Please wait, loading in progress...

MET GALA - 2019

What is "camp?" The aesthetic/attitude is hard to define: Famously, Susan Sontag spent thousands of words trying to pin it down, in her seminal 1964 essay "Notes on Camp." "The essence of Camp is its love of the unnatural: of artifice and exaggeration," wrote Sontag. "Camp," she said, "is a protest against bourgeois expectations." It's a posture. It's ironic. It's knowing. It winks. It's excess for the sake of excess. This year's marquee exhibition at the Costume Instititute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art is titled Notes on Camp, after Sontag's essay, and the garments in the show demonstrate the influence of campiness on fashion, providing a catalogue of joyful, self-conscious too-muchness. Too many ruffles, too many sequins; too big, too bright; too-too. (Also: tu-tus, which are very camp, at this point.)


If you really want to understand camp, look no further than the Valentino-clad entourage surrounding Pierpaolo Piccioli at this year's Met Gala. No one nailed the vibe better than Joan Collins, who came in character: "I'm Alexis Morell Carrington Colby Dexter Rowan," she wrote on the Maison Valentino Instagram, referencing her scheming Dynasty alter-ego. "And I'm wearing Valentino Haute Couture for the Met Ball."


Also camping out, Valentino-style? Naomi Campbell, clad head-to-toe in bubblegum pink, Julianne Moore, who donned a multiply ruffled gown in metallic green, and model Adut Akech, her head lofted above a pom-pom of pearl-embroidered gauze. Yaasss Queens, you might say. And you'd be very camp, saying that.


SHARE: Facebook Twitter