By Joan Olivero
Every first Monday of May, a major fashion show promoted by the world’s leading designers takes place in New York City. It is held to raise money for the Costume Institution of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. This event is the Met Gala.
Everyone has heard of the famous Met Gala, but many do not know what it is. The Met Gala, formally known as the Costume Institute Gala, is a benefit for the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Originally started in 1948, the Met Gala has served as the opening of the Institute’s annual fashion exhibit, which lasts for approximately five months. Each year, the theme of that season’s collection is provided in advance to the attendees. Celebrities invited to the Gala team up with world renowned fashion designers to create a piece that matches the theme. Since it is always held within the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Met Gala has been deemed as “the jewel in New York City's social crown.”
This year’s Met Gala was definitely one for the record books. The theme of the Institute's collection was “Camp.” Many imagine tents, dirt, and fishing when the word “camp” is used, but I can assure you that the event was far from nature-themed. “Camp,” in this context, is described as “love of the unnatural: of artifice and exaggeration.” With this theme, the Met was bound to be interesting.
The lineup of hosts was also very “camp.” Lady Gaga, Harry Styles, Alessandro Michele and Serena Williams were this year’s Gala co-chairs. It was fitting that each individual was selected to host, as each is considered unique in his or her field of expertise.
The fashion itself was a whole other level of extreme. People like Ezra Miller and Cardi B dressed to impress while still modeling “camp” fashion.
Although some attendees embraced the theme, many critics were disappointed in much of the fashion. They described many of the pieces as “too boring and standard.” Some of the critiqued ensembles included those worn by Shawn Mendes, Kim Kardashian West and husband Kanye West, Karlie Kloss, and the Met’s own host, Harry Styles. The men on the worst dressed lists were there for the same reason: their outfits were too safe. While some added small accents of uniqueness, like Styles’ modest heeled boots, the outfits were nothing to be in awe over.
Whatever the opinion, the 2019 Met Gala was one to remember. From a loud theme and even louder fashion, it surely was impressive. Lady Gaga perfectly articulated what “camp” entails when she said, “Camp is a part of who we are. It’s not something that we have to try to be.”