This year’s Met Gala was postponed until further notice due to the current global situation. It sucks, no doubt. But in acknowledgment of the monumental annual event, organizers decided to go online and give us all a little taste of what’s to come. Anna Wintour, the editor-in-chief of Vogue, took to the internet to explain the situation. Also, Florence the Machine graced us with an outstanding live performance, on livestream.
Have no fear, dear fashion lover, because it’s not canceled. The day will come when the health crisis is over and you’ll get to see your favorite celebs rock the craziest, most outlandish outfits known to man. In the meantime, we decided to bring you an article that focuses on a special type of outfit: those inspired by religious art. Grab your easel and your Bible or Quran and get ready for a wild fashion ride.
Zendaya Becomes Joan of Arc
The resemblance between Zendaya, the Disney Channel sweetheart, and the Joan of Arc we see in this painting is striking. It’s complete with the armor and the hairdo. We guess the only thing missing is a sword. Who was the French heroine that Zendaya is rendering here – who was Joan of Arc? Her story dates back to the 100 Years’ War between France and England that raged between 1337 to 1453.
Joan claimed that she had divine visions that told her that she needed to help support the French king in his war against the English. By this time, she already had an armed following. The king sent her and her troops to the Siege of Orléans to reinforce the soldiers fighting the battle there. Nine days later, the French won.
They went on to win the war. But soon after, Joan was captured by a group of nobles that were allied to the English. They accused her of heresy and she was subsequently burned at the stake, at 19 years old. About 30 years later, however, the Pope reexamined the story and debunked the heresy charges and Joan was made into a saint. She has since made her way into tons of religious art.
When Zendaya wore this outfit to the 2018 Gala Met, the year’s theme was “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination.” Her chain-mail gown trailed behind her as she impressed everyone with her chest plate and shoulder piece. The outfit was designed by none other than Versace! Obviously, Zendaya did justice to the theme and the fabled Catholic female hero.
Jennifer Lopez Makes a Perfect King Richard I
Next up on our (un-ranked) list is the eternally youthful and beautiful Jennifer Lopez. At the 2018 Met Gala, J-Lo rolled up with this amazing outfit (costume?). As you can see, she makes a perfect Richard I, or as he’s more popularly known, Richard the Lionheart. Who was this guy, and why is he so prominent in religious art?
Born in 1157 to the King of England and the Duchess of Aquitaine, Richard I spend his childhood in a world of castle intrigue. By 16 he was suppressing rebellions against his father. Through deception, force, and inheritance, he made his way to the top and eventually became king. He would grow up to spearhead the Third Crusade, which got underway in 1189.
In the planning, he invested the equivalent of hundreds of millions of dollars in supplies and weapons. He even participated in battles himself. It’s not clear whether he was draconian and cruel or if he was chivalrous and fair. But one thing is certain: he went down in history as a Medieval Catholic hero.
We guess that J-Lo had his grand historical status in mind when she wore the dress inspired by portraits of him. Most historians think that Richard was pretty tall, and according to paintings and statues we see of him, he always had a cross prominently displayed across his chest. Well, J-lo nailed it! Not only did her outfit capture the Catholic vibe, but the colors are also faithful to the stained glass windows we see in many Christian churches.
Lana Del Rey Dresses Up As Our Lady of Sorrows
The costumes at the Met Gala are just fun. And they are all memorable. Among the best ones is this one: Lana Del Rey’s rendering of Our Lady of Sorrows. This outlandish costume immaculately fit the Catholic-inspired theme in 2018.
Our Lady Sorrows is basically the Virgin Marry, mother of Jesus Christ, being stabbed in the heart by seven daggers. They seven daggers represent seven sorrows that might have occurred in sacred history. You can think of them as events, or at least as stories told in the Gospel. One of them, for example, is meant to represent the sorrow involved in her losing Jesus very early. Another symbolizes his crucifixion.
The theological and historical background is complex and we encouraged those interested to check it out. In the religious art depicting Our Lady of Sorrows, the Virgin Marry is always shown in a sorrowful state. The daggers are often piercing her and she’s bleeding and crying.
Lana’s outstanding costume stays true to the Catholic iconography. Made by Gucci, it literally features daggers all pointed towards a gold heart at the center of the chest. It’s decked out with angel wings and a halo on top. You could really say that this outfit is a success of ‘biblical’ proportions!