Popstar Katy Perry donned a massive pair of angel wings at The Met Gala Monday night, drawing attention from millions of fans on social media.
Her mother, Mary Hudson, posted several pictures of Perry's angelic attire on Instagram with the caption "Praying on the Red Carpet."
The singer dressed according to the night's theme, "Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination." The gala is a fundraising event for the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute, which will host an exhibition on fashion and the Catholic imagination from May 10-October 8th.
However, not everyone was impressed by the pomp and circumstance. Some critics accused The Met Gala of "religious appropriation" and making light of Catholicism.
"My religion is not your #MetGala costume. Can you imagine the outrage if they had told people to come dressed as Mohammed or Jewish rabbis? #Catholicism #CulturalAppropriation" one person posted on Twitter.
Another twitter user accused the Met Gala of turning Catholicism into a "sexualized joke."
Television personality Piers Morgan also weighed in on the controversy.
"Christianity, it would seem, is fair game for a mocking fashion parade," he wrote in the Daily Mail. "To me, this year's Met Gala crossed a line and was openly, brazenly disrespectful."
However, some social media users were happy that faith was front and center at one of the biggest celebrity events of the year.
Andrew Bolton, Head Curator of the Met's Costume Institute said he chose the theme and got permission from the Vatican before the event.
"The genesis of the exhibition came about five years ago when I was hoping to focus on five religions — Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism and Catholicism. The idea was to do site-specific interventions that represented those belief systems in galleries in the Met. But it became really clear that about 80 per cent of the material that I was looking at was inspired by Catholicism," Bolton old the Observer. "It makes sense, because of the Western tradition's imagistic history and the storytelling tradition. It was beginning to look imbalanced."
"I was worried that it might be misinterpreted, that the other four religions might seem like tokens. And when the Vatican came on board, it made the imbalance even greater. So I decided to focus on Catholicism, because the body of material was stronger," Bolton said.
The Vatican even donated more than 50 pieces to display at the exhibit.
"Many haven't been seen outside of the Vatican before," Bolton said in a promotional video for the exhibition.
While he acknowledges that some designers and artists "certainly gravitate towards religious imagery for provocation, "on the whole, "the majority of designers engage with it for nostalgia and for reasons of beauty."
"I hope one of the takeaways from the exhibition is that Catholicism as a belief system has inspired some of the most extraordinary works of art," he said.