Here-ye! Here-ye! The 2018 Met Gala has arrived, meaning public figures from all around the world gather at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York to showcase their designer ensembles dedicated to this year’s theme… “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination.”
According to Vogue.com, the theme is “dedicated to create a dialogue between fashion and the masterworks of religious art in the museum’s holdings.” This year’s fashion will display their wearable-take on Catholicism.
Many believe that this theme of the 2018 Met Gala might be the most controversial one yet, flaunting fashion based off of a religion posing next to sacred artifacts including the title “Catholic Imagination.”
Conversely Andrew Bolton, has defended this argument, “Some might consider fashion to be an unfitting or unseemly medium by which to engage with ideas about the sacred or the divine, but dress is central to any discussion about religion,” he said at Rome in a press conference. “It affirms religious allegiances and, by extension, it asserts religious differences.”
While Bolton defends himself, clarifying his good intentions for the event, some guests’ fashion statements, following the theme can be taken controversially.
The Oxford Dictionary defines the term “Imagination” in three definitions; “The faculty or action of forming new ideas, or images or concepts of external objects not present to the senses,” “The ability of the mind to be creative or resourceful” and “The part of the mind that imagines things.” Whichever way the sponsors of the exhibition intended, some audiences may be confused.
It should be noted that this year’s theme did not go on without support from the Vatican. Time reports, “The exhibit has received the blessing of the Vatican… The Vatican garments will be separated from the rest of the fashion in the exhibition, out of respect for the fact that they are still working garments.”
The New York Times acknowledges, “to defray criticisms that could incur if a visitor were to see, for example, a sacristy robe next to a Jean Paul Gaultier dress with a chalice embroidered over the breasts.” Though this does not excuse any skepticism regarding distastefulness worn by celebrity guests, the event is prepared and aware of potential controversy.
During this era of political correctness and cultural sensitivity, the organizers of this year’s Met Gala should be prepared for offended views and negative feedback, given some attendees’ use of their “Catholic Imagination.”
Attendees of this year’s Met Gala are exploring Christianity with their outfits, include Lily Collins channeling a Gothic nun, Rihanna a sexy Pope, and Jared Leto resembling a modern Jesus Christ, not to mention Nicki Minaj’s sinful devil inspiration.
Minaj said she dressed in the demon-like theme, “Because I’m the bad guy and I wanted to make sure the bad guy was here.”
Some Catholics may find this comedic interpretation of the religion unsettling, but those of the 2018 Met Gala came and by the looks of it, without regret.
The debate regarding whether or not celebrities of an array of religions flaunting outfits resembling the Pope, priests and nuns is offensive or not remains up to question.
Nonetheless, whether or not Catholics approve of the theme of the 2018 Met Gala, it is important to note that the event is aimed to focus on the art surrounding the Catholic religion and not to offend followers of it.