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The 2018 Met Gala: Where Celebrity Meets Heavenly Bodies

The 2018 Met Gala: Where Celebrity Meets Heavenly Bodies

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Every May, the Met Gala marks the penultimate fashion event of the year as celebrities and leaders in the fashion industry flock to the Met's red carpeted stairs. This year, Andrew Bolton, the Met's Costume Institute curator in charge of visualizing and planning the annual show, found inspiration in Catholicism and the many influences it has asserted on fashion and materialism from the medieval era to contemporary brands like Dolce & Gabbana, Chanel, Versace, Dior and more. 

“Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination" opened on May 10th, marked by the much-celebrated Met Gala and will run until October 8th. Co-hosts for the Gala include Anna Wintour, joined by Rihanna, Amal Clooney and Donatella Versace.

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Interestingly, a majority of the designers featured in the show are from Catholic backgrounds. The influences of their religious upbringings in their later creative visions manifest in an array of compelling designs and theorizations about religion and materiality. In the pieces selected for the show, inspiration is drawn from Catholic doctrines, imagery, metaphor and narrative that spans history and moral spectrums. Purity and chastity meet with eroticism, sensuality and carnality. Spirituality stands alongside idolatry and materialism, monarchy with school uniforms and monastic garb.

... what struck me is how religion—Catholicism in particular—has really shaped the mind of these designers with a richness of imagery, a storytelling tradition, and seeing the world through metaphor. I hope, no matter what your faith, this will cause you to reflect on whether your religion has had an influence on your creative development.
— Andrew Bolton to Vogue.com

For a more in-depth discussion of "Heavenly Bodies" and the influences of Catholicism in fashion, public imagination and American society, refer to the following article by Maureen Dowd for Vogue.com.


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