The most glamorous annual art-meets-fashion event has revealed its theme for next year. If 2018’s theme took on Catholicism and its relation to fashion, 2019’s is a 360-degree turnaround. The Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art will be celebrating all things exaggerated, extravagant, and campy in its next major exhibition, Camp: Notes on Fashion.
Now, if you assume that the theme is about embracing the queer definition of ‘camp’—to be honest, the word is so strongly tied to the LGBT community at large—you’re not entirely wrong. But, the exhibition is about more than that. Camp: Notes on Fashion takes reference from American writer Susan Sontag’s 1964 essay ‘Notes on “Camp”‘ where she opined that: “The essence of Camp is its love of the unnatural: of artifice and exaggeration”. Basically, the reverse of our understanding of what is ‘normal’ or ‘natural’. Think subversive ideas and culturally-opposing views, which are constantly being questioned and sometimes a cause for extreme reaction, in today’s politically-challenging as well as socially-conscious climate.
But really, one can’t base an exhibition around the idea of ‘camp’ without paying homage to the community that the defined the word in a contemporary context. It’s no surprise then that Camp: Notes on Fashion will be underwritten by Italian fashion house Gucci. Under creative director Alessandro Michele, Gucci has become fashion’s definition of camp—heavily gilded, elaborate designs combined with a streetwear-aesthetic, with an emphasis and embrace of inclusivity and diversity.
And just like years past, the opening of the exhibition will be celebrated with the star-studded Met Gala. The event will be co-chaired by editor of Vogue and artistic director of Condé Nast Anna Wintour, multi-hyphenate Lady Gaga, tennis legend Serena Williams, musician Harry Styles, and Alessandro Michele. Because Gucci does have a big hand in the exhibition, we’re predicting that the whole Gucci Gang entourage will be attending; celebrities such as Jared Leto, Lana Del Rey, Florence Welch and Elton John.
We take a look at some of Alessandro Michele’s roster of designs for Gucci that best captures the Camp: Notes on Fashion theme in the gallery above.
The 2019 Met Gala will take place on 6 May at the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.