NYC VIBE at the 2018 Met Gala

May 2018 – It is officially referred to as the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute benefit, a black-tie and gown event to raise funds for the museum’s Costume Institute which is the only Met curatorial department that is required to fund itself. The event is the Costume Institute’s main source of annual funding for exhibitions, publications, acquisitions, and capital improvements.

However…To fashion designers, models, socialites, celebrities and tourists, the first Monday in May is “The Oscars of Fashion” and “The Party of the Year” in New York City.

In celebration of the opening, the Museum’s Costume Institute Benefit was co-chaired by Amal Clooney, Rihanna, Donatella Versace, and Anna Wintour. Christine and Stephen Schwarzman served as honorary chairs.

For many red-carpet lovers, fashion is like a religion, and the Met Gala has become a high holy day – even more so when the star-studded fundraiser celebrated its new exhibit, “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination.” The Vatican was all in for the Met Gala loaning the museum 50 vestments and accessories, to be shown alongside 150 items by top designers. The notion is to demonstrate the ways in which the style and shapes of religious garments have found their way into designer collections over the years.

The exhibition will feature approximately 40 priestly masterworks from the Sistine Chapel sacristy, many of which have never been seen outside the Vatican. These will be on view in the Anna Wintour Costume Center galleries and will include rings and tiaras, from the 18th to the early 21st century, encompassing more than 15 papacies. The last time the Vatican sent a loan of this magnitude to The Met was in 1983, for The Vatican Collections exhibition, which is the Museum’s third most-visited show. In addition, more than 150 ensembles, primarily womenswear, from the early 20th century to the present will be shown in the Byzantine and medieval galleries, which is part of the Robert Lehman Wing, and at The Met Cloisters alongside medieval art from The Met collection, providing an interpretative context for fashion’s engagement with Catholicism.

The presentation situates these designs within the broader context of religious artistic production to analyze their connection to the history of material Christianity and its contribution to the construction of the Catholic imagination.