Pop culture has never before turned to Catholicism in such a visible way. Beyond the layers of Zendaya’s Joan of Arc chain mail and the golden reliquary atop Sarah Jessica Parker’s crown lay a more complex underbelly of this year’s Met Gala. The May 7 event revealed the extent of fashion’s power, placing it side-by-side with one of the world’s most powerful religions. By inviting Hollywood to glamorize an entire faith, Ms. Wintour and Met Costume Institute curator Andrew Bolton manoeuvred fashion into a realpolitik power play with the Catholic Church itself. And for an evening, won.
Few could argue that Hollywood lives a pious lifestyle. Glamorizing an entire faith is quite literally the definition of heresy. Why, then, invite Hollywood to don cassocks, rosaries and Byzantine halos? Met Gala attendees have been critiqued before for questionable theme interpretations – case in point, the 2015 China: Through the Looking Glass event – but this year’s gala brings another dimension into the power play as it pits the power of the museum, and the fashion industry, against that of organized religion. [...]

The Globe and Mail
Erasmus University Rotterdam

Janssens, A., & Wynne, K. (2018). Fashion as religion, and a higher moral fabric. The Globe and Mail, 2018(May). Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1765/112357