This year, the iconic Met Gala was themed "Camp".
Confused? Yeah, you're not alone.
Sporting the big and boisterous looks characteristic of the Gala, stars strutted down the red carpet in 'fits that fit right in with the theme. Apparently.
Do you understand why? Did any of us get it?
The theme seemed to leave more people than not in a state of confusion. Nobody really understood what, exactly, "camp" was supposed to mean.
If you, too, were left puzzled, here's what you need to know.
The "Camp" theme was pulled from an essay by Susan Sontag, entitled "Notes on 'Camp'".
The essay discusses the idea of "Camp", explaining it as a "certain mode of aestheticism" and providing examples of "Camp" which include women's clothing from the 20s, Tiffany lamps, and Swan Lake, to name a few.
Make sense yet? Probably not. But read on and you will learn that, "Camp art is often decorative art, emphasizing texture, sensuous surface, and style at the expense of content". The essay also explains that those things which are considered Camp contain an "element of artifice", and nothing natural can be Camp. Camp is "the love of the exaggerated, the "off," of things-being-what-they-are-not."
When you consider Camp as emphasis placed on the exaggerated, things begin to make a bit more sense. Take a look at any of this year's attendees' outfits and you will certainly be able to see this exaggeration.
Sontag also writes that, "to perceive Camp in objects and persons is to understand Beings-as-Playing-a-Role. it is the farthest extension, in sensibility, of the metaphor of life as theater."
Take Zendaya, whose Cinderella-esque gown and entrance is perfectly appropriate within the framework of this "Beings-as-Playing-a-Role" ideology.
Katy Perry braved the Gala decked out as a crystal-covered chandelier.
Kacey Musgraves appeared as a real-life Moschino Barbie.
Jared Leto, draped in crystals and red Gucci, carried a replica of his own head.
These are just a few examples, but their references to "Camp" are quite evident.
In short, the 2019 Met Gala certainly baffled a bunch of us. However, upon reading Sontag's compelling piece, it is clear that this year's attendees and designers worked hand in hand to capture the essence of Camp.