Diamonds, divas, devils: Where Catholicism, fashion, satire, news and commentary mix?

Diamonds, divas, devils: Where Catholicism, fashion, satire, news and commentary mix?

There’s been a lot written already about that killer fashion show in New York last week that mixed Catholicism and celebrities with couture designed by people who grew up in the faith but no longer attend church.

There were no hair shirts to be seen, but everything else that could be linked to Catholic practice or devotion was on display on peoples' bodies at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Benefit on May 7. The annual event is a high holy day of fashion where guests vie to see who can have the most outrageous get-up.

Catholic traditions range from guardian angels to Guadalupe icons; all of them infinitely easier to cast into film and culture (has anyone done a movie about Protestants like Martin Scorcese's "The Silence" about Jesuits in 17th-century Japan?). The Met, in the biggest show it's ever staged, tried to draw them all in.

So we read first, from the Associated Press:

NEW YORK -- Delicate veils, jeweled crowns and elaborate trains made up the holy trinity of haute couture at Monday’s religion-themed Met Gala.

Bella Hadid held court as a gothic priestess (is that a thing?), as her gold-embroidered headpiece fanned out over a simple black corset and skirt. The dramatic look was topped off with a structured, embossed leather jacket, emblazoned with a gold cross.

Kate Bosworth’s pearl-encrusted veil draped over a shimmering tulle gown by Oscar de la Renta, while Mindy Kaling donned a regal, blue-jeweled crown with a feminine silver gown and navy gloves. Kaling stars in the upcoming “Ocean’s 8,” a jewelry heist romp set at the Met Gala.

If anyone can make a mitre modern, it’s Rihanna. The Grammy-winning artist arrived dripping in pearls and crystals in a Maison Margiela Artisanal minidress and ornate robe. 

This AP piece (two writers were apparently assigned to the occasion) did include a reference to the actual Catholic prelate in attendance:

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Concerning secular chapels, racy white wedding dresses and other non-religion news

Concerning secular chapels, racy white wedding dresses and other non-religion news

A long, long time ago I was fascinated by a New York Times story about a hot trend in the Big Apple -- all of those folks lining up at the Manhattan Marriage Bureau. I started work on a post, but one delay led to another.

So deep into the GetReligion file of guilt it went, until a saw another wedding story with a sexy, literally, new news angle and the two got hitched.

On one level, the Marriage Bureau story had a simple business hook, and a valid one at that. You can see that in this fact paragraph near the top:

Weddings at the Manhattan bureau have increased by nearly 50 percent since 2008, according to the city clerk’s office. The increase has been coaxed by two changes in recent years: the legalization of same-sex marriage and an effort by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg in 2009 to reimagine -- and relocate -- the bureau to rival Las Vegas as a wedding destination with pizazz.

Then later there were references to events inside and outside the "chapel." Such as:

Around 11:15 a.m., the pair entered the chapel of Angel L. Lopez, an officiant who had performed 86 weddings by the close of business. (A colleague handled another 15 during Mr. Lopez’s lunch break.)
Mr. Lopez stood behind a lectern on what appeared to be a doormat.

Interesting. Now, if one looks up the word "chapel" in a dictionary, one finds something like this:

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Uncovering part of those church modesty debates

As I have mentioned many times here at GetReligion, Deacon Greg Kandra’s blog “The Deacon’s Bench” is must reading for anyone who is is seeking a rather light-hearted, but very newsy, look at what’s happening in Catholicism and in religious life in general. What we have here is a second-career Catholic clergyman, a permanent deacon, who in his previous career was a 26-year veteran with CBS News who won two Emmys, two Peabody Awards, etc., etc.

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