Versace designer Donatella Versace, flanked by Christopher Kane and Rupert Everett, addressed 300 students at the historic Oxford Union yesterday.
Donatella Versace was the latest in a long list of famous faces to speak at the historic Oxford Union yesterday.
Before she spoke, Donatella - who was wearing a studded leather dress of her own design - said: "I am really honoured and excited about speaking at the Oxford Union. I went to university in Florence - another ancient university city - but the university there is neither as old nor as famous as that in Oxford, nor does it have this amazing tradition of public speaking and debate. My classmates from back then would be very amused to see me at Oxford today. And I'm sure there will be others who will be astonished to find me addressing the Union. But maybe I can surprise a few people?"
Addressing over 300 Oxford University students, the Italian designer engaged in an 'in conversation' style set-up with style.com's Tim Blanks and was accompanied by her long-time friend the actor Rupert Everett and designer Christopher Kane, with whom she collaborates on the Versace diffusion line Versus.
The 57-year-old spoke of her love for reality television and the band The Kills - Kate Moss's husband Jamie Hince's musical vehicle - claiming that despite her age she is still very much a "rock chick", as well as her belief that fashion is shifting from the pages of glossy magazines and moving more towards web-based medium. She also appeared to have caught a touch of Jubilee fever since being in the UK and enthused about the Queen and her wish to one day dress her.
Previous well-known names to speak at the Union have included Anna Wintour, Natalie Portman and Ben Affleck, as well as past world leaders and religious figureheads. It was founded in 1823 as a forum for discussion and debate, at a time when the free exchange of ideas was a notion foreign to the restrictive University authorities. It soon became the only place for students to discuss political topics whilst at Oxford.