In less than 24 hours celebrities, public personalities, socialites and journalists for Vogue will take to the red carpet outside the Metropolitan Museum of Art to exhibit all things ‘camp’.
Image credit: Metropolitan Museum of Art
Founded in 1948, the Met Gala brings the most famous faces of the time together to raise money for the Met's Costume Institute and celebrate the grand opening of its latest exhibition, which this year is entitled “Camp: Notes on Fashion.”
Since 1995, the event has been chaired by US Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour, who enlists public figures to serve as her co-chairs which include Lady Ga Ga, Harry Styles, Serena Williams and Gucci’s creative director Alessandro Michele.
The exhibition will have two-hundred and fifty pieces on show from designers of such calibre as Gucci, Giorgio Armani, The creative director of Moschino, Jeremy Scott, and the costume designer of Cher’s iconic looks, Bob Mackey.
So, why all the fuss?
For those who have never been exposed to The Met Gala, think the fashion of the Capitol in “The Hunger Games” that intertwines with the elegance of couture fashion shows.
The Met Gala is a chance for designers and celebrities to get together, raise money for the MET and to have a sit down dinner to appreciate fashion.
It’s also an amazing opportunity to see designers push boundaries, explore their own imaginations and creativity as well as express the theme holistically.
The phrase “Notes on Camp” is the title of writer Susan Sontag’s essay where the meaning of “Camp” is explained and discussed.
Sontag says that “Camp is a sensibility that, among other things, converts the serious into the frivolous.”
Among this she also states that in terms of fashion camp is— “love of the unnatural: of artifice and exaggeration... style at the expense of content... the triumph of the epicene style… [or] a woman walking around in a dress of three million feathers.”
Sontag dedicated her essay to Oscar Wilde, who was infamous for pushing boundaries in terms of sexuality, literature and was pompous to the definition.
His famous quote, “One should either be a work of art, or wear a work of art”, not only emulates The MET Gala’s fashion but is the centrepiece of all things queer.
“Sontag in her essay said not everything is camp, but since I have been working on the show, I have started to think it is everywhere, and that all fashion is on some level camp,” curator of the Met’s Costume Institute, Andrew Bolton, told the New York Times in October.
“It has gained such currency it has become invisible, and part of my goal is to make it visible again,” he said.
Bolton explained to Vogue that he found Sontag’s writings so timely with what we are going through culturally and politically that, “[he] felt it would have a lot of cultural resonance.”
As much as this is an exciting evening for us watching at home on Vogue Online, we will only be able to see from the red carpet as no cameras outside of Vogue’s are allowed to enter.
The event is like an old fashioned dinner party, (very ‘Anna Wintour’) where it’s been recorded that your phone use should be limited, mingling is encouraged and these celebrities are sat away from their significant other to encourage conversation.
The event is also known to hold surprise performances from celebrities embracing the exhibitions theme, like Madonna’s performance at last years
“Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination.”
So now we count down to see the extravagant looks of the most well-known faces of our time as they embody the camp French aristocratic courts under the rule of Louis XIV and Versailles, the pop references of Warhol, all melded into the style of culture of New York club kids in the 1980’s.