Monday, September 3, 2012

My Fascination with Medusa

While having breakfast, my mom and I talked about life how it can be so unfair sometimes. We even got to the point of discussing about the The Bible. She said that she prefers the New Testament because it's more forgiving and unlike in the Old Testament which the heavens is quite unforgiving to humans.

This how I learned The Bible when I was young.
Photo from: Google Images
  After discussing some events in the old testament, I remembered how the God of Greek Mythology can be so cruel too. Like Zeus who raped a lot of gods, demi-gods, humans and even animals but was still glorified up to this day. His conquests, even if they are not that noble, were translated into various pieces of precious art. Define double standards.

The Rape of Ganymede.
Photo from: Andrew Hopkins Art
What bothers me most is the fact that Zeus is being celebrated after the horrible things he has done while Medusa, just like Ganymede, was just a beautiful creature who became a victim of the god's powers was used to represent vanity and promiscuity.

The Medusa by Gian Lorenzo Bernini
1640s, Carra Marble
Photo from:
In the version of the Roman poet Ovid, Medusa was a beautiful girl whom Poseidon wants to abuse. She resisted the advances of the Lord of the Seas and then she ran towards Athena's Temple. Medusa prayed to the goddess to seek help but her prayers were left unanswered. She was raped inside Athena's temple and when the Goddess of Wisdom caught Medusa and Poseidon, the goddess became so enraged that she turned Medusa's hair, which once complimented her astonishing beauty, into serpents and her face so repulsive to lay eyes on that it would turn onlookers to stone.

Medusa as depicted in Clash of the Titans
was based on
Russian Supermodel Natalia Vodianova

Photo from: Google Images

After a brief background of Medusa's story, now let's connect it to fashion shall we? In 1978 Italian fashion designer Gianni Versace used Medusa as his inspiration for his legendary fashion house's logo. He chose Medusa because of his fascination with classical art.

Photo from: Google Images
I find Versace's choice very classy because it embodies elegance and sophistication. It's Greek Mythology and classic origin is also very accessible to the public that it became very recognizable once you've seen it. As I can remember from watching documentaries and reading articles about the Versace House, Gianni wanted women to embrace their inner goddesses or evoke powerful personas through his show stopping designs, which are very consistent with Medusa's qualities.

Versace Spring-Summer 1991
90's Supermodels Linda Evangelista,
Christy Turlington, and Helena Christensen
Photo from: Luis Venegas
Versace Fall-Winter 2012
Photo from: Nick Verreos
Ultimately, despite Medusa's tragic tale I am very happy about the fact that something that was once beautiful and then turned horrendous by the unfair Greek gods is now being used to represent one of the most influential fashion houses in the world.

Now if only I can afford one of those dresses! Lol.

I hope you enjoyed reading this post! Ciao for now!

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