Exhibition “Celestial bodies” in the Metropolitan Museum
After the opening of the annual Met Gala – 2018 charity ball, the Metropolitan Museum opened an exhibition entitled “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination”. The exposition is devoted to Catholicism and its influence on fashion and creativity of designers. The exposition presents works of such fashion brands as Rick Owens, Rodarte, Lanvin, Chanel, Balenciaga, Yves Saint Laurent and Valentino.
Curator of the exhibition Andrew Bolton notes that over the thematic exhibition devoted to religion, the Costume Institute was thinking about four years ago. Then they planned to use the five most influential religions in the world – Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism and Catholicism. But since the designers, whose work was influenced by Christianity, turned out to be much larger, the organizers of the exhibition decided to stop at Catholicism.
“The heart of Catholicism lies in the tradition of interpretation, so I would like the exhibition to generate many stories and interpretations that are part of the Catholic imagination, which should provoke a discussion,” Bolton explains his plan. “Of course, this will not allow the millennial history of Catholicism, attention to the Catholic faith as an example of extraordinary beauty. “
According to the curator, many of the designers whose works were included in the exposition, were brought up in Catholicism, but now departed from religion. Among the most striking exhibits of the Celestial Bodies are the gilded Rodarte dress inspired by the sculpture of Bernini “The Ecstasy of Saint Theresa”, the evening dress with the Madonna’s veil created by Cristobal Balenciaga, the dress of Roberto Capucci Agel D’Oro and the “loincloth” of the men’s collection of the 2015 Rick Owens , which refers to the image of a drunken monk from the “Canterbury Tales” by Jeffrey Chaucer.
Also on display are exclusive exhibits from the papal residence. Bolton flew 12 times to the Vatican to personally explain the idea of the exhibition to the inner circle of Pope Francis and win their confidence. According to the curator, he wanted to ask them for 6 exhibits, hoping to get at least 4, but as a result left with 42 items for the exhibition, among them a papal tiara decorated with 19 thousand precious stones, a special embroidered robes of John Paul II and his famous red boots , because of which he was called The Prada Pope (although in fact they are made by Loredano Apolloni).