Inside the Met’s Catholic Fashion Show


Lust may be a deadly sin, but it’s all over the holy-themed exhibit fronting this year’s Met Gala. Titled “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination,” the show zooms from Byzantine tiles to Balenciaga gowns, cramming so much to-die-for design that it’s practically #blessed. (Sorry, had to.) Officially, the exhibit commemorates the strange and timeless dance between fashion and medieval art and devotion. In practice, it’s a lush pairing of honorable papal robes, jaw-droppingly sexy dresses, and a whole lot of Versace.

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Rihanna, Amal, and other Hollywood hypettes will see the show tonight en route to the fabled museum party. After that, the exhibit continues through October 8—though you can get a sneak preview by simply scrolling.

Here’s what you need to know about this year’s divine offerings.

It’s a ‘90s Fashion Love Fest

The exhibit is sponsored by Versace, and some classic hits are on display. Our favorite: the 1997 Atelier Versace dress originally worn by model Debra Shaw, crafted with a contemporary version of chainmail, and shown mere months before the designer’s tragic death. You can still watch the entire runway—including Naomi Campbell’s epic closing walk—online.

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Expect Sins of the Flesh

Valentino Couture

Valentino Couture, 2015

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Remember Rick Owens’ penis peephole tunic? It’s in the show (apparently, it’s a satire on Chaucer’s monks…?), along with a Valentino dress so revealing, it will definitely get detention at any Catholic high school.

The Hair Is Gigi-Approved

Gigi Hadid Short Hair

Stuart Weitzman

Once upon a time, Gigi Hadid wore a short blonde bob so convincing, it had fashion junkies (and hair caire companies) freaking out.

Hair by Shay Ashual

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Turns out, her Stuart Weitzman ‘do was a wig crafted masterfully by Shay Ashual. He’s also made a series of holy hairpieces for this exhibit, and they are exquisite.

You Can Commune with Coco Chanel’s Personal Jewels

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In the 1930s, Chanel paired with the Italian Duke Fulco di Verdura to make jewelry inspired by Byzantine relics. Encrusted with precious gems like rubies and sapphires, the brooches echo the intricate, expensive work in metal and thread created for cathedral altars and priestly garb.

The Victoria’s Secret Angels Get Schooled

Mugler Angel

Thierry Mugler, 1984

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In 1984, fashion provocateur Thierry Mugler sent Seraphim down his Paris catwalk with huge wings, red lips the color of pew velvet, and serious couture styling. Pat Cleveland closed the show dressed as a pale blue and very bedazzled Virgin Mary, but before walking the runway, she flew down from the sky. Several of those Mugler Angel pieces are in this exhibit—wings included!—and they’re breathtaking.

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There’s Merch!

Versace Tee

Versace tee, $495

Metropolitan Museum of Art

If you’d rather slay than pray, get ready: limited-edition Versace merch is now for sale at the Met Museum Store, including a $495 t-shirt and a $6.50 magnet. Unrelated but also fabulous: this Ferragamo platform heel pin for $10.

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