Unlike almost every other form of attire, church vestments are not subject to fickle fashion. In other words, the silhouette doesn’t change. And this one dates back to the Byzantine Empire. The canonical shape—caped, cocooned, spirituality stirring within—continues to this day. But the embellished workmanship upon the surface? This decoration did take influence from changing styles in architecture and art. And when it comes to embellishment, the church has no competition, though royalty sometimes gives it a run for the money. The exhibition is located in the newly restored Small Church of the Winter Palace, and the astonishing liturgical pieces will be rotated throughout the run. —L.J.
State Hermitage Museum Palace Square, 2, Sankt-Peterburg, Russia, 190000 Get Directions »