08 May The Santacruzan in New York
The theme for this year’s Met Gala sounded controversial with the Costume Institute headlining it as “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination.” CATHOLIC, we thought, you don’t touch religion without getting the ire of fanatics, fundamentalists and the die-hard religious. As Vogue writes it, the whole exhibit was designed to create a dialogue between fashion and the masterworks of religious art. Religion x Fashion? Why ever not?
If you are fond of watching TV series set during the medieval times, you would see the clear influence of religion in the way women dress, wore their veils and yes, even how queens wore their crowns. But to put it up on display at the MET was nothing short of ballsy. With Anna Wintour at the helm, who would expect less than well, ballsy.
Come to think of it, this is not the first time that such a tribute to religion come into play. If anything, we have been doing just that in centuries past.
While we all woke up today in awe of the stars and their couture outfits as they graced the red carpet, we can’t help but recall our very own Flores de Mayo and Santacruzan which happens exactly on the same month as this gala.
While we held our breaths as the stars came down the red carpet and praying for a better outcome than what we have seen in the past, we were surprised that designers not only outdid themselves this time, but every piece of garment that we saw was tastefully done. We understand that this was the PLACE to be when you wanted to go out of your comfort zone and dress to make a statement, and we were really hoping that none would come in their uh, sluttiest best. And none did we believe. Even Madonna, known for her rather subversive takes on the Catholic ways, was well, all covered up in black. Amazing that we haven’t seen any cries of injustice on social media nor did we hear We are sure that you were all amazed by how tasteful the designs were and that it didn’t offend us in any way. The representations were avant garde but in some twisted way it was appropriate.
There were no Satanic allusions, nor were there any vulgar cuts with attributions to the beloved Mama Mary. No, if anything, the parade of stars somewhat reminded us of our very own festival
A yearly tradition that we seldom see in the city. It was customary for the beautiful young women of every town to be a part of the yearly parade. Young ladies were handpicked by the “manangs” of the churches hoping that they embody the qualities of the Blessed Virgin.
We may have no red carpet, nor the klieg lights that go with the MET gala but back then we had torches and kubols bedecked with flowers and lights powered by a noisy generator. To be part of the roster of Reynas was an honor for the ladies most especially when they are awarded the highest positions of Reyna Elena or Rosa Mystica.
While we all loved this tradition decades back, we believe that this tradition is dying and rightfully so. With prices for gowns, flowers, generator rentals dramatically going higher each year, this has become an impractical way of “showing off” daughters of pedigreed families to society. If anything, money for these so called festivals are already allotted to the skyrocketing tuition fees of young ladies in college. And we couldn’t blame them. A night of pomp and grandeur can never compensate for a lifetime of opportunities when one invests on education.
So today, we enjoy the memories of our childhood with New York staging their own Santacruzan via the Met Gala. And the queens and consorts sashaying the runway are just what we hoped them to be. Queens.