What is The Met Gala?
The Met Gala has come a long way since its debut in 1948, hosted at NYC landmark the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the invite only event has become quite the spectacle. A date in the diaries of the music, art, fashion and film elite, The Met Gala is the biggest fundraising event in the fashion calendar and one not to be missed. Organised to raise money for the Met’s Costume Institute. Each year, the highly anticipated event is themed to reflect the grand opening of new exhibitions, this year the star studded guest list enjoyed a ‘Camp – Notes on Fashion’ theme.
The theme, Camp: Notes of Fashion, is the brainchild of Andrew Bolton, Head Curator of the Costume Institute. The inspiration behind the theme comes from an essay written by Susan Sontag called Notes on “Camp” which struck a chord with Andrew. The essence of the essay is of how Camp is construed as something of a secretive identity. Andrew found this theme to be something that would particularly resonate with today’s society, both culturally and politically.
Indeed the essence of Camp is its love of the unnatural: of artifice and exaggeration. And Camp is esoteric — something of a private code, a badge of identity even, among small urban cliques.
The guest list for this years Met Gala did not disappoint, with A list guests from the world of fashion, film, music and art turning out in their hundreds and all interpreting the theme in their own unique way. From gender fluidity to feathers, guests explored the Camp theme wearing gowns from some of the biggest designers in fashion world. Many channelled their inner Ziggy Stardust as they chose to shine in metallic sequins, headdresses and extravagant accessories whilst others decided to match the pink carpet embracing all shades of the colour. Take a look at some of the standout looks from last night’s Met Gala.
A subtle nod to the camp theme, the majority of guests chose to wear pink with many opting to feature feathers in their outfits. Susan Sontag’s essay explains the meaning of Camp in 58 points, listing number 25 as;
25. The hallmark of Camp is the spirit of extravagance. Camp is a woman walking around in a dress made of three million feathers.
Ziggy Stardust Glamour
Others decided to channel their inner David Bowie or Elton John with an array of glamorous metallic sequins and new romantic ruffles. In point number 4 of Susan’s essay she lists examples of things considered camp of which she includes..
“women’s clothes of the twenties (feather boas, fringed and beaded dresses, etc.)“
Words by Emma Bowkett