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The Ritz has a particular significance for the storied Italian house.

Gianni staged his last runway show there shortly before his murder in Miami in 1997.

But Donatella ensured there was no room for mourning. Instead, her couture was a bejeweled celebration of a house with buoyant revenues and still lots to say.

The celebrity presence alone was proof enough of the house’s enduring pull.

The 26 dresses were all strict, revealing and uber-sexy. Waists were cinched to within an inch of life on mainly corseted bodices _ in metallic gold rose, blush and purple. The longer length evening gowns billowed with techno chiffon, of Barbie doll proportions.

Donatella is a designer demanding of perfection. It seems that being 6 feet (1.8 meters) is still not tall enough: one model stumbled twice, her heel tangled in her gown’s cascading layers.

But the garments, bought by a core group of no more than 100 rich women around the world, are not for the average Jane. Creations range in price from $19,000 to $125,000.

The show ended to Prince’s hit “Kiss.”

You don’t have to be rich to rule Versace’s world? Surely it must help.

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Thomas Adamson can be followed at http://Twitter.com/ThomasAdamsonAP