The Met Gala has a long-standing tradition of coming up with ornate themes which challenge guests and designers to use their creativity and interpretation in order to come up with an outfit that will impress and stand out to the public and medial eye. The Met Gala 2019 was no different in its elaborate natured theme based around Susan Song's influential 1964 essay titled "Notes on Camp."
The theme "Camp: Notes on Fashion" was not referring to summer camp, but rather to a state of a kind of exaggeration and visual boisterousness. The definition of "camp" in this context, like the theme, is open for interpretation but ultimately tends to come down to a form of visual aesthetic that is unexpected. To put it into the simplest terms that I can think of, it is not the opposite of "basic," but the opposite of a basic attempt to be unconventional. A true non-mainstream production, versus an attempt that turns out to be rather predictable.
Ornate, right? Themes like these are exactly what has challenged creatives and the top names and faces in pop culture since its first event in 1948. These themes are also what have critics and public fashion enthusiasts so excited to watch the event every year.
So with the conclusion of the 2019 Gala, who are critics talking about? Who nailed the theme and who misinterpreted? Of course, there is no set rubric for evaluation, but here are some of the outfits that seem to be standing out.
1. Lady Gaga
Undoubtedly if you have been following the chatter the past few days, you have heard much talk about Lady Gaga and her quadruple outfit change on the carpet - yes you heard that right, she gave not one look but FOUR. Another thing that has critiques impressed with her understanding of the theme is that she did not only show up to the event in her camp outfit, but actually showed up to the airport already in character and wearing it earlier that morning.
2. Ezra Miller
To appreciate someone who tried something very different, I decided to take a look at Ezra Miller. What stood out to me and so many others is that rather than interpreting the theme and choosing to go as big as possible like so many, piling on yards of fabric, electrics, and other materials, Ezra's outfit itself was actually fairly simple. He showed up in a black and white pin-striped suit with a jeweled corset and flowing cape.
The shocking element of his fit was his makeup which displayed an illusion of five extra, very realistic eyes upon his face. Additionally, he carried a skin toned mask which could be used to cover and hide the additional eyes. This fairy-tale like costume seemed to carry a message relating to the conciliation of a peculiar identity. A somewhat common message portrayed in a very powerful, clever and unusual way.
3. Billy Porter
I think it is only fair to mention Billy Porter if we are going to talk most attention-catching Met Gala 2019 performances. With what was undoubtedly one of the most if not THE grandest entrance, he came in atop a golden litter carried by six men dressed accordingly to his theme of choice which was inspired by the Egyptian Sun God, Cleopatra. His outfit of almost pure golden material displayed a brilliant set of wings upon the extension of his arms and a full crown-like headpiece.
Overall, this year's display at the Gala was one of the most astonishing yet. People seemed to go bigger and bolder than ever before, of course, some of that likely had to do with the theme. For this reason, it is very difficult to pick any "bests" and it is really up to each individual person to decide which outfits spoke to them personally the most. If you didn't watch the event already, I encourage further exploration at the very least to see some of these brilliant works of couture art.