Camp Crashes the Fashion Capitol

Catalina Rao, Wilcox and the World Editor

The first Met Gala was held in 1948, where the attendees sported slicked hairstyles and classic gowns in honor of screen icons such as Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor. The gala was held as a fundraising event for the newly established costume institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Eventually, it morphed into what is now known as the Oscars of fashion. The gala is hosted by Vogue’s editor in-chief and the artistic director of Conde Nast, Anna Wintour, who invites a select number of celebrities who have demonstrated their fashion prowess throughout their careers to co-host. This year, the 2019 hosts include the ever eccentric Lady Gaga, charming rockstar Harry Styles, and the boundary breaking athletic mogul Serena Williams. Each year brings a new theme: examples include last year’s “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination” and this year’s “Camp: Notes on Fashion.” The essence of Camp is to push flamboyance to the extreme while still pulling it off. Onlookers can expect to see large bows, lots of glitter, and an excess of ruffles as attendees attempt to fulfill the theme.
The hosts this year embody the idea of Camp in the modern era as they push the boundaries of fashion in their respective fields. Serena Williams is best known for her impressive tennis resume—a record twenty-three grand slam titles—as well as her unique outfit choices. From catsuits to tutus to off-the-shoulder tops and suit jackets, Williams has performed in perhaps the most daring and fashion-forward looks women’s tennis has ever seen. Her willingness to embrace the short skirt standard and challenge the expectations of traditional dress code marks her contribution to Camp.
Beyond the unconventional outfits, there are the meat dresses. When Lady Gaga wore a dress made of raw red meat to the 2010 VMAs, she committed to her character as the outlandish pop star who rewrote the rules. When she strutted through Tokyo in a tulle gown and an oversized sun hat that displayed the word “Vote!” in red, white, and blue, she established herself as an activist. Her casual outfits consist of electric blue trench coats and striped flared leg warmers strapped to her legs by zip ties. Lady Gaga demonstrates Camp wherever she goes, and Camp eagerly waits for the reveal of her gala ensemble.
The youngest host at this year’s Met Gala is Harry Styles. Recently turning 25, Styles has debuted in an Oscar-winning movie, starred as the face of the 2019 Gucci Tailoring campaign, released a number one debut album in eighty-four countries, and embarked on a sold-out double legged world tour. Styles displays his take on Camp in a custom set of Gucci suits designed by the creative director of Gucci: Alessandro Michele. Styles even promoted the next generation of designers by supporting up-and-comers like Harris Reed, whose silk and seemingly pirate-inspired clothes were prominently featured in Styles’ wardrobe.
On May 6, these forces of fashion will collide and bring all the fun aspects of Camp to life.