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Italy Hosts Tribute to Versace

June 16, 1998

COMO, Italy (AP) _ The Gianni Versace retrospective exhibition came home Monday night, after a four-month run at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The city of Como is hosting the exhibit in a villa on the shores of Lake Como, where the slain designer had a luxury retreat.

``It makes me very sad to look around and see all the wonderful things Gianni did, and angry too,″ Donatella Versace, Gianni’s sister, at the opening ceremony.

Donatella has taken over the designing helm of the multi-million dollar company since her brother was shot to death outside his Miami Beach home in July.

Some of the Versace clan’s best friends, including Elton John and Mick Jagger joined Donatella and brother Santo, business head of the company, at a gala party at the filla. The guest list also included several of Italy’s top designers, including former rival Giorgio Armani.

Set up in five rooms of the 17th century Villa Olmo, the exhibition of 120 outfits _ 40 more than were on show at the Metropolitan _ traces the creative history of the designer whose style became synonymous with Hollywood chic.

On display are the chain mail outfits, the studded leather miniskirts, the sequined ``rock and roll″ jeans jackets and the sumptuous Greco-Roman chiffon evening gowns that marked his last period.

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