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On Wednesday morning, the Metropolitan Museum of Art announced the theme of 2018’s Met Gala and costume exhibition: “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination,” or “the intersection of faith and fashion,” as the curator puts it.
The gala will take place on the first Monday in May (May 7), as usual, and will be co-chaired by Amal Clooney, Rihanna, Donatella Versace and, of course, Anna Wintour. The exhibition will open shortly thereafter, May 10, and will remain open through Oct. 8.
The 2018 exhibition will be presented in both the medieval galleries as well as the Anna Wintour Costume Center at the Fifth Avenue location, and a third installment will open at The Met Cloisters in upper Manhattan.
According to a release, the exhibition will feature “a dialogue between fashion and masterworks of religious art in The Met collection to examine fashion’s ongoing engagement with the devotional practices and traditions of Catholicism.”
Said Andrew Bolton, curator in charge of The Costume Institute, “Fashion and religion have long been intertwined, mutually inspiring and informing one another. 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.”
A number of papal robes, accessories (rings and tiaras) and other “ecclesiastical masterworks” from the 18th to 21st centuries, on loan from the Vatican, will be on display in the Anna Wintour Costume Center, while 20th century womenswear from designers including Gianni Versace, Gabrielle Chanel, Jean Paul Gaultier, Cristobal Balenciaga, Raf Simons (for both Dior and his own namesake label), Rodarte’s Kate and Laura Mulleavy and John Galliano will be presented in the medieval galleries and The Met Cloisters alongside religious artworks.
The exhibition should be interesting in context of fashion’s recent move toward more modest styles, at the hands of such designers as Valentino’s Pierpaolo Piccioli and Dior’s Maria Grazia Chiuri. And we can’t wait to see how the starry guests interpret the theme. Not sure how Rihanna will top her look from last year’s avant-garde themed gala in honor of Comme des Garcons’ Rei Kawakubo, but we’re ready for it.
The Costume Institute’s spring 2018 exhibition “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination” will open May 10 at The Met Fifth Avenue and The Met Cloisters. #MetHeavenlyBodies will feature a dialogue between fashion and religious artworks from the museum’s permanent collection to examine the relationship between creativity and the religious imagination. El Greco (Domenikos Theotokopoulos) (Greek, 1540/41–1614). Cardinal Fernando Niño de Guevara (1541–1609), ca. 1600 and Cristóbal Balenciaga (Spanish, 1895–1972) for House of Balenciaga (French, founded 1937). Evening coat, autumn/winter 1954–55. Digital composite scan by Katerina Jebb #TheMet #MetCloisters #CostumeInstitute @metcostumeinstitute @themetcloisters #KaterinaJebb
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