The Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and The Catholic Imagination exhibition, which launched in spring at The Met Fifth Avenue and The Met Cloisters, has become the third most successful exhibition in the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s history, topping the 1 million visitor mark in late August. The exhibition will remain open until October 8.
And beauty’s movers and shakers were personally led through a tour de force of the senses in late July when Andrew Bolton, Chief Curator of the Costume Institute, welcomed guests of fragrance house Robertet through the extraordinary sights, sounds and smells of the exhibit.
The exhibition explores the dialogue between fashion and medieval art and how fashion designers – from Cristobal Balenciaga, Gianni Versace, John Galliano, Jean Paul Gaultier, Thom Browne and many others – have been inspired by the symbolism, dress and devotional practices of the Catholic Church.
Christophe Maubert, President of Robertet, welcomed beauty and fashion industry VIPs including Frederic Malle, Ann Gottlieb, Linda Levy, Lori Singer, Nancy McKay, Sarah Brown, Jane Larkworthy, Trudi Loren, Helen Murphy, Marie Pierre Stark Flora, Renaud Saumon, Jennifer Mularkey, Baerbel Buerick, Megan Crokos, Mark Knitowski, Kia Krause, Benedicte Bron, Eileen Daly, Bee Shapiro, April Long, George Ledes, Christine Schott-Ledes, Allison Collins, Ellen Thomas, MarieAnna Ferdinand, Marie Aude Barzac, Mary Gough-Testa, Hallie Berk, Hannah Silver, Shelley Fox and a host of other influencers.
One of the many highlights of the tour, orchestrated by Austin Advisory Group’s Paul Austin, was viewing the 41 items from the Sistine Chapel sacristy, many of which have never been seen out of the Vatican, on exhibit in The Anna Wintour Costume Center, a wing of the Metropolitan Museum of Art that houses the collection of the Costume Institute.