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How ‘The Assassination of Gianni Versace’ Influenced Darren Criss’ Fashion Sense

A friend of Andrew Cunanan, whom Emmy nominee Darren Criss portrays in FX’s “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story,” described the late serial killer as the kind of kid who’d put dimes in penny loafers. “I was this kid,” says Criss, who doesn’t assert his status through clothing as Cunanan did, but prefers to keep his wardrobe “slightly left of center.” “I understand what it’s like to try and be a little different.”

2015
Criss received his first Emmy nom for original song “This Time,” written for the “Glee” finale. Criss’ longtime stylist Ashley Weston collaborated with Brooks Bros. on this custom black and navy tux. “We kept it classic,” notes Criss, who’d just finished starring in Broadway’s “Hedwig and the Angry Inch.” “Being in a suit with longer hair certainly was different from Hedwig, different from [‘Glee’ character] Blaine, so it reminds you who I am a little bit.”

2017
“I felt like I made varsity,” says Criss of getting to attend FX’s upfront alongside such actors as Ewan McGregor and fellow members of the Ryan Murphy family. His patterned Armani suit was “somewhat of an homage to Versace designs. … But considering [the show] is such a dark piece and about the death of Gianni Versace, I thought it’d be appropriate to wear all black.”

2018
A “huge Armani fan,” Criss chose this maroon velvet jacket for Oscar night, one of the coolest nights of his life. “I’d always wanted to go to the Vanity Fair party, but I don’t think I would have been able to touch it with a 10-foot pole until the show,” he says. “There is a cachet that ‘American Crime Story’ has, that attracts a lot of people that I’ve always wanted to connect with.”

2018
Some thought one of the faces pictured on Criss’ Dolce & Gabbana design at the Met Gala was his own. “I wish I was that funny and clever!” says Criss, whose look replicated a mosaic inside the Duomo di Monreale in Palermo, Italy. “I enjoy trying to create interesting fashion moments without stepping too far outside of the box, but not being stuck in the box. … I like riding that line between elegance and edginess.”

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