Cultural appropriation can be a touchy subject. The reality is, creative humans have been inspired by aspects of the world around them and beyond, since the beginning of expression. Inspiration is something that happens, it’s not created with a formula or with boundaries, in this way it is somewhat divine. Religion and spirituality have been a major part of our global cultures, and it has also wound up the subject of artists, designers and beauty creators for generations.
With the opening of the MET’s “Heavenly Bodies” exhibition, based on the theme of Catholicism in fashion, we look at beauty inspired by religion.
Beauty inspired by Buddhism is characterized by minimalism, clean yet organic lines, earthy colors and gold, and often a shaved head.
Beauty inspired by Christianity/Catholicism is characterized by opulence, signals to suffering, rich primary colors, plus whites and gold. There is often a signal to a special significance such as a crown or halo.
Beauty inspired by Folk religions comes in many forms. It is difficult to group all earthly and traditional forms of spirituality together. In general, here we see more appreciation for nature, craft and textures.
Beauty inspired by Hinduism is characterized by bright colors, ornate detailing even in the makeup, flowing fabrics, and long hair.
Beauty inspired by Islam is characterized by ornate pattern, luxurious fabrics, opulent colors, often covering the hair, and a focus on the eyes.
Beauty inspired by Judaism is often characterized by signals from the Hasidic branch of the religion. Here we often see the use of the sidelocks or payot.
NEW AGE SPIRITUALITY
Beauty inspired by New Age Spirituality often uses symbols from paganism or indications for etherial energy. Luminosity, shine and sparkle hint at underlying energies, and the beauty of the unknown.