Much has been made of the theme for this year’s Met Gala, ‘Camp: Notes on Fashion’, with plenty of discussion and disagreement around the definition and meaning of the word ‘camp’. And, last night, we saw all kinds of interpretation from celebrities and designers into how they saw the theme.
Dr. Royce Mahawatte is a senior lecturer in Cultural Studies for Jewellery, Textiles and Fashion at Central Saint Martins. We asked him to decode what the theme really means, who he thought nailed it on Monday night and who may have missed the mark.
From those who got the attitude right to the stars who didn’t quite achieve the theme with their choice of frock, here is his verdict.
Some looked beautiful, but not camp
“In terms of successfully achieving camp, we have to exclude the celebrities who just turned up in a nice outfit with or without feathers – Anna Wintour, Serena Williams, Gigi Hadid and the Jenner sisters.
“Camp is very hard to pull off when that’s what you are focusing on. ‘The Camp and the Beautiful’ might have been a better theme as ‘Notes on Camp’ is very tricky to master.”
There is a difference between fun and camp
“In terms of not getting it right, we can section off the fun outfits too: Lupita Nyong’o in Versace, Elle Fanning wearing Miu Miu, Cara Delevigne in Dior – all fun more than camp, but great anyway.”
Lady Gaga, Aquaria and Kiki Layne nailed the irony
“Lady Gaga wearing Brandon Maxwell, Aquaria wearing Maison Margiela Artisanal by John Galliano, Kiki Layne in Gucci – these were designs full of humour and irony. Gaga is High Camp, clearly theatrical, humorous, with a hint of tragedy.”