The lowdown on Camp at the Met Gala 2019

Jeremy Scott Moschino

One day to go until The Met Gala 2019. 

An annual fundraising event that takes place at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York  but in truth seems to be generating way more excitement in fashion then fashion weeks themselves.

Hosted and organised by Anna Wintour for more than two decades, this years Met Gala event (and exhibition) theme is inspired by the 1964 Susan Sontag essay, Camp: Notes on Fashion. 

Yes. Camp: Notes on Fashion is the theme. And it’s not what you may think. 

The gala event raises millions of dollars for the Mets Costume Institute, and is proving to be one of the most notable global fashion events that ‘marries fashion and culture’  and helps keep ‘the museum alive and vibrant, bringing in new audiences, and have people excited to be there,’ says Wintour in a video interview. 

But who knows what Camp: Notes on Fashion means? This is the real question. And in truth something intriguing enough to try figure out.  

Here’s a quick guide and in essence, all you need to know.

It’s got nothing to do with nature. And is in fact all about extravagance, the extraordinary, the extreme stylization, the extra, extra, extra in fashion.

“Its love of the unnatural: of artifice and exaggeration” is how Sontag describes it in the opening paragraphs of her essay.

Gucci SS19 campaign

Galliano for Dior 2004

Think outlandish. Outrageous. When it’s a bit  ‘off’… And of things being what they are not.

And by now some visual or picture should be emerging in your mind. 

There are 58 notes in the essay about what makes something or someone CAMP. The dictionary definition by Merriam-Webster, is “something so outrageously artificial, affected, inappropriate, or out-of-date as to be considered amusing; a style or mode of personal or creative expression that is absurdly exaggerated and often fuses elements of high and popular culture.”

So there you have it.

One thing is clear. There is no easy way to define it. But “the whole point of camp is to dethrone the serious”.

So here’s to the Met Gala 2019. I can hardly imagine what will appear on the RED? .. apparently may not even be RED … carpet, but can hardly wait!

Previous years themes were:

2018 “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination”

2017 “Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons art of the in between”

2016 “Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology”

2015 “China: Through the Looking Glass.”

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