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Tuesday, December 9, 1997 Published at 12:47 GMT


Fashion's tribute to Versace
image: [ Sting and wife Trudi at the fashion gala ]
Sting and wife Trudi at the fashion gala

Madonna, Elton John and Sting were among stars at a fund-raising gala in New York to honour the late fashion designer Gianni Versace.

[ image: Elton John and Donatella Versace arriving at the event]
Elton John and Donatella Versace arriving at the event
Designers Oscar de la Renta and Ralph Lauren were also among dozens of celebrities at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, while Donatella Versace, the designer's sister, wore a long slinky outfit.

Proceeds from the dinner, which cost $2,000 (_1,200) a head, go to the museum's Costume Institute, which on Thursday will open an exhibition of Versace's work. It runs until March 22.

Last year, heads turned when Diana, Princess of Wales, attended the institute benefit in a slinky Christian Dior slip-dress.

[ image: Versace's designs: lauded for their spark and daring]
Versace's designs: lauded for their spark and daring
The turnout at Monday's bash affirmed Versace's close ties to many celebrities, who snapped up his designs and often attended his fashion shows.

The 50-year-old Versace was famous for transforming his shows into theatrical events, complete with rock music.

He was gunned down on July 15 outside his house in Miami Beach, Florida.

The suspect, Andrew Cunanan, was found dead on July 23. It is thought he killed himself.

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