1   +   9   =  

The Met Gala has brought us several things in its annual return. Elongated capes, transgressive fashion statements, a lot of diamantes and too many lightbulbs to count.

If you are completely and utterly switched off to the drama that is The Met Gala, it is an annual fundraising event for the benefit of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s costume institute. It marks the opening of the costume institute’s annual fashion exhibit, the theme of the Met Gala being the same theme as the exhibition.

This year’s theme, ‘Camp: Notes on Fashion’, would be impossible to discuss without mentioning literary theorist Susan Sontag, who pioneered the term ‘camp’. In a series of notes in her monumental book Against Interpretation (1966), Sontag notes that camp is a mode of aestheticism that emphasises stylisation over ‘content’. Camp focuses on the exaggerated and the unserious. Camp can be divided into two categories: pure camp and the deliberate.

Pure camp is serious and innocent, whereas deliberate camp is (ironically) overly gaudy and in Sontag’s words, “a failure” due to its heavy-handed nature. It’s not meant to look good; it’s meant to overload your senses until it hurts. Camp is all about excess and extravagance—an excuse to be extra.

Prominent icons of camp include Cher and Dusty Springfield, with more contemporary examples being Lady Gaga and Nicki Minaj. And of course, camp has always been associated with drag and the drag community, with big-name figures such as Ru-Paul and Katya.

But with a theme that depends on the extra-ness of fashion, it’s a fine line between looking extravagant and opulent, and looking overly tacky. This year’s Met Gala bunch not only walked that fine line, but also jumped over it, crawled under it and blurred it until it was illegible.

Let’s take a look at this year’s soaring highs and atrocious lows.

Halsey

Image source: Dailymail

Halsey looks slightly reminiscent of both Wonder Woman and Princess Leia in Return of the Jedi. I’m not sure if it’s working for her.

Cara Delevingne

Image source: Harper’s Bazaar

Donning fake teeth, eyeballs and a safety-pinned egg on her head in true bricolage style, Miss Delevingne embodies the theme of camp—it’s so bad it’s good.

Janelle Monae

Image source: Vanity Fair

If your left boob isn’t winking whilst you walk, are you even camp?

Nicki Minaj

Image source: Daily Mail

As a black Kween (with a capital K) who is so often linked to camp culture and fashion, I am disappointed by Minaj’s look. Whilst Minaj certainly embodies Barbie and the Swan Lake, I’m not sure this is the best she could have done considering the theme at hand.

Benedict Cumberbatch and Sophie Hunter

Image source: Vogue India

Sherlock Holmes but camp?

Kendall and Kylie Jenner

Image source: Metro UK

We have seen the Jenner sisters in many an outlandish outfit—from a sequined Paris Hilton-inspired dress to green hair for their sister’s wedding. So, although they look good, I’m confident they could have pushed more boundaries and gone a little crazier to illustrate this year’s theme.

Kim K and Kanye

Image source: Harper’s Bazaar

Kim Kardashian arrived looking like she forgot to use a towel after her shower and her husband Kanye (who obviously looked really pleased to be there) came dressed as her bodyguard.

Emily Ratajkowski

Image source: Harper’s Bazaar

Dumbo, but with diamonds.

James Charles

 

Image source: Seventeen Magazine

Someone tell James Charles that Coachella is over.

Harry Styles

 

Image source: E! Online

I’m a bit biased when it comes to Harry Styles. If you have ever seen some of his tour outfits, you’d know that Styles is already quite accustomed to camp fashion. So, all I have to say is this: *inserts multiple tongue emojis*

Cardi B

Image source: Teen Vogue

Cardi B embodies me in the mornings, not wanting to get out of bed. Except I don’t think it is socially acceptable for me to turn up to class with my duvet. But, Cardi B at the Met Gala, where the theme is camp? It’s a yes from me.

Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas

 

Image source: Harper’s Bazaar

Priyanka Chopra and a waiter who snuck into the event.

Ezra Miller

Image source: Harper’s Bazaar

Ezra Miller does a fantastic job of transgressing expectations through the representation of a fragmented identity. However, I’m not sure if anyone knew whether they were giving him eye contact throughout the night.

Jared Leto

Image source: Billboard

Jared Leto looks like he came straight from the red wedding (see Game of Thrones). His second head was designed by Gucci. Will there be an option on their website for us to get one? Asking for a friend.

Mary-Kate and Ashley

 

Image source: Elle

Did they get the memo on what the theme was?

Ru Paul

Image source: W Magazine

One cannot talk about camp without mentioning Ru Paul. If you’re wondering why he did not go in drag, it’s because he rarely ever makes public appearances in drag anymore. But a pink zebra-print suit with your hair attached to one side, is still pretty camp in my book.

Katy Perry

 

Image source: Evening Standard

‘Alexa play Chandelier by Sia’. But really, how did she sit down all night?

Lili Reinhart and Cole Sprouse

 

Image source: Metro UK

Lili Reinhart and Cole Sprouse subvert the audience with their transgressive outfits. But they also look like Betty and Jughead on Jingle-Jangle (for all my Riverdale homies out there).

Lady Gaga

Image source: Vanity Fair

There are no words that could describe Lady Gaga at the Met Gala with justice. So, all I have to say is: The Met Gala has gone gaga for Gaga.

 

And so, another Met Gala goes by, adding to the pile of pop culture references we will for sure be talking about ten years from now. And whilst it should have provided us with enough outlandish fashion choices to last a lifetime, peasants like us, who don’t make the invitation list, will surely be tuning in again next year.

%d bloggers like this: