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Gallery View, Medieval Sculpture Hall

“Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination” at The Met

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Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination,” celebrated yesterday with the highly anticipated annual Met Gala, is open to the public May 10. The exhibition takes over at The Met Fifth Avenue’s Byzantine, Medieval, and Costume Galleries, as well as The Met Cloisters. It presents a dialogue between religious expression and fashion, featuring garments of the 20th and 21st centuries by designers who, for the most part, were raised in the Roman Catholic Tradition.

Examining fashion’s connection to devotion and tradition, the works look at designers’ relationships to Catholicism and acknowledges its influence on the imagination of a designer.

Gallery View, Medieval Sculpture Hall

Gallery View, Medieval Sculpture Hall
Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

“Fashion and religion have long been intertwined, mutually inspiring and informing one another,” said Andrew Bolton, Wendy Yu Curator in Charge of the Met’s Costume Institute. “Although this relationship has been complex and sometimes contested, it has produced some of the most inventive and innovative creations in the history of fashion.”

“Heavenly Bodies” includes over 150 ensembles, exploring how religion shapes the creativity of modern designers and connects the narratives between story telling, culture, art, and fashion singing in unison with enchanting voices at The Met.

Gallery View, Medieval Europe Gallery

Gallery View, Medieval Europe Gallery
Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Designers featured Donatella Versace (for Versace), Marc Bohan (for House of Dior), Robert Goossens (for Chanel and Yves Saint Laurent, and Pierpaolo Piccioli (for valentine), and Raf Simons (for his own label and House of Dior), and expressed explicit Catholic imagery and symbolism as well as references to specific religious garments worn by religious orders, with a group of papal robes and accessories from the Vatican serves as the cornerstone of the exhibition.

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Kelly Wearstler

THE WINTER EXPERIENCE ISSUE
2023

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