Mayowa Nicholas shot to fame when she was scouted by the Elite modelling agency, the 5 foot-11-inch teenager was encouraged to participate in the 2014 Elite Model competition. She went on to win and since then her career has come along in leaps and bounds. Now, Mayowa features in a US Vogue editorial to introduce this year’s MET Gala and its controversial theme ‘Heavenly Bodies’.
Each year, the MET Gala gets bigger and better with a new theme for each year. When this year’s theme was announced, it was initially met with apprehension with religion being a very delicate subject.
Anna Wintour, however, has expressed that everything has been handled in the most sensitive way and this year, fashion will meet Catholicism with help from the Vatican as the grand exhibition gets underway.
In her May Editor’s letter, Anna Wintour writes:
The exhibition itself has been years in the making, and it will be not only the largest Costume Institute show to date but the biggest show ever at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It’s hard to not sound hyperbolic about it, but it is going to be an absolutely magnificent experience—spanning some 26 galleries and including work from the likes of Valentino, Gaultier, and Dolce & Gabbana along with more than 40 extraordinarily opulent liturgical garments and accessories on loan from the Vatican. For the first time ever, there will also be an extension of the show running at the Met Cloisters, a museum at Fort Tryon Park in upper Manhattan, where the more monastic examples of fashion’s inspiration from the Church, such as those from Cristóbal Balenciaga, will be on view. (Should you be visiting New York and planning to see the exhibition, I’d urge you to also take the time to head northward; the Cloisters element will be just as stunning.)
For curator Andrew Bolton, it required endless hours of patience in dealing with the Vatican, given the labyrinthine way that it operates. Invariably, Andrew would finally arrange a meeting with one of the Church’s officials, only to be told they were on a retreat—or, when he actually got to speak to someone in person, he’d discover they were thrilled with the idea of the exhibition . . . they just couldn’t really help, as they were the wrong person to speak with. In the end, the Vatican has been an incredible partner on this show, lending pieces that have been rarely, if ever, seen. One tiara, anointed with 19,000 gems (of which perhaps 18,000 are diamonds), is a masterpiece. Writer Maureen Dowd has crafted a terrific personal essay about the show, which accompanies the sitting by photographer Philip-Lorca diCorcia and Executive Fashion Editor Phyllis Posnick. Maureen’s words underscore the unique experience “Heavenly Bodies” offers: the visceral thrill to be had from a show that connects deeply with faith, history, and creativity.