Met Gala 2018: All The Hits-And-Misses Of The Catholic Dress Theme Heavenly Bodies

Misgivings for the Catholic dress theme aside, there were some hits and quite a few misses at the Met Gala 2018. Just who were the fallen angels?

May 09, 2018 | By Lynette Kee

The Met Gala 2018, otherwise known as the most prestigious event on the fashion calendar, is where It-girls of the moment, celebrities and designers – personally hand-picked by Vogue Editor-in-chief Anna Wintour – attend the most glamorous night in the fashion world. The running theme for the blockbuster style exhibition this year: “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination”, designed to create a dialogue between fashion and religious art is deemed the most controversial subject yet. This year’s Met Gala sees an array of celebrities dressed to the nines by high flying designers each displaying a personal spin on the influence of Catholicism on fashion.


Met Gala 2018: Heavenly or Hellish?

On the iconic stairs of the Metropolitan Museum of Art where the muster of celebrities made their grand entrance, some paid subtle tributes with cross motifs or elaborated jewel patterns, others went for the full nine yards: Rihanna for one went dressed as an actual high fashion Pope with papal mitre and necklace to match. Even though the Catholic themed fashion event was approved by the Vatican, the public was quick to call out the Met Gala 2018 for appropriating their faith into a fashion statement. Naturally, each socially-sensitive event comes accompanied with a myriad of offence-takers. However, the debate lies in whether or not the argument bears merit or is merely the grumblings of ever increasing numbers of personal “triggers”.

Go back nearly a decade ago when Madonna adopted Rosary beads for fashion jewellery in her performance of “Like a Virgin”, she was said to have been deliberately provocative, to which many found it disrespectful and obscene. Fast forward till today, we live in an increasingly multicultural world, where designers have long looked into various sources for inspiration. And why not religion? Designers like Alexander McQueen, Gianni Versace and Dolce & Gabanna have paid reverent homage to Catholic references, simply because of how stunningly beautiful and visually rich the elements are. Point being, like art, fashion can seek to the splendour of religious ornaments as long as the breadth of the subject is tastefully managed. Not to mention, religious fervour meant that many artists were inspired by the Catholic faith since the 9th century, spurred by Emperor Charlemagne, increasing in tempo during the Romanesque movement from 1000 AD to the 12th century, especially in the Gothic movement; eventually peaking during the Renaissance in the 15th century. Given the 600 year span of artists and artisans inspired by the Catholic faith, it is not outside the realm of imagination that a creative event such as the Met Gala 2018 would eventually draw inspiration from one of the most influential subjects of human history.

Met Gala 2018: All The Hits-And-Misses Of The Running Theme

Misgivings aside, here are the hits-and-misses of the night in terms of the theme (let’s just say that we are biased towards those with cool head-dresses):

Met Gala 2018: Hits

Met Gala 2018: Misses

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