Each year the Met Gala takes its theme from the Costume Institute’s spring exhibition, which in 2019, it has been revealed will be ‘Camp: Notes on Fashion’. For this edition fashion’s current darlings, Harry Styles and Lady Gaga will co-chair the event along with Gucci’s creative director Alessandro Michele, Serena Williams and the queen herself Anna Wintour.
Andrew Bolton, curator in charge of the Costume Institute, found his inspiration from Susan Sontag’s seminal 1964 essay Notes on “Camp”, which theorised different ways in which the concept could be interpreted. In her essay she described the spirit of Camp as “its love of the unnatural: of artifice and exaggeration”. Camp, as Bolton noted to Vogue, “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.” Camp, he continues, has been described as style without content. “But I think you’ve got to be incredibly sophisticated to understand camp — look at Yves Saint Laurent and Marc Jacobs.”
The exhibition, taking to the steps of the Met on the first Monday of May, will be presented in The Met Fifth Avenue’s Iris and B Gerald Cantor Exhibition Hall, made possible by Gucci. Speaking on the upcoming exhibition Alessandro Michele told the New York Times, “Camp really means the unique ability of combining high art and pop culture; it is not kitsch. The Met exhibition will give contemporary significance to Sontag’s perspective.” As the genius behind Gucci’s colourful reinvention and designer known for uniting fashion with pop culture, you can expect to see some of Alessandro’s bold pieces featured in the exhibition. For Gucci’s creative director Alessandro Michele, Sontag’s essay, “perfectly expresses what camp truly means to me: the unique ability of combining high art and pop culture.”
If you think the Met Gala red carpet has been extra in the past, this year is going to take the meaning to another level. But what to wear? Bolton suggests taking inspiration from the likes of Dietrich, Garland, Cher and Elton John. He also mentioned the idea of “surplus — when things are too much”, “a bow that’s too big,” and “too many feathers, too many sequins.” So, in other words, more is better. Bolton also suggests looking at classic designers like Moschino, Jean Paul Gaultier, Jean-Charles de Castelbajac, John Galliano, and Thom Browne and new generation designers such as London’s Molly Goddard, Richard Quinn, and Matty Bovan, and New York’s Vaquera for inspiration.
We wonder who will take the crown for best dressed this year? Cough, cough…probably Rihanna …