Fashion and the Catholic Imagination

Last night, fashion’s most anticipated yearly event (yes, hotter than the Oscar’s), the MET GALA, offered a breathtaking red carpet that I will tell you all about today. It always takes place on the first Monday in May. But if you’re not an industry expert, you might be wondering why on earth there should be so much hype about it. First of all, Anna Wintour is hosting the night along some well-known co-hosts, which are all much-worshiped by the paparazzi: Amal Clooney, Rihanna, and Donatella Versace. But there is more… many stars, models and fashion designers attend the night in showstopping outfits worthy of unforgettable photos.

Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, right, designer Donatella Versace, left, and Vogue US Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour  in Rome last February.

It is a huge night for fashion fundraising as it is dedicated to New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute – formally named The Anna Wintour Costume Center, in homage to the American Vogue’s editor-in-chief, who has been a chair member of the museum’s gala since 1995. It also celebrates the opening of the newest exhibition of which its theme sets the tone for the event and invitees have to dress accordingly. Personally speaking, I find this year’s motto extremely interesting, instead of being dedicated to the work of one designer, it is inspired by the dialogue between fashion and the masterworks of religious art: «Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination».

In Anna’s recent «Letter of the Editor» in the May 2018 edition of US Vogue, she writes: «The exhibition itself has been years in the making, and it will be not only the largest Costume Institue show to date but the biggest show ever at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It’s hard to not sound hyperbolic about it, but it is going to be an absolutely magnificent experience – spanning some 26 galleries and including work from the likes of Valentino, Gaultier, and Dolce & Gabbana along with more than 40 extraordinarily opulent liturgical garments and accessories on loan from the Vatican.

For curator Andrew Bolton, it required endless hours of patience dealing with the Vatican, given the labyrinthine way that it operates.»

Central to the conversation will be the papal garb on loan from the Sistine Chapel sacristy, many of which have never been seen outside the Vatican, even in the 1983 Met blockbuster, «The Vatican Collections: The Papacy and Art».

An enduring influence of religion on fashion: for F/W 2010, church elements played a huge role on the catwalks. Have a look at this previous post: The Nun’s Story.

The display of these extraordinary ecclesiastical pieces will highlight the enduring influence of religion and liturgical vestments on fashion. Among the 150 or so ensembles that will be on display are pieces by Cristóbal Balenciaga, Coco Chanel, who was educated by nuns, and John Galliano, whose transgressive F/W 2000 Couture collection for Christian Dior opened with a mitred, incense-swinging pope-like figure who proceeded down the runway to a voice intoning: «Understand the concept of love.»

First look of Christian Dior Couture F/W 2000

Fashion is a way to express yourself and by placing clothes within the context of religion, you realize how much power the looks of Christianity have and that fashion has supported the way we feel the Catholic imagination.

Part of the exhibition
Left: Fragment of a floor mosaic with a personification of Ktisis, Byzantine, 500–550, with modern restoration, marble, and glass; right: Ensemble, Dolce & Gabbana, F/W 2013

Me in a Dolce & Gabbana F/W 2013 look: A Byzantine Moment

«Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination» is on view May 10–October 8, 2018. A catalog with photographs by Katerina Jebb will accompany the exhibition.

Below you can enjoy some of my favorite looks of last night.

My personal winner: Blake Lively in Atelier Versace
She needed to arrive in a party bus to have enough space for her amazing gown!

Love this look as well: Jennifer Lopez in Balmain, Jimmy Choo shoes and clutch.

Rare moment: The host of the night, Anna Wintour, caught smiling in Chanel.

Angel of the night: Katy Perry in Versace.

Madonna in Jean Paul Gaultier

Co-host perfection: Rihanna in custom Maison Margiela by John Galliano, Christian Louboutin shoes, Maria Tash jewelry, Cartier jewelry, and a custom Judith Leiber Couture clutch.


