NEW YORK — Even the inclement weather wasn’t enough to keep the worlds of art and fashion from converging Monday.

Art patrons and fashion executives trudged through the blizzard-like conditions to the Whitney Museum to unveil plans for next month’s 4th annual "Madison Avenue: Where Fashion Meets Art" gala and exhibition.

From May 5 to May 17, participating retailers along the 29-block stretch of Madison from 57th to 86th Streets will showcase art and photography in their windows. Some highlights of the event, which has been organized by the Madison Avenue Business Improvement District, include two Roy Lichtenstein paintings at Versace; pieces from contemporary artists Thomas Lanigan-Schmidt and Christopher Tanner at Chanel, and photographs from noted lensmen Victor Skrebneski and Ron van Dongen at Ralph Lauren.

Chanel, which is celebrating the upcoming one-year anniversary of its fine jewelry store on Madison, has long been a supporter of the arts. "There’s continuity from Coco Chanel to Karl Lagerfeld in regards to their knowledge and fascination with the art world," said Arie Kopelman, president and chief operating officer of Chanel Inc. "The link was there, and it continues today."

An invitation-only party will be hosted by Whitney Contemporaries’ chair Jacqueline Anderson on May 8. The event will include a live auction of the Fred Leighton diamond earrings Hilary Swank donned for the Oscars.

"It’s a way to shine a light on this corridor in New York," said Maxwell Anderson, director of the Whitney Museum of American Art. "Madison Avenue is a very important artery as far as luxury goods and the arts are concerned."

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