Next year’s Met Gala will take inspiration from the often uneasy relationship between fashion and religion, with the theme for 2018’s event – and for the Costume Institute’s major annual exhibition – newly announced as ‘Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination.’
According to Vogue, the exhibition itself is ‘designed to create a dialogue between fashion and the masterworks of religious art in the museum’s holdings,’ and will stretch across three locations (a trinity, if you will): the Anna Wintour Costume Centre, the Met’s medieval galleries and the Cloisters, which are found further uptown.
The 150 or so ensembles set to go on display include pieces by the likes of Cristobal Balenciaga, Coco Chanel and John Galliano, all of which will highlight the long-standing (if not immediately obvious) influence that religious iconography, art and vestments has exerted upon the fashion world. Also on loan (from the Sistine Chapel, no less) are some papal garments that have never yet been seen outside the Vatican.
Vogue reports that Costume Institute curator Andrew Bolton aims to place these garments within ‘the broader context of religious artistic production’ in this exhibition, and to reveal how ‘material Christianity’ has informed ‘the Catholic imagination.’
The Gala itself will take place as ever on the first Monday in May, which will fall on the 7th of the month in 2018. Sharing hosting duties with Anna Wintour is a triumvirate of brilliant women: Amal Clooney, Rihanna and Donatella Versace (who, along with Christine and Stephen A. Schwarzman, is also a sponsor of the ‘Heavenly Bodies’ show).
Last year’s event was a tribute to the avant garde art of Japanese fashion designer Rei Kawakubo, co-hosted by Katy Perry, Pharrell Williams, Gisele Bundchen and Tom Brady, while the 2016 gala took the theme ‘Manus Ex Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology.’
All that remains is to speculate how the Met’s high profile guests will interpret this particular dress code come May 8th: we predict that Dolce & Gabbana will prove a very popular choice
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The woman of the evening, Anna Wintour, arrived to the prestigious event in a sequin gown by Chanel.