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Every spring in the month of May, a very magical Monday happens.
The magic comes in the form of an exhibition, and gala, put on by the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The theme of the exhibition changes yearly, and the world eagerly awaits what designs and looks will be showcased.
2019’s theme was “Camp”, inspired by Susan Sontag’s essay written in 1964, “Notes on ‘Camp’” (Singh-Kurtz, 2018).
But what exactly is “camp”? Arguably, it has a fairly open interpretation, but in her essay, Sontag defines camp as: “something of a private code, a badge of identity even, among small urban cliques…” She said camp encompasses items she was simultaneously drawn to, and offended by (Singh-Kurtz, 2018).
Campy is flamboyant, kitschy and unique (Singh-Kurtz, 2018).
The night has come and gone, and celebrities came to the star-studded evening in their most extravangant looks. If you’re still wondering what exactly this theme was about, here is your camp guide:
1. Get a Little Ironic
In her essay, Sontag states that camp should be “playful and anti-serious.” It’s fashion that has a “complex relation” to the concept of seriousness. There is always noticeable passion behind it (Singh-Kurtz, 2018).
Viktor & Rolf’s entire Spring/Summer 2019 collection is perfect for the Met’s campy theme; Model: Tang He; Vogue Runway
2. Catch up on all of Ru Paul’s Drag Race
For these ultimate queens, interpreting “camp” is a lifestyle. Their dramatic, completely unique looks are a fabulous source of inspo for the theme (Cuby, 2018).
Aquaria, the winner of Ru Paul’s Drag Race season 10 posing on the red carpet in a yellow and black zebra printed gown with matching gloves.
3. The Bolder and Bigger, the Better
Sontag wrote, “The hallmark of Camp is the spirit of extravagance. Camp is a woman walking around in a dress made of three million feathers” (Singh-Kurtz, 2018). Camp is about taking risks and making a statement.
This dress looks like it brought Susan Sontag’s quote about feather dresses to life // Schiaparelli Haute Couture Spring 2019 / Image credit: Alessandro Lucioni/Gorunway.com
Featured Image: An extravagant chandelier dress by Jeremy Scott for Moschino // Photo from
Written by Lindsay Kalliokoski