Update: Early on Wednesday morning, Vogue announced the theme for the 2018 Met Gala is “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination,” an exhibit “designed to create a dialogue between fashion and the masterworks for religious art int he museum’s holdings.”
The show will be on view in what the magazine refers to as a “trinity of locations:” the Anna Wintour Costume Institute, the medieval galleries inside the Met’s Fifth Avenue location, and further uptown at the Cloisters. Over 150 ensembles will be displayed, some borrowed from the Sistine Chapel sacrist, some from designers like Coco Chanel, Cristóbal Balenciaga, John Galliano (remember that collection he did for Christian Dior that opened with the pope-like person swinging incense?), and Donatella Versace, who is also serving as one of Anna Wintour’s co-hosts.
What truly may be even better than a theme that explores “fashion within the broader context of religious artistic production are its co-hosts for the Met Gala. Versace is sharing her duties with Amal Clooney, and Rihanna, who in all honesty is a breath of fresh air the Met Gala every single year. One of the last to arrive, Bad Gal Rih Rih has schooled us on how one truly wears Comme des Garçons, and Western interpretations of Chinese influences. Now we can’t wait for her to take us to church — though, we already know one person who won’t be in attendance for what is sure to be a glorious night.
This article was originally published on August 7, 2017.
Just like a prayer, we can often feel fashion’s power. And we trust that it will take us there (if only to rack up those likes on our latest outfit ‘gram). The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute is apparently keeping the faith, too, and is rumoured to be further exploring the connection between the two: According to Women’s Wear Daily, planning is in the very early stages for what will be a fashion and religion-themed exhibit, an idea that's reportedly been in the works long before its current exhibit, “Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: The Art of the In-Between,” went on view.
Luckily, there won't be shortage of inspired pieces for curator Andrew Bolton to pull from: Designers like Jean Paul Gaultier, Christopher Kane, and Dolce & Gabbana have each referenced religion in their collections. The latter, specifically, isn't one to to shy away from its Catholic roots: It's used crosses, Madonnas, and other Biblical iconography in much of its work.
If this exhibit does actually come to fruition, we’re excited to see how some of our favourite celebrities tackle the theme on the First Monday in May at the Met Gala. Seriously: Can’t you already picture how literal the designer tributes would be? Here’s hoping Rihanna — whose reign as queen of the red carpet has yet to disappoint — comes dressed as the high priestess of fashion she already is, and that appropriation of religious imagery is far and few between.
We asked The Metropolitan Museum of Art for more information and were told, "We have no comment as we have not yet announced The Costume Institute spring 2018 exhibition and gala, but will be sure to let you know when we do."