Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2018
Features a dialogue between fashion and medieval art from The Met collection to examine fashion’s ongoing engagement with the devotional practices and traditions of Catholicism.
Since antiquity, religious beliefs and practices have inspired many of the world’s greatest works of art. These masterworks have, in turn, fueled the imaginations of fashion designers in the 20th and 21st centuries, yielding some of the most innovative creations in the history of fashion. Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination explores fashion’s complex and often controversial relationship with Catholicism by examining the role of spirituality and religion in contemporary culture. This two-volume publication connects significant religious art and artifacts to their sartorial expressions. One volume features images of rarely seen objects from the Vatican—ecclesiastical garments and accessories—while the other focuses on fashions by designers such as Cristobal Balenciaga, Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana, John Galliano, Jean Paul Gaultier, Madame Grés, Christian Lacroix, Karl Lagerfeld, Jeanne Lanvin, Claire McCardell, Thierry Mugler, Elsa Schiaparelli, and Gianni Versace. Essays by art historians and leading religious authorities provide perspective on how dress manifests—or subverts—Catholic values and ideology.