This year’s theme is “Heaven Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination”

Two amazing things were announced yesterday re: Met Gala. 1) Rihanna will be a host, and 2) The theme will be “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination.” This theme, in my humble opinion, is very, very good. 

Last year’s homage to Comme des Garçons’s Rei Kawakubo was also fun, certainly, but a different kind of avant-garde fun. This year’s play on Catholicism is a theme rife with campy potential, from Madonna’s naughty Catholic motif to The Young Pope. Catholicism, in general, is a religion that places a lot of symbolism on pieces of clothing with its Roman collars and nun habits. 

Because it’s a cold Thursday, and because this has been the year of hot popes on television, I’m pretty stoked to do a deep dive into possible costumes for this year’s attendees. Without further adieu, let me present: Really Iconic Catholic Looks.

Madonna at various stages of her career

Madonna and Catholicism have a very storied relationship. In the past, Madonna has been deemed “highly offensive to Christianity” (what an honor), and it all started with her 1987 tour, post-“Papa Don’t Preach.” Upon dedicating the tour to the Pope, the Vatican requested that Italian fans boycott her shows. So all of this goes to say, you have to go all out and be controversial should a celebrity channel Madge. I’m envisioning Lady Gaga, already a Madonna acolyte, tackling this one.

Whoopi Goldberg in Sister Act

Whoopi Goldberg in Sister Act is the most ‘90s-cool Catholicism got. Circular shades and a belt cinched around a habit should be more iconic early ‘90s than a Gap ad. Or you can go late-era Sister Act: The Musical edition and opt for a deep-purple bedazzled habit.

Jean Paul Gaultier, Spring 2007

Jean Paul Gaultier’s Spring 2007 collection explored Catholic iconography in a very surreal, ethereal way with his signature sense of humor. Each model wore a halo, and the pieces were inspired by devotional art found in Catholic churches around the world. Gaultier stopped just short of being a little too holy, however. As Vogue wrote of the collection: “What looked like monastic hoods and nunlike wimples were, in fact, integral stoles that spiraled from the back of a chic black dress or a pair of pants (revealing some sexy slices of skin on the way). Lace and crochet-work commonly used to decorate shrines were remade into form-fitting gowns.”

Jude Law in The Young Pope

There was a sizable credit dedicated to Giorgio Armani at the end of The Young Pope premiere, which tells you all you need to know about the show. Aside from Jude Law himself, I’m not sure which male celebrity has the chutzpah to pull this look off (for some reason, I’m envisioning Scott Disick, though I’m sure his Met invite got lost in the mail.) This costume has to be dripping in flashy labels, with red shoes designed by Louboutin and accented with Swarovski crystals.

No more articles