The long-awaited exhibition of the Costume Institute in the Metropolitan Museum of Art opens on this Thursday, May 10. For those of you who are now in New York this is not an event to miss. The exhibition was organized in cooperation with the Vatican, so visitors will be able to take a look, for the first time in history, at the papal wardrobe, which until now has never left Vatican.
“As a curator, you are always interested in what drives creativity and what lies behind the designers’ and artists’ minds. I never thought it was religion. I never thought growing up Catholic had an impact on your creative development or creative impulses. Now, “I think that designers who’ve grown up Catholic do have this inherent storytelling tradition and imagistic tradition. … Ostensibly the show is about Catholic imagery, but fundamentally it’s about creativity and what drives creativity. In this particular case it’s one’s religious upbringing,” said Andrew Bolton, the curator of the exhibition.
The Catholic icons inspired designers like Coco Chanel, Gianni Versace, Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana for many years. Their influence was translated into the silhouettes of the clothes they designed.
“I think the show, fundamentally, is about beauty and the fact that beauty can fill the gap between the believer and the non-believer. That’s really one of the fundamental messages, looking at the role of aesthetics: the role that aesthetics plays within religion and the role it plays within fashion,” says Bolton. “I think that aesthetics has become sort of a dirty word almost, like it’s not enough. In some cases it’s not, but there’s a lot to be said for aesthetics. A lot of artists created works of art for beauty and the idea that beauty can transcend and can capture one’s imagination. I have always been a great fan of that.”