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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Looking Through the Met: Heavenly Bodies


It is hard to think of a more iconic Met Gala than 2018’s “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination.” So, let’s get into it, starting with Daenerys Stormborn of House Targaryen, First of Her Name, Queen of the Andals and the First Men, Breaker of Chains and the Mother of Dragons, also known as actress Emilia Clarke. 

Clarke wore a Dolce and Gabbana black dress embroidered with intricate gold designs and images of angels. As a queen, she naturally elevated her outfit with a gold floral crown. Clarke was not the only attendee to opt for a gold look; Cardi B showed off her baby bump in a pearl and jewel-embellished gold gown by Moschino accented by an extravagant crown, while Katy Perry wore a gold minidress with feathered angel wings extending high above her head. 

Prabal Gurung is a designer who is incredibly underrated, especially considering his consistency in producing remarkable Met Gala looks. At the 2018 Met, Gurung dressed multiple attendees and all their outfits were exceptional. Hailee Steinfeld, who on this day attended her eighth consecutive Met Gala, wore a white gown with a high thigh slit embroidered with crystals and accessorized with elegant Tasaki jewelry and a tiara — an outfit that made her look like a princess. Eiza Gonzalez wore a tight-fitting black gown with a white cape and black gloves, which definitely was on theme as it seemed to be a nod to a nun. Hikari Mori’s look was very similar to that of Michelle Yeoh in 2022; however, the style of the dress and accessories were slightly different. Other attendees who were dressed in Gurung included Ashley Graham, Gabrielle Union, Diane Kruger and Ming Xi. 

Many of the best Met Gala looks of recent years come from the 2018 gala, which is no surprise. Zendaya channeled Joan of Arc in an Atelier Versace armored gown fit with chains and studs that truly gave a modern warrior vibe. Blake Lively continued her pattern of matching her dress to the carpet in a stunning red and gold Atelier Versace gown with approximately eight feet of train. Continuing with the Versace theme, SZA attended the gala in a bubblegum pink gown with a beaded bodice that matched her thigh high beaded boots, and she had a gold headpiece with stars to top it all off. Still known as one of the best male looks at the Met to date, Chadwick Boseman’s all-white look had gold crosses and swirls embroidered on his suit and cape, also Versace. 

Were there some outfits that were out of place and off theme? Of course. But, when a Met Gala, like “Heavenly Bodies,” is so iconic, why waste time criticizing the failures when there are so many wins? “Heavenly Bodies” set a new bar for the Met Gala. Simply put, it was a great theme to which designers and attendees responded with creativity and excellence.