Kim Kardashian's Controversial 2019 Met Gala Look, Explained

It's important to keep in mind that Susan Sontag's "Notes on 'Camp'" essay does posit that "the essence of Camp is its love of the unnatural: of artifice and exaggeration. " With that in mind, Kardashian's look can be understood as representative of the artificial (fake water droplets) and the exaggerated (the optical illusion of the exceptionally tiny waist).

Thierry Mugler, who hasn't designed a collection of his own since 2003, came out of retirement to design the latex beaded gown for her, and the process took a reported eight months to execute. "He envisioned me as this California girl stepping out of the ocean, wet, dripping," Kardashian said when interviewed by Vogue on the Met red carpet.

While most critics are still reeling from a very long night of assessing every single 2019 Met Gala look according to whether the ensemble is "camp" or "not camp," some have shifted their focus to the look worn by Kim Kardashian.

He's created corsets for performers at the Royal Opera House in London, worked with the late Leigh Bowery (the Australian performance artist and designer whom many experts consider to be the full embodiment of camp), and collaborated with Mugler, Alexander McQueen (for whom he once walked the runway for the designer's spring 1995 collection), and John Galliano on many of their classic runway looks.

Billy Porter wearing a custom "Sun God" ensemble by the Blonds at the 2019 Met Gala Celebrating Camp: Notes on Fashion at Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 06, 2019 in New York City.

But it is not the evaluation of Kardashian's Met Gala outfit as being in step with the spectacle's theme, "Camp: Notes on Fashion," that got people talking.


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