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Donatella Versace on Taylor Swift's Custom Grammy Look: 'When Did I Ever Play By the Rules?': Exclusive

Steve Granitz/WireImage
Taylor Swift attends The 58th GRAMMY Awards at Staples Center on February 15, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. 

From the moment she set foot on the Grammy red carpet, all eyes were on Taylor Swift, who went higher, barer and brighter in a two-piece color-blocked Atelier Versace ensemble. From head to toe, the look highlighted the country-turned-pop star's assets: the floor-length silk skirt with a high slit showed off her gams, while the coral bandeau top accentuated her toned physique. Completing the look: a multi-colored sapphire necklace, pink sapphire studs and an orange sapphire oval ring by Lorraine Schwartz totaling $900,000. 

2016 Grammys Photos: Red Carpet, Backstage & More

Billboard spoke exclusively with Donatella Versace, the Italian fashion house’s legendary creative director, about the inspiration behind the bold and sexy look.

What were you drawing from when you designed this look? 
I was thinking about color blocking, which seems like a very simple idea. But this is pure couture. The complexity is in choosing the right colors, and then cut and fit to create the power and drama.

How did you and Taylor collaborate on it? 
She wanted a look that was young, sexy and fresh, as she is, totally reflecting her character. It was a pleasure to create this look for her. Taylor’s gown is the perfect example of how bold color can create such an incredible effect.

What's your philosophy about color on the red carpet? 
I love playing with color on the red carpet. For me, color is so important to capture a woman’s character and her power. How boring would the world be if we all dressed in dull colors? I'm Italian, I love passion and energy. 

What kind of liberties can you take on Grammy red carpet that you can't for the Oscars? 
My name is Versace, when do I ever play by the rules? Every time we create an Atelier Versace red carpet gown, it is a unique reflection of the woman wearing it. I’m not thinking about the rules, but about the woman who is wearing the gown. I want them to look their absolute best, shining brighter than they’ve ever shone before. The red carpet is such an important moment for any star, when all the eyes of the world are on them. 

Still, there must be a difference, even ever so slight? 
On the Grammys red carpet I’m able to push for particular styles, a more rock n' roll mood, and for the Oscars I tend to design for the character the actors play in the movie as well as for the actors themselves. It’s my responsibility to give them perfection, and it is something I take very seriously. That is why when the icons of the world walk the red carpet, they wear Atelier Versace.

What is it like having Taylor wear your design?
I'm very proud of this dress. Taylor is such an inspiration. She has become one of the biggest icons in the world in such a short time by being totally herself.

2016 Grammys


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