The Met Gala, which sees celebrities dressed in extravagant fineries, is an annual fashion event which is held on the first Monday in the month of May. This year, the most significant fashion fundraiser event will be held on May 6.
Each year, the star-studded event has a unique theme, and this year it is ‘Camp: Notes on Fashion’. The Costume Institute’s spring 2019 exhibition will explore the origins of the camp’s exuberant aesthetic. Camp, as defined by Merriam-Webster, is a style or mode of personal or creative expression that is absurdly exaggerated and often fuses elements of high and popular culture.
“Susan Sontag’s 1964 essay “Notes on ‘Camp’ provides the framework for the exhibition, which examines how the elements of irony, humour, parody, pastiche, artifice, theatricality, and exaggeration are expressed in fashion”, says the official website.
Andrew Bolton, Curator in Charge of the Costume Institute, has framed the exhibition around Susan Sontag’s seminal essay. According to a report in Vogue, Bolton has traced the word itself back to the French verb ‘se camper’ which means to strike an exaggerated pose which traces back its origins to the flamboyant posturing of the French court under Louis XIV. According to Time, for Sontag, Camp is successful not only because of its over-the-top appearance but in the serious effort put into creating the outrageous sensibility and the energy that drove the effort.
This year, the works of designers like Virgil Abloh, Alexander McQueen, John Galliano, Rei Kawakubo, Mugler, Bob Mackie, Karl Lagerfeld, and more will be featured at the exhibit. Fresh off the Couture Week runways, the Viktor & Rolf slogan couture gowns that sparked an endless stream of memes will also be on display.
Established by publicist Eleanor Lambert, the Met Gala sees the most famous faces from the realms of fashion, film, music and art come together to raise money for the Met’s Costume Institute. The event is held at the Costume Institute Gala at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art.