Last night saw the unlikely merging of two very different worlds: the Catholic church and the celebrity stratosphere. The occasion? The Met Gala, of course — New York’s most anticipated costume ball, which each year launches The Costume Institute’s blockbuster exhibition. This year’s show is “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination”. The exhibit consists of select medieval artworks from The Met collection presented alongside an array of garments by modern and contemporary designers to explore fashion’s enduring fascination with the visual cues of Catholicism.
The 2018 Gala saw some of the world’s biggest cultural icons don suitably enormous, eye-popping outfits — the magnificent embellishment on display rivalling that of art history’s most excellently adorned protagonists. Presuming that many would be turning to painting to inspire their ensembles, we asked one of our favourite Instagram accounts, @artgarments, to spot the citations behind the costumes. Run by an anonymous New York duo, @artgarments devote themselves to celebrating painting’s unsung fashion details, from resplendent ruffs to embroidered velvet cuffs. Here, they employ their unparalleled eye for fashion in art to unearth the likely works behind Lana del Rey’s curious hand-held eye mask, Janelle Monae’s glimmering halo, Anna Wintour’s diamond encrusted rosary and more.
“Saints — Lana del Rey in Gucci and Saint Lucia by Francesco del Cossa, painted in 1470 and housed in the National Gallery, DC.”
“Jewelled Crosses — Anna Wintour’s cross echoes the one in Anthony van Dyck’s portrait of Maria de Tassis, painted in 1630. Part of the Collection of the Prince of Lichtenstein.”
“The Virgin Enthroned — Janelle Monae’s golden halo and Giotto’s Ognissanti Madonna, painted in 1310.”
“Chain Mail — Zendaya’s sleek crusader in Versace and Albert Lynch’s 1903 Joan of Arc.”
“Angels — Katy Perry in Versace and Abbot Handerson Thayer’s 1887 painting ‘Angel’, housed in the Smithsonian American Art Museum.”
“Halos — Rita Ora’s halo of black jewels and black flowers, and a detail from the Ghent Altarpiece by Jan van Eyck, painted in 1432 and located in the Saint Bavo Cathedral in Ghent.”