By  on February 27, 2018

The so-called Beast from the East or Burian polar vortex sweeping in from Russia blanketed Rome with snow on Monday, creating havoc in the Italian capital where schools were shut down and incoming traffic via railroad and by air was delayed by hours, but the press preview of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute exhibition “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination” took place as scheduled at the city’s Baroque Galleria Colonna. The exhibition will juxtapose fashion and masterworks of religious art so that patrons will consider fashion’s ongoing engagement with the devotional practices and traditions of Catholicism.

“In Italian fashion, religion has always had a strong influence on creativity and the imagination, reflecting its importance to our history and culture,” said Donatella Versace, who is supporting the exhibition and attended the preview with Vogue editor in chief and Condé Nast artistic director Anna Wintour. “Catholicism was part of my upbringing, as well as that of my brother Gianni. Religious festivities formed the backdrop of our daily lives, and we were inevitably inspired by the power of their symbols and imagery. Over the years, Catholic icons have embellished many of our groundbreaking collections, appearing on prints and in embroideries and handcrafted, gemlike crystals. Gianni’s use of such images was never literal. Nor was it profane. While he often juxtaposed religious symbols with something provocative, his intention was to make people stop and contemplate their wonder.”

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