Heavenly Bodies At The Metropolitan Museum Of Art

Designers get their inspiration everywhere. When traveling to Indonesia to create my jewelry line, I was inspired by the symbols, traditions, culture and religion of the Far East. All were very different from what I had experienced in the West.

One faith tradition which particularly resonated with me was Buddhism. One of the oldest and most valued Buddhist motifs is the Dharmachakra “Wheel of Transformation”. The Dharma Wheel is used to represent Buddhism in the same way that a cross represents Christianity or a Star of David represents Judaism. This symbol is significant for the path to enlightenment and a meditative life.

The spinning motion of the Dharma Wheel is a metaphor for renewal and change. The overall circular shape, the chakra represents the perfection of the dharma. The hub stands for discipline and the essential core of meditation practice. The rim refers to mindfulness and is connected to the spokes. Each of the spokes represents various Buddhist values and meanings.

The Cynthia Gale New York, Dharmachakra Collection is a Western interpretation of the Wheel of Transformation. When designing this collection, I wanted to incorporate all of these factors into a modern, wearable, often MOVEABLE collection of memorable sterling silver jewelry.

Recently, I met up with Keith Pollick, an old friend from my days on 7th Avenue. Keith and I met each other at one of my first jobs after college when I worked for fashion designers, Rebecca Moses and Andrea Jovine. He is a talented NYC fashion stylist, so when we get together it is nothing but good fun, laughs, and creative inspiration! I am a huge fan of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, but hadn’t had a chance to see the Anna Wintour Costume Exhibit’s new collection- Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination. Sooo, Keith and I played hooky one Monday went on a fashion adventure together!!

The Heavenly Bodies exhibit explores the relationship between fashion and the Catholic religion. The exhibit consists of ecclesiastical garments shown in conjunction with clothing and accessories created by leading couturiers and designers. These designers translate different symbols, narratives and costumes of Catholicism and turned them into real life. The exhibition is a visual representation of how catholic imagery and storytelling tradition have shaped the creative minds of the designers.

Keith and I were in awe while strolling through the galleries- the ambiance and feeling of each ensemble is incredibly inspiring. You can actually FEEL the fabric falling from the mannequins! The designer’s imaginations came to life with this exhibit. There are pieces made from designers all over the world- talk about global influences!

It was truly rewarding to see these incredible clothing designs inspired by Catholicism successfully brought to life. I was reminded of how exciting it was when the Dharmachakra Collection samples first arrived in all their splendor and beauty- from drawing to sterling silver… an exciting transition to behold!

The Heavenly Bodies Exhibit at The Met Fifth Ave and the Met Cloisters will be closing on October 8th, 2018 so if you haven’t gone yet, definitely do! Be sure to check in on our CGNY Social Media this week to get a closer look at our Heavenly Bodies experience and thanks for reading!!

1 comment

  • Laurie Kuslansky

    What an excellently narrated coverage of this subject. Brava!

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