It’s the first Monday of May, marking the biggest day on the fashion calendar – the friggen Met Gala. I’m more excited than ever because the theme is Notes on Camp, inspired by Susan Sontag’s 1964 essay. Camp is a hard thing to define, but to Sontag it’s “a love for the unnatural: the artifice and exaggeration.” Camp is over the top. Camp is so bad it’s good. Camp is Tacky with a capital T. Camp is the fun, the whimsy, the memorable. Even this year’s exhibit curator Andrew Bolton can’t sum it up in a few words. Basically, camp is undefinable, which is so damn campy in itself. When refreshing Vogue’s live blog today I was disappointed but not surprised to see a wave of boring black suits and dresses that could have been on ANY carpet. But! Unlike previous years, the stars who DID deliver gave us some of the most memorable Met Gala fashion moments in recent history. Here’s who I absolutely adored, wish did way better, and who didn’t fit the theme but I’m still giving an exaggerated, over the top, cheesy thumbs up to.
The King and Queen of The Met Gala
Truly one of my favourite Met Gala looks from the entire night, possibly in all of the Met Gala’s history. I am speechless. *Proceeds to have a paragraph worth of praise though.* This is so unexpected, genuinely unique, down-right black tie event classy but SO out-there, over the top, eye-catching, creepy, beautiful – and after all that it’s also STILL SO ON BRAND for Ezra Miller. He gender-bends a lot in fashion and was featured in this month’s Vogue editorial on the Met theme of camp, so I knew he’d deliver, but I didn’t prepare myself to be left dead in a ditch yet also fully brought back to life after looking at this. And people have the audacity to label Harry Styles the ‘king of camp’… I have to laugh.
If Ezra Miller is my Met Gala King, Cardi B is my Queen. Repeat after me kids: THIS 👏🏼 IS 👏🏼 WHAT 👏🏼 I 👏🏼 CAME 👏🏼 HERE 👏🏼 FOR 👏🏼 The DRAMA. The VOLUME. The WEIGHT. The COLOUR. I am in awe. I love this so much. Cardi B’s Mugler Grammy’s red carpet look is literally in the exhibit (and peaking out in the featured image of this post), so I’m THRILLED she completely smashed her already high expectations.
My Other Top Three Picks
Jared Leto – Another top favourite of mine. I love this look from head to toe back to head. There are just enough jewels. There is just enough train. The fake head is just different looking enough to not give me nightmares.
Janelle Monáe – Perfection. This is the epitome of “camp”. If you open the dictionary and look up camp, aside from outlining the poplar outdoor activity, THIS OUTFIT WOULD BE THERE. This is just… so well thought out. I love that it’s so custom-made. From the falling hats to the eyes, to the colours. So much detail. So much fun. There is so much work behind this but you wanna know what is also is? EFFORTLESS-LOOKING. And that’s so hard to pull off. I bow to thee.
Billy Porter – Billy. Billy. BILLY!!! OF COURSE Billy Porter is being carried into the Met by what, 6 shirtless men? Of course he’s dripping in gold from one of my favourite designers, The Blond’s. OF COURSE. He looks like a phoenix rising from the ashes, except there are no ashes because Billy Porter is always serving the children 10s across the board.
Hello, I Still Have So Much More To Discuss
(AKA more of my favourites but I acknowledge they’re not on the same level as the above)
Lupita Nyong’o – Look I know I’m saying this a lot but this is F.U.N. The colours are psychedelic. The combs in the hair are sending me into another realm. The makeup has me wanting to recreate it right this minute. I REALLY love looks that scream ‘I AM AT THE MET GALA’, and this is definitely one of them.
Kylie and Kendall Jenner – I ADORE THESE. Kylie is serving Lil Kim @ the VMAS circa 1999. Kendall looks like a fruit cocktail on a hot Summers day. They both look like elegant birds, limited edition Bratz dolls, or (questionable) characters from a Dr. Seuss story. Basically, THIS IS CAMP. THEY DID THE ASSIGNMENT. THEY UNDERSTOOD THE BREIF. AND I AM SO PROUD. No predictable Balmain Army here, folks. Bless it be. I cannot pick a fave, neither can my Instagram poll with over 100 votes and counting, and that truly delights me. #TeamBoth
Lizzo – Man Repeller put it perfectly when they said they’d seen thousands of feathers on the Met’s pink carpet, but Lizzo’s look “somehow made us feel like we just saw our first.” This is so OPULENT. She looks scrumptious. This just makes me excited and happy. It’s so her and it’s so Met.
Celine – MOTHER. A vision! She looks like a beautiful, shimmery, expensive pasta hanging rack (a compliment!) Upon first hearing the theme camp, Dion apparently thought it meant ‘sleepaway camp’, and that everyone would be spending the night together. That nugget of information takes this look into a higher place, as if that was possible.
Kacey Musgraves – Listen. I ADORE anything feminine. I never hated pink growing up. I had SO many Polly Pockets with hot pink convertibles and hot pink handbags and hot pink houses. What does this all mean? It means I absolutely adore this plastique fantastique Barbie-inspired look from Kacey Musgraves. Instantly memorable in my eyes.
