleled enthusiasm.
It seems that the phrase “absence makes the heart grow fonder” is ultimately true. We don’t know if the desire to attend a “Rebelde”-themed party would’ve been as strong among Latinxs back in the early 2000s, but it seems as if the passage of time has made the show a hot commodity. Back in the day, many Latinxs thought of “Rebelde” as a silly telenovelawithout much substance. Now, people idolize the show because it reminds them of simpler times.
This Latino made it clear that @EseGueyBeto’s tweet inspired him to throw his own party.
We have a feeling that we’re going to be seeing a lot more “Rebelde”-themed parties on the internet from now on.
This Latina was filled with Mexican Pride at seeing a bunch of people dressed in Elite Way school uniforms.
If this doesn’t make you proud of your heritage, we don’t know what would.
This Latina was impressed by the realism of the party-goers’ outfits.
Back in the day, that forehead star was the epitome of cool. Now, our feelings are a little bit more mixed on that particular fashion statement.
This Latina explained that “Rebelde”-love was not just reserved for Mexicans.
Even though “Rebelde” was actually a remake of an Argentinian show for Mexican audiences, its appeal was widespread across Latinidad. And let’s be honest: soapy teen dramas are a universal guilty pleasure.
As for us, we’ll definitely be keeping an eye out on social media for the inevitable “Rebelde”-themed parties that will be sweeping the nation in the next coming months. Here’s to hoping that we’ll be attending some of our own!
Share this story with all of your friends by tapping our little share buttons below!