The Spring 2018 exhibition from The Met’s Costume Institute, entitled Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination, ended its five-month run on October 8th, and broke all kinds attendance records, surpassing even that of 2011’s Alexander McQueen exhibition. Over these past few months, I’ve enjoyed bringing you design posts featuring some of my favorite highlights from the exhibit, seen at both its Met Fifth Avenue and Met Cloisters locations. I still have many photos that have not been publicshed, so I may be bringing you #MetHeavenlyBodies designs well into 2019! You’re welcome!
One of my vary favorite outfits, photographed over at the Met Cloisters is this Thom Browne-designed Wedding Ensemble with its cloud-like skirt, from his Spring/Summer 2018 collection. Created from a variety of materials including white mink, white silk organza, ribbons of white nylon tulle, embroidered white silk thread, gold bullion, pearls, crystals, clear glass, and mother-of-pearl, it was quite the show stopper!
It’s no accident that this piece was installed near the museum’s famous Unicorn tapestries, as you can see in the above photo where a Unicorn Head and Horn are formed with twisted tulle and gold bullion on the garment’s bodice.
And on the back, yes, there they are, the subtle stab wounds that we see in the tapestries.
What may be even more striking than this ornate dress is the mannequin’s vibrant red hairpiece by celebrated hair stylist and wig-maker Shay Ashual, who designed all of the wigs for the exhibit. To quote Catherine Addington for Weekly Standard, “In Ashual’s most stunning work, red-violet streaks matted to the face of the mannequin wearing a Thom Browne wedding dress conjure blood and beauty at once. Set against The Unicorn in Captivity, a tapestry that has often been interpreted as Passion symbolism, the hairpiece turns an otherwise enigmatic ensemble into the heavenly wedding garment of a martyr.”