Arts, Culture & Lifestyle

3 things we know about Met Gala 2019 "Camp: Notes on Fashion"

And in case you're wondering, we're not talking about camping. It's the 'camp' in fashion.
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Photo courtesy: Photo by Johnny Dufort, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

So, Anna Wintour and Andrew Bolton – the masterminds behind the 'Oscars of fashion' – have just made up their mind for the theme of Met Costume Institute's 2019 exhibition.

Titled “Camp: Notes on Fashion,” we're not sure if it is going to be as majestically insane as this year's 'Heavenly Bodies', but it is definitely creating an explosion of wild imagination and conversation.

1. The theme is inspired by American philosopher Susan Sontag's essay "Notes on Camp"

The spring 2019 exhibition explores the aesthetic phenomena of "camp", and how it evolved into an enormous force.

Andrew Bolton, head curator at the Met Costume Institue, quoted Susan Sontag's idea when defining the framework for the theme: 'love of the unnatural: of artifice and exaggeration . . . style at the expense of content . . . the triumph of the epicene style' – where he found resonance in the cultural and political circumstances our world is going through now.

So what is camp in fashion? It is a provocative aesthetic that challenges and remoulds the boundary of high arts and standard beauty with its bad taste and ironic value.

What makes this year's theme even wilder is that there aren't any standard answer. It all depends on how the guests define and interpret the "irony, humour, parody, pastiche, artifice, theatricality, excess, extravagance, nostalgia, and exaggeration" codes in camp.

"I think you’ve got to be incredibly sophisticated to understand camp—look at Yves Saint Laurent and Marc Jacobs."

– Andrew Bolton on the theme in an interview with Vogue.

(Photo by Johnny Dufort, The Metropolitan Museum of Art)

 

2. Alessandro Michele of Gucci, Harry Styles, Lady Gaga, Serena Williams, and Anna Wintour of Vogue are the co-chairs

Guccification is going strong at the coming Met Gala 2019.

For 2019, the Met Gala is entirely sponsored by Gucci, and its creative director Alessandro Michele will be co-chairing the night. Because who better to throw a camp party than the designer who has been blurring the lines of regular luxury and high-end taste.

Harry Styles, recently starred in the Italian heritage house's campaign; Lady Gaga, the pop-star who never failed to cause a stir with her wondrous uniforms and Serena Williams, synonymous with bold and strengths, will also be joining Anna Wintour and Alessandro Michele as co-chairs.

"Camp really means the unique ability of combining high art and pop culture; it is not kitsch."

– Alessandro Michele on the idea of 'camp' in an interview with New York Times

 (Photo by Johnny Dufort, The Metropolitan Museum of Art)

3. Off-White, Moschino, Andy Warhol, Oscar Wilde and the Stonewall riots are in the vocabulary of Met's idea of camp

According to Andrew's studies, the word 'camp' is originated from the French verb 'se camper', which is included in a dictionary of Victorian slang in 1909. 

From the word's origins in Versailles to its contemporary acts and interpretations, "Camp: Notes on 'Fashion'" explores the evolution of camp with up to 175 pieces of works including womenswear, menswear, paintings, drawings and sculptures.

And we can expect some iconic garments from designers like Jeremy Scott, Thom Browne, Virgil Abloh, Rei Kawakubo and Alexander McQueen who have shaped the fashion climate with their unique vision and aesthetics.

"Whether it’s pop camp, queer camp, high camp or political camp — Trump is a very camp figure — I think it’s very timely.”

– Andrew Bolton

(Photo by Johnny Dufort, The Metropolitan Museum of Art)

The Met Gala 2019 will take place on the first Monday of May (6th May 2019) at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

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