Photo of Rhinna
The Met Gala formally called the Costume Institute Gala and also known as the MetBall, is an annual fundraising gala for the benefit of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute in New York City. It marks the grand opening of the Costume Institute’s annual fashion exhibit.
Each year the event has a theme and includes a cocktail hour and a formal dinner. During the cocktail hour, guests arrive to walk on the red carpet, tour the year’s special themed exhibition, and be seated before the dinner party that includes entertainment from the preeminent entertainers of the day. The theme not only sets the tone for the annual exhibit but also for the guests who attempt to dress to uphold the theme of the year, oftentimes causing runs on certain fashion themes among the world’s leading fashion retailers. Sometimes, such as in 2013, the theme is a bit befuddling because it does not provide a clear stylistic directive, while at other times, such as 2014 the theme may be far more challenging to one gender than the other
The theme of the 2018 Met Gala was “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination,” allowing celebs to step for a moment out of the rarefied air they already occupy and into a space of literal deification. Will the honorific of “Queen” Rihanna walked the red carpet dressed like a Pope?
Many celebrities flirted with the Met Gala theme this year — the influence of Catholicism on fashion — but no one took it on as fearlessly as Rihanna, who dressed like the female pope the Vatican’s never had.
She wore a white beaded Margiela corset mini dress under a full skirt, with a beaded bishop’s hat to match. The outfit was accessorized with a pearl anklet and a bejeweled crucifix necklace.
Rihanna’s hat was reminiscent of the papal tiaras worn by popes from the medieval era until the mid-1960s. The last papal tiara — a bejeweled, three-tiered gold and silver number worth at least $15,000 — was worn in 1963 by Pope Paul VI. He gave his tiara to the world’s poor the following year in a dramatic gesture at the end of a liturgical mass held in St. Peter’s Basilica.
Still, the tiara isn’t banished from Catholicism for good. It can still be worn for ceremonies that call for full papal regalia. It seems only fitting that Rihanna donned the lavish symbol for the most lavish costume party of the year.