Fashion and the Catholic Imagination, this is the theme of the annual celebration of fashion and style at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
In a historical moment like ours where religion has become the pretext for wars, where religion has become a cause for confrontation and discrimination, the Met has decided to look at the other side of the coin, that side that sees religion and fashion united by a deep historical connection. No one has ever thought about it, but from the first historical hints, both for economic reasons and prestige, churchmen have always been characterized by a gorgeous clothing and characterized by golden and precious decorations. Two worlds so apparently distant for principles and values but which in reality are linked by years of history and tradition.
There are many high fashion designers who have always looked to the Catholic religion as a source of inspiration for their works. Riccardo Tisci, at the time of Givenchy, wore the statue of the Madonna delle Grazie of Palagianello, his hometown. And in Paris, in the church of Our Lady of Compassion. there is a madonna dressed Yves Saint Laurent. We could go on with an immense list of designers who in their careers took inspiration from the liturgical and religious world to give a touch of prestige and opulence to their fashion works.
Luxury and sacredness therefore become complementary, creating something unique that has allowed the various stars of the world of cinema, music and fashion to show off their clothes with a “luxurious sanctity”.
This is probably the best way to show that preconceptions, labeling and classifications need to be eliminated. Two substantially opposite worlds such as fashion and religion have found a way to merge into one thing creating something never seen before.
I find it overwhelmingly ironic that the first #MetGala I would ever get invited to would be Catholic-themed. Catholicism, the institution that had seeped into my family culture and school life, and tainted all of it with a false sense of moral hierarchy — forcing me into submission and shame for years in (and out) of the closet. Tonight, that world I escaped and never looked back upon collided with the one in which I found refuge: Fashion. Walking through and examining the holy-inspired pieces by queer designers like Lacroix and Versace and Thom Browne, I saw very clearly that you can’t run away from your upbringing. Instead, you have to find a way to sew those foundational threads into the much larger tapestry of your life. (And hopefully, that tapestry becomes a gown by one of our most promising young queer designers, @_charlesjeffrey, that gives you THEME, honey!) May the Lordt be with all of you. ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