Heavenly Bodies at The Met

I was dazzled by the Heavenly Bodies exhibition which is currently on at The Met. This visit was my first to New York and while there are thousands of reasons to return to the city, going to The Metropolitan Museum of Art has long been at the top of my list. The Costume Institute (the celebrated Met Gala is its main fundraiser) annually curates a thematic exhibition which blends fashion with art. The Costume Institute is home to over 35 thousand costumes and accessories from the early fifteenth century to the present and is committed to the preservation and study of the world cultures they represent.

While I wish I could pop into each year’s exhibition, I was particularly drawn to this one because of my undying love of Byzantine art and jewelry, of which many pieces were woven into the displays and then echoed in the modern creations of CHANEL, Dolce & Gabbana, and more. One theme the exhibition explores is how the Roman Catholic upbringing of many of the designers featured has influenced their creativity. The exhibit also cites thematic inspiration from Father Andrew Greeley’s book, The Catholic Imagination, “The Catholic imagination in all its many manifestations . . . tends to emphasize the metaphorical nature of creation. . . . Everything in creation, from the exploding cosmos to the whirling, dancing, and utterly mysterious quantum particles, discloses something about God and, in so doing, brings God among us.”

If you find yourself in NYC, I highly recommend visiting. Heavenly Bodies will be running through October 8, 2018.

Fragment of a floor mosaic with a personification of Ktisis, 500-550, with modern restoration. Byzantine. Marble and glass.

Fragment of a floor mosaic with a personification of Ktisis, 500-550, with modern restoration. Byzantine. Marble and glass.

Dolce & Gabbana, Evening Dress, autumn/winter 2013-14. Beige silk organza, embroidered polychrome paillettes, crystals, and seed beads, silk and gold metal thread.

Dolce & Gabbana, Evening Dress, autumn/winter 2013-14. Beige silk organza, embroidered polychrome paillettes, crystals, and seed beads, silk and gold metal thread.

Illuminated Psalter opened to the Book of Psalms, late 1100s, Byzantine. Tempera, black ink and gold on parchment.

Illuminated Psalter opened to the Book of Psalms, late 1100s, Byzantine. Tempera, black ink and gold on parchment.

Christian LaCroix, "Gold-Gotha" Ensemble, autumn/winter 1988-89 haute couture. Black silk-wool gabardine, black silk chiffon, embroidered polychrome crystals, gold seed beads, and gold and purple metallic synthetic leather.

Christian LaCroix, “Gold-Gotha” Ensemble, autumn/winter 1988-89 haute couture. Black silk-wool gabardine, black silk chiffon, embroidered polychrome crystals, gold seed beads, and gold and purple metallic synthetic leather.

CHANEL pendants, autumn/winter 1993-94Byzantine pendants, carved 500-700

CHANEL pendants, autumn/winter 1993-94

Byzantine pendants, carved 500-700

Byzantine adornments, early 500s

Byzantine adornments, early 500s

Yves Saint Laurent and Goossens, Statuary Vestment for the Virgin of El Rocio, 1985. Gold silk brocade with white and pink satin, gold silk and metal Chantilly lace, gold metal with polychrome crystals and pearls.

Yves Saint Laurent and Goossens, Statuary Vestment for the Virgin of El Rocio, 1985. Gold silk brocade with white and pink satin, gold silk and metal Chantilly lace, gold metal with polychrome crystals and pearls.

Virgin and Child, marble with traces of paint and gilding, French, Champagne, possibly Troyes, ca. 1500-1525

Virgin and Child, marble with traces of paint and gilding, French, Champagne, possibly Troyes, ca. 1500-1525

Valentino, Evening Dress, autumn/winter 2017-18 haute couture. Red silk taffeta.

Valentino, Evening Dress, autumn/winter 2017-18 haute couture. Red silk taffeta.

Rosary, Ivory, silver and partially gilded mounts. Carved in Germany, ca. 1500-1525

Rosary, Ivory, silver and partially gilded mounts. Carved in Germany, ca. 1500-1525

Influenced by clergy vestments

Influenced by clergy vestments

Giorlamo dai Libri, Initial M with David in Prayer, From a psalter created for the Olivetan monestary of Santa Maria in Organo, Verona. Tempera, gold, and ink on parchment. Italian, Verona, painted 1501-02

Giorlamo dai Libri, Initial M with David in Prayer, From a psalter created for the Olivetan monestary of Santa Maria in Organo, Verona. Tempera, gold, and ink on parchment. Italian, Verona, painted 1501-02

Christian LaCroix, Wedding Ensemble, autumn/winter 2009-10 haute couture. Ivory silk satin and tulle, ivory and gold silk-metal lace, embroidered polychrome organdy flowers, iridescent paillettes, gold metal thread, and clear crystals and seed beads.

Christian LaCroix, Wedding Ensemble, autumn/winter 2009-10 haute couture. Ivory silk satin and tulle, ivory and gold silk-metal lace, embroidered polychrome organdy flowers, iridescent paillettes, gold metal thread, and clear crystals and seed beads.

Heavenly Bodies at The Met | @beesandbubbles

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