Camp – The Met Gala 2019
Chidozie Obasi brings us the best of the year's 'camp-est' yet most fashionable event, The Met Gala 2019
The first Monday in May can only mean one thing: the fatidic arrival of the eclectic annual and most extravagant event in the global fashion calendar: The Met Gala. Every year it brings together some of the biggest and the most recognisable names and profiles in the worlds of fashion, music and entertainment. Hosted in New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, the night customarily began with a cocktail reception, during which guests walked the red carpet exploring the themed exhibition. This was before sitting down to dinner to watch the various live performances for the evening. Andrew Bolton, curator of the Met’s Costume Institute, planned the exhibition based on Susan Sontag’s 1964 essay Notes on “Camp”, an important piece of writing that, for the first time, described the cultural and aesthetic connotations associated with the word for a wider public audience.
When Sontag’s essay was firstly released, most of the LGBTQ+ community took a rather critical and defensive stance towards it. 1964 was a time of crucial momentum for social and political change. It was the year when the modern gay-rights movements began, pre-Stonewall uprising. It was a period during which gay lifestyles were still considered mental disorders, long before equal marriage was an accepted norm. Because of this, the relationship between the word ‘camp’ and the disregarded LGBTQ+ communities became a cause to bring to public attention and make mainstream. And, arguably, it doesn’t get much more public and mainstream than the Met Gala. So, with camp and queerness being so intrinsically linked, was this year’s theme as controversial as the last?
As ever, this year’s star-studded line-up was as remarkable and we walked through the back of the wardrobe to curate some of the most spectacular outfits from the wondrous evening. From Lady Gaga in Brandon Maxwell, Katy Perry in Moschino to Jared Leto (with his “head-sake” cute accessory) adorned by the splendour of Gucci, take a look at what this year’s guests brought on the campfire.