On May 6th, the 21st annual Met Gala was held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. This year, fashion’s biggest night followed the theme of “Camp: Notes on Fashion”, taking inspiration from Susan Sontag’s acclaimed essay, Notes on Camp. The event, also known as the “Super Bowl of Fashion,” kicked off the Costume Institute’s Annual Fashion Exhibit.
To fashion lovers, the first Monday of May is the most important day on the fashion calendar. Millions tune in to see pop culture icons strut the red carpet in extravagant outfits that will reflect the upcoming summer trends. Per usual, E! News broadcasted the Met Gala red carpet where they conducted interviews and critiqued looks. According to Harper’s Bazaar, this year’s hosts included Serena Williams, Lady Gaga, Harry Styles, and Gucci’s very own Alessandro Michele. With the most famous influencers and organizations in appearance, many view the Met Gala with the same admiration that they do for the Oscars. “[…]Fashion is supposed to be unattainable just like art. The craftsmanship on each of these looks and dresses are a true art form,” Ramapo Senior, Elisabetta Iacano, stated.
“[…]The Met Gala is the most important fashion event of the year because designers get to show what they are capable of and break boundaries past what is expected. Each piece is larger than life and tells a story through elegance and beauty.”
Many questioned the meaning behind this year’s theme of “Camp.” According to Vogue, that is the point; the style is up to one’s interpretation. Camp incorporates themes of irony, bad taste, and humor to escape the modern ideals of fashion and beauty. According to Vulture, influential campy figures include Cher, commonly known as the “Queen of Camp”, Bette Midler, who is known for portraying idiosyncratic characters, and RuPaul, who describes the style as “[the ability to] be able to see the absurdity of life from outside of yourself.”
For the first time in Met Gala history, critics left their fashion rulebook at home. Time Magazine commended artists such as Lady Gaga for her unprecedented, 15-minute costume change into four outfits. “I think we can all agree Lady Gaga stole the show,” Ramapo Senior, Samantha Bickel said. “[…] Her brand is the definition of the whole [Met] Gala theme this year, camp.” Vanity Fair admired Billy Porter for his intricately designed gold catsuit with 10-foot-wings and a 24-karat-headpiece. Other “allstars” included Janelle Monaé in Christian Siriano, Cardi B in Thom Browne, Ezra Miller in Burberry, Serena Williams in Versace, and Jared Leto in Gucci.
However, this year’s campy theme couldn’t protect all attendees from criticism. According to USA Today, several celebs “missed the mark” when it came to following the theme. This includes Karlie Kloss in Dapper Dan, Shawn Mendes in Saint Laurent, and Hailey Bieber in Alexander Wang. Kim Kardashian and Kanye West received mixed reviews as well. “[…]At first I didn’t love [Kim Kardashian’s dress] because the color was so bland and boring,” Iacono said. “[…]After hearing about the inspiration for her look, I appreciated it much more and was able to see its creativity and elegance.”
Others felt upset about the invite list. According to Fashionista, many questioned why influencers like Liza Koshy, James Charles, and Lilly Singh received an invite. “[…]People like James Charles, Liza Koshy, and Lilly Singh might be the newbies to the Met Gala, but I expect them to stick around a lot more with other social media influencers,” Bickel said. “[…]I think this is a wakeup call for business people to realize that social media is taking over the entertainment industry.” According to Elle, many were also disappointed with Rihanna, the Queen of the Met Gala’s no show. “I was upset that Rihanna wasn’t there because she killed it last year,” Iacono said.
The Met’s “Camp: Notes on Fashion” exhibition will feature over 200 pieces of fashion and artwork dating back to the 17th century. Works of Virgil Abloh, Karl Lagerfeld, John Galliano, and Alexander McQueen will be featured. The exhibit will be open from May 9th to September 8th.
Featured Image: From left to right, Gigi Hadid, Janelle Monáe, Lady Gaga, and Kim Kardashian West at the 2019 Met Gala (Photo Courtesy of Cosmopolitan)
By: Tara Lamorgese, Staff Writer