This might be the Met Gala’s most fun theme yet. It’s been announced that the 2019 Met Gala will be a celebration of outrageous fashion in the form of its theme “Camp: Notes on Fashion.”
The fashion world’s biggest night of the year will be a riff off Susan Sontag’s 1964 essay “Notes on Camp” where she describes the concept of camp as “love of the unnatural: of artifice and exaggeration…style at the expense of content.”
Andrew Bolton, the Costume Institute’s curator, told the New York Times, that the theme came about as a result of our current cultural and political climate.
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The @MetCostumeInstitute’s spring 2019 exhibition will be “Camp: Notes on Fashion” opening May 9, 2019 with #MetGala on Monday, May 6. It will explore the origins of the camp aesthetic and how it has evolved from a place of marginality to become an important influence on mainstream culture. Susan Sontag’s 1964 essay “Notes on ‘Camp’” provides the framework for the exhibition, which will examine how fashion designers have used their métier as a vehicle to engage with camp in compelling, humorous, and sometimes incongruous ways. // 1. Ensemble, Virgil Abloh (American, born 1980) for Off-White c/o @VirgilAbloh (Italian, founded 2013), pre-fall 2018 2. Shirt, Franco Moschino (Italian, 1950–1994) for House of @Moschino (Italian, founded 1983), spring/summer 1991 📷: Photo © Johnny Dufort, 2018 #TheMet #CostumeInstitute #MetCamp
“We are going through an extreme camp moment, and it felt very relevant to the cultural conversation to look at what is often dismissed as empty frivolity but can be actually a very sophisticated and powerful political tool, especially for marginalized cultures,” Bolton said. “Whether it’s pop camp, queer camp, high camp or political camp — Trump is a very camp figure — I think it’s very timely.”
The current queens and kings of camp in 2018 will be present. Lady Gaga, Harry Styles, Serena Williams, Alessandro Michele and Anna Wintour will all serve as co-chairs of this year’s Met Gala. This year’s event will also, very fittingly, be sponsored by Gucci, a brand increasingly known for tongue-in-cheek, ostentatiously glam fashion.
175 obects from the 17thcentury to today will be on display at the Costume Institute exhibition. The show will have around 37 designers, the Times reports, and will be in the same galleries where Alexander McQueen and Rei Kawakubo’s exhibitions took place.
Even Kawakubo got in on the camp theme this year, with her autumn 2018 collection. She wrote in a statement, “Camp is really and truly something deep and new and represents a value we need.”