So how did the exhibit’s curators first notice the parallels between these modern pieces and the fashions of old? The idea first took seed at the 2018 Met Gala, which had the theme Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination.
“Seeing the celebrities being maneuvered out of their vehicles onto the red carpet by a bevy of attendants arranging their elaborate outfits around them, we realized this all looks quite familiar,” the collection’s curator Claudia Acott Williams told People in March. “Then, there were reports of great crowds gathering at the palaces to see aristocrats arrive in their finery.”
“The 18th century is also the birth of the fashion press too, and there was a public narrative about what is being worn and who was in favor or out of favor at court—with detailed accounts of the outfits being worn at court,” she continued, “like a best and worst dressed.”