The Costume Institute’s Spring 2018 show, New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, MET Museum, presents a dialogue between fashion, medieval art and the Catholic church.
The architecture studio Diller Scofidio + Renfro have been selected to collaborate with The Costume Institute on the new exhibition named “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination,” explores how the religion’s imagery and symbolism have impacted contemporary haute-couture and ready-to-wear designs.
The exhibition will feature fashion and religious apieces from the Met’s collection, as well as more than 50 objects and garments from the Sistine Chapel sacristy, many of which have never been seen before outside of The Vatican.
“Most of the designers featured in the exhibition were raised Catholic,” he continued. “While many of them no longer practice, their relationships to Catholicism vary considerably. Most acknowledge its significant influence over their imaginations.”
The exhibition will be held across several Met spaces, including the Anna Wintour Costume Center and the Medieval and Byzantine galleries in their main 5th avenue building, and their uptown Manhattan location, The Met Cloisters.
Extravagant pieces by famed designers like Alexander McQueen, Yves Saint Laurent, Jean Paul Gaultier, Cristobal Balenciaga, Valentino and John Galliano were chosen for their visual connections to “the cults of saints, angels, and the Virgin Mary”.
“The installation plays on the preeminence of light within catholic space” continues Diller Scofidio + Renfro. “Natural light is one of the most moving dimensions of medieval churches. It imparts a sense of time and a deep exteriority”.