After the highly thematic 2018 “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and The Catholic Imagination” Met Gala saw stars like Kim Kardashian stun in cross-adorned creations and Rihanna arrive in a papal-inspired number, fashion’s biggest night is taking a turn away from the pomp and circumstance toward a more pop culture-oriented theme in 2019 with “Camp: Notes on Fashion.” Oh, and Serena Williams, Harry Styles, Lady Gaga and Gucci’s Alessandro Michele will serve as cohost’s of the annual spectacular, which will be held on Monday, May 6, in NYC.
Inspired by Susan Sontag’s 1964 essay “Notes on Camp,” in which the writer defines camp as “love of the unnatural: of artifice and exaggeration,” Andrew Bolton, the curator of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute, explained that he believes the concept will “have a lot of cultural resonance” in today’s age.
“[Camp] has become increasingly more mainstream in its pluralities—political camp, queer camp, pop camp, the conflation of high and low, the idea that there is no such thing as originality,” Bolton told Vogue. Even so, he believes there is a sophistication to camp that is evidenced by designers like Yves Saint Laurent, Marc Jacobs and, now, Michele at Gucci, hence why the Italian fashion house is sponsoring the 2019 event.
With his fearless eye toward vibrant colors, bold patterns and unique silhouettes (look no further than Styles’ recent Gucci campaign in which he poses with a bevy of barnyard animals while modeling ornately brocade suits and gem-encrusted brooches), Michele is redefining high fashion. He told Vogue that Sontag’s essay has always resonated with him because it “perfectly expresses what camp truly means to me: the unique ability of combining high art and pop culture.”
Another expert on campy fashion? Lady Gaga. The A Song Is Born actress’ ever-evolving look is a direct reflection of pop culture and her contributions to it. From her “Born This Way” meat dress days to a more stripped-down look for her Joanne album and now an Old Hollywood glam-inspired movie star turn, Mother Monster’s personal style is a museum-worthy blend of art and culture.
And then there is the indelible Williams, who, in addition to being the greatest athlete of all time with her remarkable tennis career, has also pushed boundaries with her fashion. The athlete has worn catsuits, tutus, denim miniskirts and more on the court over the years, and her statement-making outfits are often a direct reflection of the current climate.
Needless to say, “Camp: Notes on Fashion” is far more open to interpretation than this year’s religious-inspired spectacular or past Costume Exhibition themes that have paid homage to specific designers, so the options will be endless for celebrities choosing their epic Met Gala looks. Prepare to ooh and ahh!
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