Bold and grotesque, the red carpet of Met Gala last Monday, with the theme “Camp: Notes on Fashion,” was a moving exhibit of fashion at its most exuberant. Dubbed as the Oscars of fashion, this year’s gala centered its theme on the 1964 essay of Susan Sontag, Notes on “Camp.” Stars showed their interpretation of what it would like if the words of Sontag were to manifest in wearable form. Taking a cue from the playwright Oscar Wilde, who said, “One should either be a work of art, or wear a work of art,” as mentioned in the essay, the red carpet turned into a theatrical rite of passage, a “camp vision.” From colorful ensembles, gender-bending styles, and severed head to the optimum display of textures and unusual fabrication, every look captured the eccentric sensibility of what “camp” meant in art, fashion, film, and pop culture.

(Images sourced from AFP and Getty Images)

Camp doesn’t propose that it is in bad taste to be serious; it doesn’t sneer anyone who succeeds in being seriously dramatic.

met gala 2019 serena williams - Camp Notes

Serena Williams in Atelier Versace and Nike x Off-White sneakers

Camp taste nourishes itself on the love that has gone into certain objects and personal styles.

Katy Perry - Camp Notes

Katy Perry in Moschino

Camp proposes a comic vision of the world.

met gala 2019 Ezra Miller - Camp Notes

Ezra Miller in Burberry with Tiffany and Co. jewelry

Camp introduces a new standard: artifice as an ideal, theatricality.

Constance Wu - Camp Notes

Constance Wu in Marchesa

The whole point of camp is to dethrone the serious. Camp is playful, anti-serious.

Hailee Steinfeld - Camp Notes

Hailee Steinfeld in Viktor and Rolf Couture

Camp is a woman walking around in a dress made of three million feathers.

Anna Wintour - Camp Notes

Anna Wintour in Chanel Couture

Camp is the paintings of Carlo Crivelli, with their real jewels and trompe-l’oeil insects and cracks in the masonry.

met gala 2019 Darren Criss  - Camp Notes

Darren Criss in Balmain

Camp rests on innocence. That means camp discloses innocence, but also, when it can, corrupts it.

Emma Roberts - Camp Notes

Emma Roberts in Giambattista Valli

Camp is the triumph of the epicene style. (The convertibility of “man” and “woman,” “person” and “thing.”)

met gala 2019 Michael Urie - Camp Notes

Michael Urie in Christian Siriano

To emphasize style is to slight content, or to introduce an attitude, which is neutral with respect to content.

Jared Leto . jpg - Camp Notes

Jared Leto in Gucci

Camp is a certain mode of aestheticism. It is one way of seeing the world as an aesthetic phenomenon.

met gala 2019 cara delevigne - Camp Notes

Cara Delevingne in Dior

Camp taste draws on a mostly unacknowledged truth of taste: the most refined form of sexual attractiveness (as well as the most refined form of sexual pleasure) consists in going against the grain of one’s sex.

Harry Styles - Camp Notes

Harry Styles in Gucci

The hallmark of camp is the spirit of extravagance.

met gala 2019 cardi b - Camp Notes

Cardi B in Thom Browne

Lady Gaga - Camp Notes

Lady Gaga in Brandon Maxwell

Camp is the glorification of “character.” The statement is of no importance – except, of course, to the person (Loie Fuller, Gaudí, Cecil B. De Mille, Crivelli, de Gaulle, etc.) who makes it.

Lupita Nyong’o  - Camp Notes

Lupita Nyong’o in Atelier Versace

Billy Porter - Camp Notes

Billy Porter in The Blonds, shoes by Giuseppe Zanotti, and makeup by Pat McGrath

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