Although we're already drooling over next year's camp-themed Met Gala, which promises to be filled with all things tacky and profane, it's looking nearly impossible to top the legacy of this year's Met Gala.
The evening of fashion inspired by saints, martyrs, popes, heretics and prophets was so iconic and provoked so much curiosity about the intersections of religion and fashion, that the Metropolitan Museum of Art's corresponding Heavenly Bodies exhibit went almost viral as the images of Rihanna scowling in her pope hat.
The exhibit, which just wrapped up this week, has officially been crowned as the museum's most-visited exhibit ever. During its five-month run, it saw 1,659,647 visitors, eclipsing previous record-holders,1978's Treasures of Tutankhamun (1,360,957 visitors) and 2011's Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty (661,509 visitors) reports Bloomberg. The exhibit was also physically the largest in the museum's history, covering 60,000 square feet and 25 galleries between the Met's central 5th Avenue location, and at the Met Cloisters uptown. Almost one and a half million viewed the exhibit on 5th avenue, while over 200 thousand trekked up to the Cloisters.
Organized by the Costume Institute, 'Heavenly Bodies' examined fashion's ongoing obsession with Catholicism, as well as a the history of religious fashion. The vision of vintage Balenciaga wedding gown next to contemporary monk-inspired streetwear hoodies, alongside a collection of tiaras on loan from the the Sistine Chapel — all housed in a literal French monastery — was a truly stunning spectacle that could be enjoyed equally by fashion-fanatics and couture-atheists, spiritual believers and skeptics alike.
It's not shocking that box office reflects the massive appeal of an exhibit of such visual grandeur — and which went beyond fashion to explore art, cultural politics, religion, and history. There was something for everyone.
Photo via Getty