Many in Manhattan say the holiday season is the most wonderful time of the year, however, the Met Gala happens to be one of the many events celebrities, socialites, and fashion aficionados actually look forward to when the spring season is in bloom.
The Met Gala, also known as the Met Ball and originally referred to as the Costume Institute Benefit, will display Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination for this year’s spring exhibition. The Met Gala will take place on May 7 with co-chairs being Amal Clooney, Rihanna, Donatella Versace, and Anna Wintour as Christine and Stephen A. Schwarzman will serve as Honorary Chairs. The event is The Costume Institute’s principal source of yearly sponsors for exhibitions, publications, acquisitions, and capital improvements.
“The Catholic imagination is rooted in and sustained by artistic practice, and fashion’s embrace of sacred images, objects, and customs continues the ever-evolving relationship between art and religion,” said Daniel H. Weiss, President and CEO of The Met. “The Museum’s collection of Byzantine and western medieval art, in combination with the architecture and galleries that house these collections at The Met, provide the perfect context for these remarkable fashions.”
The event will take place at The Met Fifth Avenue in the medieval galleries and the Anna Wintour Costume Center in addition to the show occupying The Met Cloisters, providing three different gallery locations. The exhibition will focus on the communication between fashion and the masterworks of religious art in The Met collection to analyze the connection between fashion and Catholicism. Vital elements of the exhibition will be an assortment of papal robes and accessories from the Vatican that will feature the everlasting influence of ritualistic garments on designers.
The exhibition will present about 50 religious masterworks from the Sistine Chapel sacristy, which haven’t been sported outside of the Vatican. These will be on display in the Anna Wintour Costume Center galleries and will contain apostolic vestments and accessories, all the way from rings and tiaras that pertain to the 18th to the early 21st century, including more than 15 papacies. The last time masterworks from the Sistine Chapel were lent to The Met was for The Vatican Collections exhibition in 1983, which happens to be the institution’s third most-visited show.
From the early 20th century to the present, roughly 150 collections in which the majority consists of womenswear, will be displayed in the medieval galleries and The Met Cloisters that will be in company with religious art from The Met collection. These specific collections will issue a frame of reference for fashion’s connection to the Catholic religion. The exhibition positions these designs within a wider context of religious artistic production to evaluate their affiliation to the historiography of material Christianity and their benefaction to become aware of the establishment of the Catholic vision.
“Fashion and religion have long been intertwined, mutually inspiring and informing one another,” said Andrew Bolton, Wendy Yu Curator in Charge of The 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.”
Designers all the way from Cristobal Balenciaga, Vivienne Westwood, Jean Paul Gaultier, Givenchy, Donatella Versace, among others will be featured in the exhibition.
Christine, Stephen A. Schwarzman, and Versace made this exhibition possible along with the support from Conde Nast. The exhibition will be available for the public from May 8 to October 10. For more information on the 2018 Met Gala and Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination, visit https://www.metmuseum.org/exhibitions/listings/2018/heavenly-bodies.
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