Papa don’t preach but fashion will. Just like the ‘80’s Madonna song saw a clash between art and religion, the Metropolitan Museum of Art may have done the same. It is rumored that the theme of the 2018 Met Gala will be fashion and religion.
According to Women’s Wear Daily (WWD) sources said that the idea was in the works before the current Costume Institute exhibit, Rei Kawakubo/ Comme des Garçon: Art of the In-Between, showcased. However, the theme has not been confirmed and further details have not been announced.
If speculations about the theme are correct, it will not be the first time fashion and religion collide. Designers Jean Paul Gaultier, Dior, John Galliano, Givenchy, Hussein Chalayan, and Prabal Gurung have included religious elements in their collections and shows in the past. They were, as expected, questioned.
What does this mean for the Met Gala? Yes, the Costume Institute is not new to a wary exhibit considering western designers being the focus of China: Through the Looking Glass was a case of appropriation for some. But, religion is a sensitive topic and the risk for criticism is high. Controversy can easily arise over which religions are included (or lack thereof) and how viewers and guests who attend the event interpret the theme.