Donatella Versace Talks Taylor Swift's Custom Grammys Look

Karwai Tang/WireImage; Dan MacMedan/WireImage
Donatella Versace and Taylor Swift

"My name is Versace — when did I ever play by the rules?"

For this year's Grammys look, Taylor Swift went higher, barer, brighter. The Atelier Versace coral and fuchsia two-piece highlighted assets that Swift has lately become known for showcasing (and why not). The bandeau crop-top — a Swift signature — exposed her taut torso while a high slit, floor-length bubble skirt opened to reveal exposed legs in matching short-shorts (like the ones she wore throughout her 1989 tour).

Billboard spoke exclusively with Donatella Versace about the inspiration behind Swift's bold 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 Swift 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 the Grammys red carpet that you can't for the Oscars?

My name is Versace — when did 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 Swift 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.

BRIGHT BEAUTY: Taylor Swift in Atelier Versace. (Photo: Getty Images)