Camp: The 2018 Met Gala Highlights Fashion’s Sense of Humor
The Met Gala was established in 1948 to raise money for the Costume Institute at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art and to celebrate the opening of its annual fashion exhibition. The Gala brings together the most acclaimed figures in fashion, art, television and more, presenting themes such as Heavenly Bodies, Manus x Machina, Punk, and China: Through the Looking Glass. Despite the intensive publicity surrounding the Gala, all the events of the night following the red carpet are not publicized. Guests are not permitted to post on social media, nor is there any coverage of the actual event.
This year’s Gala will take place on the Monday, May 6th and will be presented by Andrew Bolton, who has chosen “Camp: Notes on Fashion” as the official theme.
The exhibition will feature 200 fine art and fashion objects, ranging from artifacts from the court of Versailles all the way to ready-to-wear and couture pieces of the present day. This year’s chairs will be Lady Gaga, Harry Styles, Anna Wintour and Gucci’s creative director Alessandro Michele. Undoubtedly, we can expect a lot of the red carpet and exhibition to feature some of Michele’s collections over the years.
Michele has publicly expressed his enthusiasm for the event, claiming “Camp is a beautiful word and a crucial element in the expression of human nature.”
Susan Sontag’s Notes on Camp, the inspiration for the exhibit’s title and theme, approaches the word “camp” in terms of sensibility. She describes it as love of the unnatural, a form of performance, rebellion from aesthetic restriction and a comic vision for the world, among 54 other definitions in her essay.
Clearly, “camp” is a pretty broad theme, and one that is hard to pinpoint theoretically, let alone imagine on the red carpet for one of the biggest fashion events of the year. Bolton is keen to focus on what gives a subject its personality, with an emphasis on elements such as exaggeration, theatricality and artifice. In many ways, the ambiguity–or perhaps even the mystery of camp–allows attendees to really define for themselves what the term means.
For more information and media about this year’s Met Gala, or on Camp: Notes on Fashion, be sure to check out the Met’s event page.
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