The annual Met Gala is being held this Monday and I eagerly await it. This year’s theme is ‘Camp: Notes on Fashion’ based on an essay written by Susan Sontag in 1964 where she describes camp as a love of the unnatural. Its origins can be seen in the palaces of Versailles and the drag queens of the 19th and 20th century. Camp has continued to be an inspiration to fashion, with its love of exaggeration and unique shapes, it’s something to not be taken seriously. Therefore, all fashion can be seen as camp.
This year has four celebrities hosting the Met Gala. One is Alessandro Michele, the creative director of Gucci, who describes camp as a combination of high art and pop culture. Current Gucci is aggressively camp, Michele brings sequins, feathers and exaggeration to his runways every season. Another host is Lady Gaga who is famous for her over the top outfits that are creatively and outrageously put together (see: meat dress). Harry Styles is the third host, arguably the present day’s king of camp. He is known for his sparkly suits, bright colours, florals and eccentric flares. Finally, the last host is Serena Williams who is not famously known for being camp, yet the ballerina tutus she often wears whilst competing bring a fun and unserious nature to her sport encompassing the spirit of camp.
Camp is seen throughout so much of fashion, in each and every designer, providing a huge amount of opportunity for guests to choose from. These are a few outfits that I’m desperate to see walking down this year’s red carpet on literally anybody, even someone’s bodyguard.
The famous swan dress worn by Bjork to the 2001 Oscars designed by Marjan Pejoski. It ticks off the boxes for so much that is camp: sparkles, feathers, exaggerated silhouettes and just out right insane. The dress is being displayed at the Costume Institute’s exhibition this year on the same theme, however I still think someone needs to rock this iconic dress again.
The Moschino wedding dress for the Spring/Summer 2019 collection, with its gorgeous train and kaleidoscopic butterflies flying around is a beautifully elegant way of doing camp. The added bonus of the huge puffiness of the dress and sleeves and the obscure shaded tights excels the camp atmosphere further.
Anything that John Galliano produced for Dior during his time as creative director for the company would be more than perfectly suitable for the theme of camp. However, my particular favourite is his Fall/Winter 2007 collection with its obvious nod to the fashion of Versailles. The fur stole draped around the gorgeous golden dress with an exaggerated train in the picture below pays homage to the origins of camp.
The famous oyster dress from the Thierry Mugler Autumn/Winter 1995 Collection, recently worn on the red carpet by Cardi B at the Grammy Awards is another firm favourite of mine. The exaggerated shape exploding around the hips and the long sleeved gloves all are an ode to camp. The elegance of the pearls and the satin showcases the luxury associated with camp in its early form within Versailles. On top of this, the way one would have to walk in this dress eludes an atmosphere of drama, perfectly creating the idea of camp.
Thom Browne’s collections are known for breaking away from the traditional norm of masculinity, an idea that perfectly encompasses camp. This particular wedding attire from the Spring/Summer 2018 collection showcases camp in producing something unexpected and not ‘natural’ in not following traditional gender roles.
This year’s Met Gala theme promises to be unpredictable and exciting, leaving me on Monday night incredibly jealous and crying at the £23,000 I wish I could spend on at ticket. Let’s hope this year’s celebrities don’t disappoint.