The Heavenly Bodies collection at the Cloisters focuses on the quiet, reflective nature of faith. The outfits are more complicated, require more thought and observation, and due to the remote location, allows you to have a more personal experience with the objects.
The Byzantine Galleries focus on designers who were influenced by Sacred Spaces; the interior of Cathedrals and churches, and who brought elements from those spaces into the garments. The dresses are paired with fragments of floor mosaics from the 5th century as well as pieces of Byzantine jewellery and silverware. The mannequins each stand high aloft of tall plinths. The dresses are still clearly visible and yet are somewhat separated from the historical art along the walls.
Heavenly Bodies explores "fashion's ongoing engagement with the devotional practices and traditions of Catholicism." The Vatican collection provides a great reference for seeing the modern fashion in the rest of the exhibition.
When visiting any city, it's nice to have an experience that both exposes you to the city's everyday culture and also is a unique activity that could only happen there. For me this could be a Gondola ride on the Grand Canal, homemade pasta sitting on a balcony in Tuscany or, as I experience this New Year Eve's, skating at the McCormick Tribune Plaza & Ice Rink inside Chicago's famous Millennium Park!