For those in the most superior echelons of society, the first Monday in May in New York City is all about the MET Gala, as stars of fashion, film and music come together to fundraise for the MET’s Costume Institute and celebrate the grand opening of the latest exhibition.
This year, the exhibition and therefore theme for the event was ‘Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination’; a confluence between high fashion and high religion. Guests arrived in excessively ornate ensembles comprising of embellished Catholic iconography to honour the majesty of religion.
The event begins with the stars gracing the red carpet, followed by cocktails and the opportunity to explore the exhibition. There is then a dinner with a live performance, and this year it was only necessary to have Madonna sing a haunting rendition of ‘Like A Prayer.’
The exhibition features approximately forty masterworks from the Sistine Chapel sacristy. There are rare pieces from the Vatican, such as Pope Pius IX’s tiara encrusted with 19,000 diamonds, and a white and gold embroidered silk cape worn by Pope Benedict XV. Alongside these artefacts are works of designers who were raised through Roman Catholic tradition such as Coco Chanel, John Galliano and of course, one of the co-chairs for the event, Donatella Versace.
By positioning the most divine and sacred robes of Catholicism alongside archival fashion gowns, this year’s MET Gala theme may be the most controversial to date. Without further ado, let’s take a look at some of the guests:
Co-chair Donatella Versace wore Versace. The fashion house is one of the main fashion sponsors for the event, and the exhibition includes works from the iconic Catholic inspired Atelier Versace Fall 1997 collection.
Dubbed the Queen of the MET Ball and one of this year’s co-chairs for the event, Rihanna wore a Maison Margiela by John Galliano pearl and crystal ensemble complete with papal mitre.
Amal Clooney was also a co-chair, wearing a foil bodice and skirt with cigarette trousers by upcoming British designer Richard Quinn, who received Queen Elizabeth II’s British Design award during February’s London Fashion Week.
MET Ball veteran Katy Perry always sticks to the theme, taking us to new angelic heights in Versace. Due to her wingspan, Perry was stylishly driven to the event in a white convertible.
Another veteran who does not go by halves is Sarah Jessica Parker. Her Dolce & Gabbana gown was accompanied by a nativity scene headpiece.
Rita Ora joked about forgetting her ticket whilst wearing a Prada gown. Her headpiece was handcrafted by her hairdresser over three days.
Lily Collins wore Cartier jewels and a modern take on an Audrey Hepburn Givenchy dress to pay homage to the recently passed Hubert Givenchy.
After her last alleged appearance at the ball in 2009, Kate Moss came back with Mica Argañaraz, Anja Rubik, Anthony Vaccarello, Amber Valletta, Charlotte Casiraghi and Charlotte Gainsbourg to form a Saint Laurent archangel army.
Bella Hadid’s veil was sewn into her hair. Her look was a collaboration between Chrome Hearts and Gareth Pugh.
Frances McDormand and Anne Hathaway wear Valentino alongside creative director Pierpaolo Piccioli. Hathaway stars in the upcoming Ocean’s 8 film which centres around a theft at the MET Gala. You can read about the film here.
More Gucci came from the creative director himself Alessandro Michele, who attended with the majestic Lana Del Rey and Jared Leto. Lana Del Rey’s initials were embossed on the sacred heart which frames her bodice. The handmade antique glass-stick that she holds replicates the eyes of Saint Lucy.
Another beautiful MET ball finishes, leaving endless fashion moments which will go down in history. We’d love to know your thoughts on the theme and favourite looks from the event in the comments below.
The exhibition opens to the public on May 10th.
Text: Natalie Zannikos
Images: Instagram, Vogue, Cosmopolitan