Met Gala 2019 Looks Evaluated in Seven Words or Less
Monday night is a night I look forward to all year: the Metropolitan Museums Annual Fundraising Gala for the launch of the rotating annual costume exhibition. In other words: the Met Gala. This year was Camp.
I’m not being silly, the theme was indeed Camp. You may be thinking, “Great, that sounds fun but we’re not pitching tents and gathering ‘round fires under the star, right?” No, we’re not. That would be camping. Camp is a way of dressing – and living – that has deeper roots. The Institute’s website describes the theme here:
“Through more than 250 objects dating from the seventeenth century to the present, The Costume Institute's spring 2019 exhibition will explore the origins of camp's exuberant aesthetic. Susan Sontag's 1964 essay "Notes on 'Camp'" provides the framework for the exhibition, which examines how the elements of irony, humor, parody, pastiche, artifice, theatricality, and exaggeration are expressed in fashion.”
Wanting to be in theme too, I will share my Sarah G. Schmidt “Notes on Met Gala Camp” in seven words or less in reverse alphabetical order, because, Camp. You can see all the looks here and follow along.
Below is what I thought hit the mark and those that didn’t (and perhaps should go back to summer camp to freshen up their perspective). If it didn’t make my list it’s because it didn’t matter.
Zendaya – Little people need more versions of Princesses.
Lena Waithe and Kerby Jean-Raymond – Modern city slicking cowboys (girls, and people)
Tessa Thompson – Whip. That. Hair. And. Me?
Harry Styles – Desire duality: want the man and outfit.
Hailee Steinfeld – When the runway is so right, why change?
Cole Sprouse and Lili Reinhart – Proof that costume parties are the most fun.
Yara Shahidi – Almost something.
Patrick Schwarzenegger – Okay... You have my attention.
RuPaul – A (the?) master of Camp.
Tracee Ellis Ross – Feels “safe” for her, no? (Solange Knowles, Emma Stone, Kristen Stewart – Same #sad)
Katy Perry – Effort noted but lacks confidence.
Anderson Party – Pastel wild west party? I’m in.
Mary-Kate Olsen and Ashley Olsen – Sometimes it’s the little leather things.
Lupita Nyong-O – Can you be my fairy godmother?
Kacey Musgraves – Keep this up, country Barbie.
Ryan Murphy – I’m orange crushing on your cape.
Camila Mendes – Remove the sash and use as hat.
Natasha Lyonne – Serve me that shoulder jumpsuit all day.
Lizzo – Freaking flamingos and I love it.
Jared Leto – Vanity in the flesh.
Tiffany Haddish – She is having the most fun.
Lady Gaga – Camp is part of who she is.
Danai Gurira – Playbook for sexy and on-theme. (Same for Amber Valletta)
Goddess + a Jonas Round Two (Joe Jonas and Sophie Turner) – Proof that turtlenecks need special fit attention.
Goddess + a Jonas Round One (Nick Jonas and Priyanka Chopra) – Popping off like strange champagne.
Dakota Johnson – Great… if it was last year’s theme.
Elle Fanning – Yup. Yes, all of it.
Celine Dion – Woman alive. We are mere spectators.
Cara Delevingne – Candy stripper done right-er.
Miley Cyrus – Who are you right now?
Lana Condor – Welcome to the big pink show.
Odell Beckham Jr – No sleeves, no problem. I mean that.
Cardi B – Vagina forward. But RiRi-re-doing?
Wait, wait, wait. You might be thinking, “You’re at the end and missing some big names on this list, aren’t you?” As I’ve said before, displaying a banging body – though glorious - does not mean you’re on theme and thus, worthy of my style evaluation. Nor does a gentleman’s traditional tuxedo. For this special night it’s boring. Have you seen Shawn Mendes western influenced pick-stitch lapels? Rami Malek’s shirt and boots? Even Benedicth Cumberbatch had fun with the theme. That’s the whole point.
Questions that roll through my mind include, “How is corseted or nakedness alone reminiscent of Camp? Why come to this event if you’re not going to play?”… RE: Kardashians, Jennifer Lopez, Ciara, Emily Ratajkowski, many models… (except Liu Wen!). The very same personal disappointment I feel goes for those making an anti-statement. Ahem… Trevor Noah. What’s your actual point, though?
Alas, let’s celebrate the good, shall we? Honour Roll goes to…
Darren Criss – I am feeling all sorts of things.
Diane Von Furstenburg – She is the American Dream.
Best of the night…
Ezra Miller – Titillating. I’ve got my eye on him.
Janelle Monae – The (my) best of the night.