Always an eye-catcher: Sarah Jessica Parker in Dolce & Gabbana and Jennifer Fisher.

Heavenly: Anne Hathaway in a stunning red Valentino gown.

Icon: Lily Collins in Givenchy


Cara Delevingne in Dior Haute Couture

Simple and elegant, matching the theme:
Andreea Diaconu in Michael Kors Collection and Chopard jewelry

Beautiful print: Ariana Grande in Vera Wang.

Lana Del Rey and Jared Leto, both in Gucci

Curvy and beautiful: Kate Upton in Zac Posen

Rita Ora in Prada

Rosie Huntington-Whiteley in custom Ralph Lauren Collection

So cute: Cardi B shows off her baby bump in Moschino next to designer Jeremy Scott.

Kate Bosworth recreated her bridal look in Oscar de la Renta and Tacori jewelry.

Beautiful in velvet: Priyanka Chopra in Ralph Lauren.

Definitely not the most sexy look, but matching the theme well: Greta Gerwig in The Row.

Stella Maxwell in Moschino and David Yurman

Sexy interpretation: Taylor Hill in Diane von Furstenberg

Best dressed man of the night: Chadwick Boseman in Versace.

I personally didn’t like this look at all, not matching the theme (as a co-host you would expect better) and the cut is not pleasing her beautiful shape: Amal Clooney in Richard Quinn.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Via Vogue.com, © Sandra Bauknecht, © Melanie Galea, (AP Photo/Domenico Stinellis)
Photos: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Harris Brisbane DickFund and Fletcher Fund, 1998; Purchase, Lila Acheson Wallace Gift, Dodge Fund, and Rogers Fund, 1999 (1998.69; 1999.99) / © Metropolitan Museum of Art; Courtesy of Dolce & Gabbana / Image courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Digital Composite Scan by Katerina Jebb, Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Variety/REX/Shutterstock

Met Gala 2017

Always on the first Monday in May, the Met Gala takes place and its 150-foot-long red carpet is probably one of the most-watched fashion events of the year with a gazillion of celebrities walking it in the most exquisite gowns. This year, it celebrated the opening of the Costume Institute’s exhibition, “Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between,” that will go on until September 4, 2017.

Today I would like to share my personal list of best-dressed (and worst-dressed) celebrities that made their way last night into the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Temple of Dendur for the party of the year. The dress code called for avant-garde black tie, either you go big or go home, enjoy!

My favorite look on the red carpet: Lily-Rose Depp‘s pink Chanel look detailed with oversized silver camellias and a creeping vine.

Who did meet the dress code the best? The answer is clearly Rihanna. She showed up once again in a full-on fashion fantasy from the Comme des Garçons F/W 2016 runway that was also an architectural miracle, paired with Rihanna Loves Chopard jewelry.

As 2017 Met Gala cochair of the “Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between” exhibition, Pharell Williams wore ripped denim by Comme des Garçons Jeans with a black biker jacket, and plaid shirt. His wife, Helen Lasichanh, paired her straight-off-the-F/W-2017-runway red onesie with a blonde topknot. Not showing any arms, it looked like a fashionable straightjacket.

Cara Delevingne appeared as a sci-fi fashion fantasy wearing an embellished pantsuit from Chanel‘s Spring 2017 Couture collection. I love how she always surprises.

One of my favorites! Even that Zendaya rejected the theme of the night, she ensured all eyes were on her wearing a Dolce & Gabbana Alta Moda ball gown covered in a tropical parrot print.

Two thumbs up for bringing glamour to the red carpet. Jennifer Lopez looked gorgeous in a Valentino dress and Harry Winston jewelry.

Lily Collins showed up with a graphic dark bob and black lipstick, juxtaposing her sweet Giambattista Valli gown and her fierce Tiffany & Co. jewelry.

Plus-size model Ashley Graham channeled her inner flamenco dancer in a fabulous custom H&M dress. So pretty!

