Don’t @ us
As Susan Sontag wrote in her seminal 1964 essay Notes on Camp, “Camp is a kind of love, love for human nature. It relishes, rather than judges, the little triumphs and awkward intensities of ‘character’”, a quote that truly resonated as images from the 2019 Met Gala began infiltrating (and ultimately dominating) the TL in the early hours of this morning.
Pretty much every person present gave us a least a little life – from Gaga in her multiple ensembles and the Jenners going all out in feathers, right through to those who didn’t go quite as hard (Frank, we’re looking at you) – and, for the first time in a long time, it felt like the attendees put in a massive amount of effort to step their shit up.
Here, we rank some of the campiest looks, as well as some of those that didn’t quite nail it: but then, who cares if they did or not, given this year actually looked like it was a hell of a lot of fun.
Arriving arm-in-arm with designer Jeremy Scott, Gwen Stefani was decked out in a glittering Moschino leotard, complete with giant white fur coat. Why does Stefani take the top rank? Well, she inadvertently turned up dressed like the third Cock Destroyer – the ultimate camp icons.
KENDALL & KYLIE JENNER
Whatever your personal feelings are towards the Jenners/Kardashians, true connoisseurs of camp will all agree that Kendall and Kylie slayed this year’s theme. Wearing an ostrich farm’s worth of feathers between them, the Versace-clad sisters looked just like the Wayans cosplaying as the Vandergelt sisters in White Chicks. And we’re totally having a BF (read: bitch fit) about it.
Billy Porter knows how to turn the party – look no further than his get-ups for the Oscars and Golden Globes for proof of that. Yet, he still managed to turn things up to 11 for the Met Gala; we would expect no less from a founding father of camp. He was serving you golden Egyptian opulence, he had topless men, there was a throne, he had a beaded wig, a crown, there were face jewels, and he had wings. IT. WAS. EV-ERY-THING.
Behold the wild Gaga in her natural environment, watch as she bedazzles us all with three looks, before going in for the kill in a skimpy bikini with accompanying camp-cessories cart. Like, what else were you expecting when the evening’s category was basically: Lady Gaga. Needless to say, we stan.
Making her Met Ball debut in a feathered Marc Jacobs look and a pin-curled pink wig, Lizzo was the epitome of camp last night. But this morning, she amped things up even more – turning up to the airport still wearing her feathered coat and a huge pair of dark shades, and flouncing through security in the direction of the first class lounge (duh, where else?!).
It goes without saying that Queen Donatella is a camp icon, and j’adore the neon green. Okay, so the look isn’t the campest thing we saw this year, but added points go her way for the subtle reference to another iconic – albeit much, much filthier – queen. In every sense of the word: Divine.
Ms. Chachki came as an opera glove. An opera glove. (Camp) case closed.
TRACEE ELLIS ROSS
As one of the few people to adhere to the dress-code at 2017’s Comme-themed event, Tracee Ellis Ross is Met Ball royalty. This year, she interpreted the camp theme through her understated and elegant POV in a black gown by Moschino that erupted into a gold frame around her head. She’s literally walking art, so… duh.
Michael Urie saw Lady Gaga’s four-in-one outfit and raised her two different looks simultaneously. Can’t decide between a ballgown or tux? Get you a look that can do both.
We weren’t necessarily expecting to see Elle Fanning camp it up at this year’s Ball, but camp it up (in custom Miu Miu) she really did. This look is giving us serious I Dream of Jeannie but make it 2019 vibes – and what’s more camp than a hammy, 1960s sitcom in which a genie-housewife flounces around fixing martinis in see-through trousers, bejewelled bras, and bouncy blonde wigs? Exactly.
BONUS – INHERENTLY CAMP
JOAN COLLINS, BETTE MIDLER & CÉLINE DION
No explanation necessary.
NOT QUITE CAMP ENOUGH
To quote campy, custard-filled kids flick Busgy Malone, Harry, you could have been anything that you wanted to be (love the subtle pearl earring, though).
Bless her cotton socks, nobody can say that Gigi Hadid didn’t try. In fact, she gets an A* for effort. Looking at her sequined Michael Kors catsuit though, it probably would have been more appropriate for the 2016 theme: Manus X Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology. Points for the ostrich feather-covered cape though – 100 per cent camp.
KANYE WEST & KIM KARDASHIAN
To start on a positive, Kim K’s look gave us the first new designs courtesy of Manfred Thierry Mugler in 20 years – great. On the flipside, we can’t help but think that Kardashian had something else in the closet that would have screamed camp. The situation wasn’t helped by the ever-understated Kanye West, who flanked his wife in a $43 pair of Dickies. IMO (the only opinion that really matters) Kim’s after-party look should have been her red carpet moment. Who doesn’t love a beaded wig moment?
Möther mäy we häve a bigger snäke?
This isn’t to say Miley didn’t look good, because she was immaculate, but it just wasn’t camp. Sure, it was sequin-covered, sure, it had a giant fin (?), but for a girl who had no fewer than 11 outfit changes when she hosted the 2015 VMA’s we wanted more.
Disclaimer: I love Gwyneth Paltrow, and this 1950s nightie-esque dress does possess a certain campy je ne sais quoi (but where are the fluffy slippers and hair rollers?). But, from a woman so extra she recommends wedging semi-precious eggs up your vagina in the name of self-care, and thinks a $7,700 Hermès surfboard is a viable Christmas gift option for a casual acquaintance, reader, I was expecting, much, much more.