by Lucine

Colloquially and affectionately referred to as “fashion’s biggest night out,” the Met Gala 2018 is a pinnacle of iconic style. A fundraising benefit for the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, the event welcomes celebrity stars, young creatives, and industry paragons alike. And the excitement doesn’t stop there—the gala also signifies the highly anticipated grand opening of the Costume Institute’s annual fashion exhibition: Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination opening on May 10, 2018.

This year’s exhibition, Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination, is the museum’s largest and most ambitious effort yet, spanning 25 galleries and 60,000 square feet (including at the Met Cloisters, where elements from French monasteries have been rebuilt), with an organizing principle that the show’s chief curator, Andrew Bolton, said was “intended to evoke both the concept and the experience of a religious pilgrimage.” Entrants to the gala on last Monday scaled the fashion industry’s most iconic red carpet, and from there began a journey that wound through the Byzantine and medieval art galleries (where designs by the likes of Christian Lacroix, John Galliano, Versace, and Thierry Mugler sat in conversation with the museum’s religious artworks), passing under a balcony filled with mannequins wearing choral robes designed by Cristóbal Balenciaga, and into the Anna Wintour Costume Center, to find the culmination of years of negotiations: gleaming treasures on loan from the Sistine Chapel sacristy, many of which have never been seen outside the Vatican, awaiting fashion’s finest pilgrims.

Photographed by Corey Tenold