I am in love with Blake Lively’s Atelier Versace gown that featured a draped gold beading at the bodice, giving way to a plumed train in shades of blue. She had the best accessory of the night with her … her husband:-)! Couple goals I would say!

Another one arrived with her handsome husband who might have thought looking at his wife Gisele Bündchen in Stella McCartney, of Ed Sheeran singing «I’m in love with the shape of you» …

If you don’t have a husband to bring, bring the designer of your dress! That was Dakota Johnson‘s motto of the night, as she appeared in a stunning ruffled black Gucci gown with Alessandro Michele at her side.

Radiant like a sun goddess, actress Jessica Chastain in a yellow fluid Prada gown paired with some stunning Piaget jewelry.

Lupita Nyong’o also dazzled in Prada, pulling off the vibrant orange shade with Tiffany & Co. jewelry.

Gigi Hadid looked amazing in a nude, asymmetrical Cinderella-esque Tommy Hilfiger dress. I am just not so sure about the stay-up.

Showstopper! Leave it to Bella Hadid to steal the show in a glittering catsuit by none other than Alexander Wang. She looked so fabulous!

Priyanka Chopra did not disappoint in a bold Ralph Lauren trench coat gown with an unbelievably long train. Very different, something I like. I am just not a big fan of her booties in combination.

Like it or not, the award for most nude goes to none other than Kendall Jenner, whose slinky La Perla Haute Couture dress will absolutely go down in Met Gala history.

When it comes to Gwyneth Paltrow‘s understated Calvin Klein dress, I love the cut and the color, but I am not fond of the ankle length.

Katy Perry was unfortunately not among my favorites last night. The custom red tulle gown by Maison Margiela, designed by John Galliano himself, was topped with a heavy-looking wool coat covered in adornments like tulle flowers and plenty of beads. On the veil, a cryptic message across her eyes spelling “Witness” was embroidered, nevertheless it was truly one of the night’s most creative looks.

My favourite picture of the night! Have a look at Sarah Paulson dressed in a beautiful classy Prada gown. Her facial expression says everything! The American Horror Story actress seemed to have a heart attack after bumping into Madonna with the designer of her camouflage Moschino dress by her side, Jeremy Scott. Declaring war on fashion in camouflage, the famous singer was definitely not going incognito. I am not a fan of her look.

Swiss power at the Met Gala… Roger Federer in Gucci. I adore this snake embellishment on his back!

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Via Vogue.com, © Getty Images, © Rob Latour/REX/Shutterstock, © Theo Wargo/Getty Images

Met Gala 2015

MET_GALA_2015_Cover

The Met Gala is an annual fundraising event for the benefit of the Metropolitan Museum of Art‘s Costume Institute in New York City and marks the grand opening of its annual fashion exhibit. Celebrating this year’s theme “China, Through The Looking Glass”, it seems to be one of the most challenging yet. See below who honored China’s heritage and its present culture on the red carpet best.

This year’s award to best dressed of the night goes to:

Rihanna Makeup RihannaRihanna_Met new-met-gala-red-carpet-banner

Rihanna wearing Chinese designer Guo Pei

Butts-Met_gala_2015

The butt girls:

Jay Z and Beyoncé
Jay Z and Beyoncé in Givenchy

_AG13352

Kanye West and Kim Kardashian West in Roberto Cavalli

_AG13317

Donatella Versace and Jennifer Lopez, both in Atelier Versace.

Best Chinese inspirations:

_AG13682

Zendaya Coleman in Fausto Puglisi

_AG12588

Karolina Kurkova in Tommy Hilfiger

_AG11683

I am always looking forward to seeing Sarah Jessica Parker‘s outfit because she has never let us down in pulling off the best looks. And let’s just say the headpiece combined with her H&M dress is divine.

_AG12109

Georgia May Jagger in Gucci and Alessandro Michele

_AG12619

Chloë Sevigny in J.W. Anderson

_AG13630

Very sophisticated: Tom Ford and Rita Ora in his design.

