An Italian Monastery Becomes a Fashion Destination for Brides in a Frugal Era

Feb 13, 2014 844

by Gaia Pianigiani

The seamstress gently fastened the ivory-colored silk-covered buttons of the lace corset. She took out the embroidered veil and laid it over the bride-to-be's long black hair. Girlfriends and family members watched in silence, their eyes glistening.

"If you have a dream and we can make it come true, we'll do our best," said Sister Maria Laura, a cloistered Augustinian nun and onetime seamstress. In a country synonymous with designer fashions, Sister Maria Laura runs one of Italy's most unlikely ateliers at the St. Rita monastery, a medieval complex perched in the central Umbrian hills.

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