Heavenly Bodies of The Met

We finally ended up at The Met. It had been on my mind for some time and it being a bank holiday when the sky was swollen for the most part with clouds, Adi gave in. And will you get this, for not one, but two consecutive days. That is the power of love (or, a rainy weekend). A fine museum can be a salve to the soul that seeks more. Up the classic steps of The Metropolitan Museum and we were inside its august portals and soon the senses were buzzing with the wealth of art inside the maze of chambers. We were swept up by burial masks and the art of the Incas wrought in gold, smooth and veined busts of Greek gods and goddesses in marble, ancient Mayan figurines and the works. Time sped by. It was a lesson loaded with geography and history, which I appreciated way more than I would have as a teenager. For then the purpose of life was to guzzle Mills & Boon romances in the back benches and yak endlessly on the landline.

Back inside The Met, we were surprised by a line-up of sumptuous and austere figures. Catholicism and fashion! Oh, why yes, images from the Met Gala earlier this spring came back in a flash. How could I forget? The eyes had goggled at the pageantry, and details like Kim Kardashian being unable to paint her face as a girl (deprived child) because she attended Catholic school, Rihanna walking into the gala in her gown of pearls and crystals, with an equally low-key mitre, and then the revelation of a mini skirt, lest you started questioning her sartorial statement…

Riveted by this unusual exhibition, the likes of which we have never seen, I did pop my head and hands through a press of bodies, to steal a handful of images. So here’s how faith and fashion colluded at The Met. And I can promise you, it ain’t the mendicant’s cuppa.

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Habit of the clergy. The soutane.
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Angelica by Dolce & Gabbana, in black wool crepe and buttons of gold.
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Thom Browne ensemble in black cashmere broadcloth, black mink and white Persian lamb (put me in mind of a ram with concave horns).
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Moschino’s black and white canvas. That headgear!
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Sheaths with Byzantine mosaic design
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Silk taffeta dress by Pierpaolo Piccioli for Valentino
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A Thierry Mugler ivory silk taffeta ensemble, accessorised with gold-painted feathers.
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Statuary vestment for the Virgin of El Rocio, ca. 1985, by Yves Saint Laurent. An affair in gold silk brocade, silk satin and metal Chantilly lace.
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Burred vision in gold and white. An evening look by John Galliano for Dior.
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Christian Lacroix wedding ensemble in silk brocade and tulle
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Sumptuous statuary vestment in blue silk jacquard and gold metal passementerie for the Madonna Della Grazie in Palagianello, Italy, by Riccardo Tisci.
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And Alexander McQueen’s evening look for the House of Givenchy.

Published by

Arundhati Basu

The great affair in my life is to travel. I count myself immensely fortunate that my partner shares this passion. We are a team that likes to spend time planning and plotting out places to go. Destination check, flights check, accommodation check, cheesy grins check. Off we go.

32 thoughts on “Heavenly Bodies of The Met

  1. Christian Lacroix has so far designed the costumes for two opera productions here in Frankfurt, and I’m going to see one of them again next week, Adriana Lecouvreur by Francesco Cilea. I know most of the singers, including three of the women who get to wear his fantastic dresses.

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    1. You are in for a treat it seems. Your friends, the singers, must be walking on air in those sumptuous Lacroix concoctions.

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      1. Yes, they’re really happy about it. Next season another friend of mine, the American soprano Brenda Rae, will also get to wear a Lacroix dress when she stars in Bellini’s opera I puritani here in Frankfurt.

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  2. Such fashionable attire with religious overtones. I love Angelica by Dolce and Gabbana. Sometimes, I feel like just putting on an awesome hoodie like that! – Neek πŸ˜‰

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  3. What fun, especially for a lapsed Catholic like me, to see these Catholic faith-inspired numbers. Can’t say I’ll be rushing out any time soon to add to my wardrobe, though that piece by Thom Browne would keep me warm in winter and perhaps allow me to fly. I’d love to see this display in person. Thanks!

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    1. Thanks Caroline! You should be golden with that Thom Browne outfit. It should make for a dramatic statement. xx

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  4. Spent a couple of days at The Met a few years back which was so interesting but I could’ve spent a week there. Loved your photos of the exhibition – fascinating and fabulous.

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    1. Thank you, Sheree. I adored the exhibition in all its extravagance and lushness. As for The Met, I will have to go back and do it full justice. xx

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  5. I would LOVE to see this. I would also love to marry Two Brains again and stroll in wearing my most serene expression and that Lacroix πŸ˜‰ xx

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    1. You can actually do both. Marry Two Brains again and climb up the steps of The Met in that Lacroix gown! πŸ™‚ xx

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      1. Genius DD – simply genius … fancy being my Maid of Honour … you can pick your own dress but it must be from the exhibition πŸ˜‰ xx

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      2. Oooh thrilled! Would the Thierry Mugler be ghastly? Barring that, the Alexander McQueen *pool of drool

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  6. Mind-blowing. What a wonderful idea. Count on the Met to shake the – usual – dust of museums.
    Thanks for sahring ma’amji.
    πŸ™‚
    (Working up my mental list of museums and galleries in Paris next month…)
    πŸ˜‰

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  7. Ooh this looks fascinating! I’d never really thought of fashion in the world of Catholicism. All that comes to mind is my school uniform I wore for five years while attending my Catholic high school. That ivory silk taffeta looks amazing!

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    1. Thank you Pooja, Adi would nod in empathy there. I push the limits with him as often as he can take it. x

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  8. Hahah, going by an earlier post I reckon it must have been an achievement of sorts to land your husband at a museum for two days in a row! Well done you πŸ˜‰

    On a separate note, for some weird reason it is impossible to view your posts in the reader as it shows a 404 error. I need to open your site in chrome to read your posts, which of course is always worth it, but I thought I should let you know.
    Xx

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    1. Thanks for letting me know, Anushree. I saw it on fb too and I wonder why. This self-hosting affair keeps throwing little googlies my way. How you cottoned on to Adi’s museum aversion πŸ˜€ But well, he married me, that is all. xx

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