The Best Camp References on the Met Gala Red Carpet

The woman who appeared on RuPaul's Drag Race just a few weeks ago and told the boisterous drag queen Silky Nutmeg Ganache that she reached "Mike Leigh levels of rawness" in an improv challenge based on Cops was always going to find an impeccably cool way to meet the theme.

With the guest list of boldfaced names going on into the triple digits, last night's red carpet was a parade of over-the-top looks attempting to nail the "Camp: Notes on Fashion" theme of this year's Costume Institute exhibition.

Attendees always had the option of simply referencing classic camp culture from the past as a way to safely but smartly meet the theme, but of course that requires a little bit of research beforehand (some attendees, like Nicki Minaj, apparently didn't even understand the concept until the day of).

Weeks before the Met Gala, Vogue itself pointed out this Shirley MacLaine–starring 1964 comedy as the "campiest film you've probably never seen. " If they meant it as a sly dress code suggestion, than Lizzo was the only to pick up the message in her all-pink ensemble from Marc Jacobs.

That camp appeal is probably in large part due to Taylor's elaborate costumes, and Gemma Chan's Tom Ford–designed look channeled the campiest fashion moment of the film.

Nomi, a native of Germany, emerged himself in New York's underground camp culture of the '70s as an operatically voiced performance artist known for his original songs and strikingly over-the-top renditions of pop songs.

If you're named "Benedict Cumberbatch" and you're going to the Camp-themed Met Gala, you really have no choice but to lean into the obvious and dress as a classic English dandy.

In retrospect, it's a bit of a letdown that no one channeled Divine's famous red dress from John Waters's cult classic Pink Flamingos, but both Nyong'o and drag queen Chachki credited Divine as the inspiration for their eye makeup.

Corey Gamble, Kris Jenner, Kanye West, Kim Kardashian West, Kendall Jenner, Kylie Jenner and Travis Scott attend The 2019 Met Gala Celebrating Camp: Notes on Fashion at Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 06, 2019 in New York City.

Elizabeth Taylor's 1968 film Boom! was savaged by critics upon its release, but has become something of a camp classic since.

If Susan Sontag referenced both the "androgyne" and Oscar Wilde as examples of camp in "Notes on Camp," then why not go as an androgynous version of Wilde himself?

If camp is in part having an excess of what's necessary, then last night's Met Gala certainly succeeded on that front.

Thankfully, Gurira provided her own visual receipts. Boom! is great and all, but you can't talk Elizabeth Taylor and the notion of camp without talking about her Cleopatra.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *