Camp’s “Best Dressed”

This room is as round as it gets. after Anna Wintour had marched up the steps in her pink flamingo get-up and just before Lady Gaga made her four-look debut (wagon and all), I thought to myself, “This will be the best Met Gala of the decade.”

The Met Gala peaks pop culture’s curiosity like no other red carpet event. With the rise of young, avant garde designers, celebrity worship, and social media’s devout interest in anything extraordinary, it’s no wonder everyone has an opinion about fashion’s biggest night of the year.

As Susan Sontag, the inspiration behind the 2019 Metropolitan Museum of Art’s annual fundraiser for the Costume Institute once said, “Trying to define camp is like trying to find a corner in a round room.” Not wanting to make any harsh judgements, I took some time to gather my thoughts. However, it seems like some people found that corner and chained themselves to it.

Best and worst dressed lists started popping up as they always do. While every award show has its hits and misses, this time, they were categorized solely by the affirmative of one question, “is this camp?”

While usually I’m a stickler for the theme, this time seemed different. I’m not here to make a case for boring dresses, however, Sontag’s essay was pages long. It doesn’t seem fair to come to a conclusion based on the first ten seconds of looking at it.

My favorite thing about the gala was the versatility of looks and interpretation of the theme. The variety, creativity, and fantasy was unlike any other Met Gala I’ve seen before. Losing perspective of these marvelous clothes for the sake of a definition would discount Sontag’s Notes on Camp all together.

I don’t want to look for a corner in a round room. Camp is an enigma; It thrives off of irony, and exists everywhere in one way or another. And it is best left undefined. It would be remiss (and very un-camp) to draft up a best-dressed list, simply because camp doesn’t give a flying feather about best or worst dressed. It exists in its own space, through its own volition. So make Susan Sontag proud, and lighten up a little bit, okay?

I don’t think there will be a Met Gala as significant or as memorable as the one we just witnessed, for quite a while. Camp is an escapist shout into the void of current affairs, which is almost always so deafeningly black and white. But the 2019 Met Gala was filled with color, and incomparably creative. It was a loud moment of wonder in a world that seems so bleak. Maybe we should all try to be more camp.

Here’s our list of guests that did their best to understand and define camp in their own way. Comment down below your thoughts on the 2019 Met Gala, and let us know what you think. Stay camp!

Wendi Deng Murdoch
Lizzo in Marc Jacobs
Cardi B wearing Thom Browne
Lupita Nyong'o wearing Versace.
Zendaya in Tommy Hilfiger
Katy Perry wearing Moschino to the Met Gala
Gigi Hadid wearing Michael Kors
Yara Shahidi wearing Prada at the Met Gala
Ryan Murphy wearing Christian Siriano.
Billy Porter wearing The Blonds
Lady Gaga wearing Brandon Maxwell at the Met Gala
Donatella Versace in Versace
Ezra Miller in Burberry
Julia Garner wearing Zac Posen
Michael Urie wearing Christian Siriano.
Hailee Steinfeld wearing Viktor & Rolf.
Emily Ratajkowski wearing Dundas to the Met Gala
Tracee Ellis Ross wearing Moschino.
Benedict Cumberbatch and Sophie Hunter wearing bespoke Roksanda.
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