It felt like this year’s Met Gala sort of came and went. I can’t even recall this year’s theme from memory, but I remember that Idris Elba was there and Taylor Swift was not. The theme was something about Katy Perry? No, it was… Comme des Garçons. Now I remember. Some years, the theme is incredibly memorable and some years the theme is ignored and everybody just wears whatever they want, which is mostly what happened this year. But what happens when the Met Gala theme is something a bit more controversial, a bit more hot-button? I wonder. Sources tell Women’s Wear Daily that next year’s Met Gala theme could be… religion!
In these politically charged times, it appears that the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute isn’t afraid to take on its own controversial topics. Fashion and religion will be the theme of next year’s major exhibition, according to multiple sources, including a few who said they have been privy to preliminary discussions. A Met spokeswoman declined to comment Friday.
With the May opening still many months away, the planning is still in the very early stages. Sources describe the project as serious and ambitious, and it is understood the idea was hatched long before the current “Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: The Art of the In-Between” show, slated to close Sept. 4. A host of European designers have referenced religion in their collections, including the likes of Jean Paul Gaultier, John Galliano and Riccardo Tisci. The likeness of the Madonna has been appropriated by Dolce & Gabbana, and the iconography of Jesus has been featured in Jeremy Scott’s collection. Prabal Gurung once brought Buddhist monks to his runway.
While there’s a lot of meat on that particular bone, I am worried that people will just grab a Dolce & Gabbana dress and be done with it. And I’m particularly upset with the idea of celebrating Dolce & Gabbana right at this moment, as they’ve been leaning into some very outdated anti-LGBTQ language, plus they seem to want to stir controversy for dressing Melania Trump (no one cares, D&G). But WWD is right – it’s not like Dolce and Gabbana are the only designers to ever embrace religion or religious iconography. If this is the theme, I hope it’s not limited to fashion and Christianity – Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, etc should also be well-represented too. I want to see people dressed as rabbis, nuns, imams and more at the Met Gala. Let’s make it happen!
Photos courtesy of WENN.