The Met Gala 2019
For the record, a black tux is not camp.
I don’t care if your suit jacket had a safety pin in it Richard Madden, or your black shirt was shimmery Rami Malek, or you put gold in your hair Shawn Mendes: a black tux is not camp.
Obviously, I’m not blaming them as individuals, they each have a whole team of stylists and designers who undoubtedly had a massive influence over their outfit choice, but COME ON! It’s the Met Gala and theme was “Camp: Notes on Fashion”, all you had to do was NOT wear a black tux! Literally, any other colour tux would’ve worked - pink, purple, green - just not black.
Okay, rant over!
For those not fluent in the language of fashion, the Met Gala, which happens on the first Monday in May, is THE event of the year. A chance for the whose who of the celebrity world to rub shoulders and raise money for the Costume Institute. With a theme which changes each year to match the museum’s exhibition, it’s also a chance for people to all out with their red-carpet outfits. Although, as I’ve already ranted, interpretations of the theme range from the barely visible to the over-the-top, and everything in between.
This year the theme was based on Susan Sontag’s 1964 essay, “Notes on ‘Camp’”.
It’s basically a 58 point description of the essential elements of Camp, and it’s fascinating. You can read the whole thing here: https://faculty.georgetown.edu/irvinem/theory/Sontag-NotesOnCamp-1964.html
For those that don’t feel like reading an essay, Sontag’s first point should give you enough context to understand the outfits that you’re about to see:
Somebody who nailed the theme was Lady Gaga, who was a co-chair for this year’s Gala. If Camp is, as Sontag argues, “the love of the exaggerated, the "off," of things-being-what-they-are-not”, then Gaga’s costume was as Camp as they come.
Gaga took the red-carpet walk to a whole new level with a full on performance that included an umbrella wielding entourage and three outfit changes, as she stripped down from a voluminous pink creation, through 2 other outfits, into sparkly underwear. Hats off to designer Brandon Maxwell for making this insane vision come to life.
Gaga wasn’t the only one to rip up the rule book when it comes to walking the red-carpet (or rather pink-steps), Billy Porter, dressed as an Egyptian Sun God, got carried in on a black-velvet bed by six shirtless litter bearers. You honestly couldn’t make this stuff up!
The Met Gala has to be one of the most photographed charity events of the year. Do a quick google search and thousands of images and videos will appear, giving you every possible angle of a celebrity’s outfit on the red-carpet. But when it comes to the event itself, photos are few and far-between.
Thankfully, this year, Vogue sent photographers Daniel Arnold and Mehdi Lacoste into the cave of wonders to capture what goes on once the paparazzi’s flash bulbs have faded. Their work is about capturing the subject unawares, and as such, their photographs from the Met read like a fly-on-the-wall documentary, freezing the event’s most candid and eccentric moments in time.
For me, they make the event more real and tangible. So what better way to showcase my favourite outfits from the night?
Special shout out to Dian Von Furstenburg who dressed up as the Statue of Liberty - major costume inspiration for the next fancy-dress party I go to!
And it wouldn’t be the Met Gala without Katy Perry going way way way over the top with her outfits - a chandelier and a burger? Why not?!
There were so many other incredible outfits from the night. I loved Zendaya’s cinderella inspired gown and Saoirsie Ronan’s red hot Gucci dress, but this post would turn into an essay if I included all of them. And having just finished university, that’s the last thing I want to write!
Did you have a favourite look? Let me know in the comments.
Now the waiting game begins for next year - I wonder what theme it’ll be?