_AG13074

Alexa Chung in Erdem

_AG12987

George Clooney and Amal Clooney in Maison Margiela

Not so inspired by the Chinese theme… but great to watch:

Moschino_Jeremy_Scott_Kate_perry_Met_Gala_AG13618

Jeremy Scott kissing Kate Perry‘s hand who is wearing Moschino.

Met_Gala_Kate_Perry_Madonna_AG13564

Also Madonna wore Moschino.

_AG13806

Stella McCartney framed by Cara Delevingne, Sofia Richie, and Zhu Zhu, all dressed in her designs.

_AG13853

Alexander Wang kissed by Lady Gaga in Balenciaga

_AG13770

Miley Cyrus and Zoë Kravitz dressed in Alexander Wang.

_AG13174

Kendall Jenner in Calvin Klein Collection

_AG13761

Robert Pattinson and FKA twigs in Christopher Kane (definitely not my favorite gown of the night).

_AG13411

Supermodel Joan Smalls arrived at the Met Gala in a black tulle and purple silk one-sleeved Roberto Cavalli gown with cutouts and sheer paneling. Her date was the newly appointed designer of the Italian fashion house Peter Dundas. Isn’t this gown to die for?!

_AG11261

Anna Wintour in Chanel

LoL, Sandra

Photos via: Alessandro Garofalo / Indigitalimages.com, Moschino, Vogue and Style.com

The Met Gala for 2011: Savage Beauty

Met

Starting from today, Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty, is on view until July 31, 2011 at the Metropolitan Museum’s second-floor Cantor Galleries.

So if you just can’t get enough after having seen Kate Middleton’s bridal dress, that was made by Sarah Burton for the house of McQueen, you might consider a trip to NYC. The designer’s costume institute retrospective features approximately 100 ensembles and 70 accessories from the late designer’s prolific 19-year carreer with some outstanding pieces from the Givenchy Archive in Paris, custom-made items from the closet of Isabella Blow and even his graduate collection at Central St.Martins among others.

To celebrate the opening of the exhibition, the Museum’s Costume Institute Benefit took place Monday night with high-profile guests in high-profile fashion. The Met gala has anyway become over the years the fashion community’s biggest red carpet night. It was no wonder to spot some McQueen tributes to the mix.

Gisele-Bundchen-Alexander-McQueen-red-gown-Tom-Brady-met-gala-2011

My favourite two looks by Alexander McQueen were Gisèle Bündchen who looked so radiant in her red gown next to her husband Tom Brady

met-gala-2011-annadellarusso

… and Anna Dello Russo, known for her eclectic style, showed up in a pant suit from the S/S 2011 collection, divine!

446ead6f77902765_Stella-McCartney

As for me, the ultimate highlights were the „Stella Girls“ with Stella McCartney herself making an appearance in a black and white tuxedo gown of her own design. It was a modern, probably experimental but uncoventional look. The British designer is also a Co-Chair for the fundraising event.

met-gala-madonna

The Stella McCartney parade was led by Madonna in a silky blue gown with a beautiful embroidered train. With her 50’s hair and make-up, she looked very Hollywood. Wow!

met-gala_katehudson

Very pregnant Kate Hudson glowed in her champagne-coloured Stella gown and long tousled hair.

met-gala_gwyneth

This is my favourite. Gwyneth Paltrow chose to go with long sleeves which was a popular trend at the gala. So simple and absolutely stunning. The actress is good friends with the British designer.

Rihanna-Stella-McCartney-Dress

Rihanna in a one-shoulder black lace gown, an iconic Stella look!

Eva-Mendes-Stella-McCartney-Spring-2011-Gown-META-gala-2011

Adding some colour drama, Eva Mendes enhanced her complexion by wearing a cobalt blue plissé dress by Stella McCartney. So beautiful!

What a night!

LoL, Sandra