The Met’s 2019 costume exhibition is “Camp: Notes on Fashion,” inspired by Susan Sontag’s 1964 essay, which defines camp as “love of the unnatural: of artifice and exaggeration.”
Think: over-the-top shapes, theatrical accessories and anything wonderfully eccentric.
The trick in finding the best dressed on tonight’s flashy red carpet is honing in on the shiny people who also brought the fashion along with the camp. See who landed the magical mix.
In a way, it couldn’t have been easier to be one of the best dressed on the 2019 Met Gala’s “Camp” – themed red carpet on Monday night; all one had to do was, at all costs, avoid playing it safe.
Tellingly, the attendees who had the most success were also some of the most difficult to document—starting, of course, with Lady Gaga, who set the mood by revealing four separate Brandon Maxwell ensembles in less than 10 minutes, amounting to a record-breaking number of outfit changes.
Billy Porter, on the other hand, brought company: He enlisted six shirtless men to carry not just him onto the red carpet, but also his 10-foot wings and 24-karat gold headpiece.
(Ryan Murphy also had quite the arrival; the 100-plus pound hood he wore in tribute to Liberace required him to lie prostrate on his way to the Met.)
Extravagance might have been out in full force, but there were other elements of camp on the red carpet, too: Janelle Monáe checked off artifice by replacing one of her breasts with an eye, which actually blinked, and Katy Perry definitely dethroned the serious by going as a candelabra. See their looks and more set to join camp’s red carpet hall of fame, here.
The Camp theme was created for Lady Gaga and she didn’t rest on her meat dress laurels—wearing 4, count them 4, Brandon Maxwell looks all at once (for a minute, at least). A giant pink gown with a doll-like bow, a black strapless gown, a pink slip dress with giant cell phone, and finally, some very chic lingerie with sparkly tights. It was quite a way to kick off the carpet.
Kylie and Kendall Jenner
Versace, these two did not shy from the theme, looking like a cross of something between Vegas showgirls, Lil Kim, and as Kendall’s own Instastories pointed out, the Wicked Stepsisters from Cinderella. But make it fashion.
Oscar de la Renta, hardly a stranger to drama, Dion wore a glimmering gown inspired by the glitzy costumes of the Ziegfeld Follies. The entire ensemble is constructed from 18 panels, hand-beaded by 52 master embroiderers over a total of 3,000 hours and weighs over 22 pounds. But somehow she’s owning all that dress.
Because technically she wore about ten feet of tulle and silk organza of Thom Browne, topped with 30,000 burned and dyed coque feathers—all topped off with a Stephen Jones x Thom Browne hat.
Dundas, what’s not to love about Diana Ross disco-era hair and a green embellished gown with ostrich feathers paired with matching embellished gloves, belt and choker?
Moschino, she pulled up in a Barbie car in a pink leather motorcycle gown and pink cat eye sunnies. This is what you call a moment.
The Blonds, truly, this man brought it, served it, lit it on fire, took a picture of it, hung it in a frame, and then brought it again. A true star in gold.
Versace, from her neon rainbow top, to her matching fan bag, the gilded picks in her hair, and pink star maxi skirt—no one can take their eyes off of this vision.
The brand was a sponsor of the evening’s event for good reason—Alessandro Michele’s Gucci has a unique grasp on camp. That place where fashion veers to the magical—this fire-breathing dress embodies it.
Dundas, the model channelled the ultimate camp icon, Cher, in this bold interpretation of a Bob Mackie dress, complete with a winged headpiece.
Jared Leto and guest wearing Gucci.
Katy Perry wearing Moschino.
Ezra Miller wearing a Burberry suit and harness, plus five extra eyes.
Janelle Monáe wearing Christian Siriano.