Serena Williams – THIS COLOURS MAKES MY HEART THUMP. I don’t know what exactly it is about this look, but I just love it. The neon. The contrasting flowers. The Nikes. How it’s so effortless. And she’s radiating. She looks so gorgeous and on brand but also unexpected. It ticks so many boxes for me.
Kim Kardashian – Alright, this ain’t camp in the slightest. But her body is exaggerated and over the top (science: please explain). She is DRIPPING in jewels. I had a good giggle at Diet Prada hoping Fashion Nova was sweating as she try and figure out how to mass-produce this work of art. I love Kim, I love this look (but also, try and dress a little bit more on theme next year.)
The Undecided (Hear Me Out)
Lady Gaga – These photos don’t do it all justice and I’m sorry but also it’s 9pm on a Tuesday, I’ve had wine and there is an unfinished assignment playing in the back of my mind so we’re MAKING DO HERE, PEOPLE. I’ll keep this short: I like this a lot, I’m growing to love it, but it’s underwhelming. I agree that so much of the campiness and theatrics of these looks come from how they were performed and revealed. BUT! Looks like this don’t live on as videos, they live on as still images, and when I see these still images I am not dead, dying, deceased like I expected I’d be. Still stan the living hell out of you, though.
RuPaul – Mama Ru at the Met! This is huge, because I don’t actually know if RuPaul, the iconic RuPaul, supermodel of the world, has been at the Met before? Queer artists, who have had huge impacts on culture and thus fashion, are always overlooked for these milestones. (Someone please fact check me if I’m wrong!) So this is huge, and I’m very pleased to see him there. I just… expected Ru to be in drag. He walks into the werkroom every week “hello hello hello!”-ing in a suit on RPDR every episode. This just looks like one of those suits, but bedazzled. I’m not underwhelmed and I’m not overwhelmed, I’m just whelmed. I think seeing the legendary RuPaul but ‘Met Gala edition’ was have been so much more exciting, but I’m not disappointed.
Priyanka Chopra – I wanna give a personal apology to my friend Sonia because I am so undecided on this look. I do love it, but I have an issue with the chest bit. I just think because it’s a shiny (but not?) material, it looks kind of cheap? I feel so bad writing this. That part just gives me costume vibes, and not in the fun, whimsy camp way. I’m splitting hairs here because Priyanka always looks incredible, and this just isn’t blowing me away. I love everything else about it. I WILL SAY THIS THOUGH! I am YET to see a silver look that I like. I argue that Celine’s has a gold undertone to it. But seriously, I think silver (and black, more on that later) were cursed colours because I don’t really are for any silver looks: Gemma Chan, Em Rata, J-Lo, and Gigi Hadid was kind of ‘yeah.’
Michael Urie – I literally thought I was hallucinating before because I saw this look before I went to work, came home to write this post and then almost lost my mind because I was Googling BRENDON URIE, not Michael. I thought I dreamt the whole thing. But it’s here! Obviously I love this but it IS a bit cliché and expected and on the nose. HOWEVER! Camp IS being cliché. This is the perfect balance of tacky and gender-bending and expectation-warping. They did however do this on Season 7 of RuPaul’s Drag Race back in 2015 and made them all ballroom dance with each other too, so I’m hoping he ballroom danced. It’s VERY Met: Notes on Camp, so props to him.
Harry Styles – In the wise words of Tyra Banks during this iconic outburst; “WE WERE ROOTING FOR YOU! WE WERE ALL ROOTING FOR YOU.” *clears throat* Okay, I am calm. In short, I’m bitterly disappointed. Styles was a host tonight (but honestly I don’t even know that exactly that entails anymore). But basically he had all the resources and he still chose to rock up in a sheer look? A sheer black look? He’s been wearing sheer shirts since his 1D tour days. THIS IS NOT NEW. THIS IS NOT EXCITING. THIS IS NOT MET GALA WORTHY. Okay, maybe do this look, but make it entirely pink. Go outside your box.
James Charles – Let me preface this by saying I LOVE JAMES CHARLES (most of the time). I want him to succeed. I bought his Morphe palette. I think the scandals he’s so often a part of are usually blown way out of proportion, and I think it’s HUGE for him to be one of the first ever YouTubers, let alone a male in beauty, to be invited to the Met Gala. However, this is a let down! This is literally what you’d see at Coachella. Yes, I know he’s been dressed by Alexander Wang and I know I’m at home, very much so NOT at the Met Gala, but I’m not hating – I just wish he did way more! Like Harry, this looks very ‘him’ and ‘on brand’, but it looks like that he wears all the time. There is no guarantee that he’ll ever get to attend another Met, so I wish he made is (beauty) mark more (sorry). I’ll leave it with this though, I’m so happy there were no ass-less chaps. (He’s uploading a video soon though on this whole BTS process so I am 100% going to watch that!)
Every man who wore a plain black suit – two words, “do better.”
Every woman who wore a plain black dress – two words, “see above.”
And that, folks, was my best and worst dressed from this years Met Gala.