CAMP is for the girls, the gays and Darren Criss.
“It’s good because it’s awful” -Susan Sontag
When the theme was first introduced, many were asking: WTF is camp? This year’s Met Gala theme had everyone scratching their heads trying to visualize the types of outfits the stars were going to come out in.
Based on American writer Susan Sontag’s 1964 essay “Notes on Camp”, the namesake theme opened doors to something even fashion insiders can’t quite define. ‘Camp’ is a very broad and vague YET specific aesthetic, if you catch our drifts?
Even after reading 14 pages of Sontag’s essay, we found ourselves still asking: WTF is camp? You can read her essay here or if you’d like a quick explanation through visuals, TIME perfectly explains it in this article.
“The essence of Camp,” as Sontag describes it in the opening paragraphs of her essay, is “its love of the unnatural: of artifice and exaggeration.”
Here are 10 celebrities who won tonight’s Met Gala by embodying the “CAMP” theme:
Ezra Miller is wearing custom Burberry designed by Riccardo Tisci. He accessorized the black pinstriped suit with a crystal-studded cage corset. If you’re still confused by the “CAMP” aesthetic, Miller here embodies the very essence of it.
Lady Gaga not only pulled up with 1, or 2, or 3 outfits, but she came to stun in FOUR Brandon Maxwell attires. She did four quick wardrobe changes on the pink carpet tonight. Instead of just showing up with an extravagant outfit, Lady Gaga pulled out a CAMP-like performance all throughout the carpet.
Billy Porter may have won this year’s Met Gala. He showed up to SHOW UP. Porter entered the carpet in the most regal way by being carried on a palanquin! He stepped foot on to the pink carpet, spreading this gold wings.
Hamish Bowles showed everyone on the carpet HOW to CAMP-ify a suit: by dethroning the serious — which is actually a line in one of Sontag’s notes in her essay.
Zendaya, like Lady Gaga and Billy Porter, served a performance WHILE serving us looks. She graced the Met Gala as Cinderella with her fairy godmother (stylist Law Roach) in a LIGHT-UP BALL GOWN! You can take the girl out of Disney, but you can’t take Disney out of the girl!
Darren Criss gave a Harlequin Camp moment and we are all the way HERE for it. From the makeup dramatics to the unnecessarily huge bow, we expected nothing less from the straight half Filipino actor that slays gay roles.
Janelle Monae is no stranger to Camp, she’s Camp on an off-day. So, of course, she exceeded our expectations in her custom Christian Siriano. Monae made no mistake by choosing Alexandra Mandelkorn as her stylist who turned to Picasso and Dali for an absolutely-camp look.
The Red Carpet Queen herself did not come to play with us. Capturing a colourful Black Camp aesthetic, Lupita embodied a true drag queen down to the makeup, rainbow feathers and we cannot forget about those gold afro picks!
Dripped down in Gucci from head-to-toe (or should we say head to head) Jared Leto killed this Camp Look. Taken right off the F/W 2018 Gucci Runway, Leto did Alessandro Michele (Gucci’s creative director) proud by carrying the night’s most talked about accessory: a replica of his head.
Lumiere is that you? The renowned Camp Queen, Katy Perry lit up (LITerally) the pink carpet as a chandelier. Sontag mentions in her notes that “Camp is a character” and Perry brought Lumiere to life. Let’s hope all parties involved weren’t burned.
Honourable Mention: Ciara
Ciara and Big Freedia highlighted not only iconic black, but queer CAMP looks to the MET Gala.
Although this year’s theme wasn’t something that is understood by the general public, it allowed fashion aficionados and those who just happen to scroll through Twitter, to be a part of ONE big conversation for a night.