As an outsider looking in, The Met Gala is an event thought of in high respect. Since 1948, annually designers produce ensembles for the famous based on the given theme of said event. Only a select get to experience the celebration, whilst the rest of us only know it exists through the press coverage. Tickets are unattainable, and are solely gifted based on your connections and social status. Although many of us may never get to spend the night with the stars, we can still vicariously relive the celebration through the photos that are shared.
The theme of this year’s Met Gala was Camp (we’re about tents or smores either). According to writer and artist Susan Sontag who wrote the essay ‘Notes on Camp‘, “Camp is a vision of the world in terms of style – but a particular kind of style. It is the love of the exaggerated, the “off,” of things-being-what-they-are-not.” Sontag goes on to mention how 20s fashion, feathers, and performances like Swan Lake are great examples of camp. Camp is about taking things too far and stretching the limits of what exists. Bending your imagination in ways you never thought it could go. Performances are extra, details are on your face and theatrical at best. Whilst some embraced the theme, others even admitted to not knowing what camp stands for and what it means. I saw everything from hair piled high to jewels dripping off the body, and even body parts as accessories. It certainly goes down as a night to remember.
The use of feathers was plentiful, a homage to historically acclaimed examples of camp like Swan Lake or the swan dress worn by Bjork at the 73rd Academy Awards. Ciara, who’s look for the evening was inspired by the style of Diana Ross, wore a beaded emerald Peter Dundas gown with a feathered train and dangly crystal hair clips. Naomi Campbell was also seen in feathers, her caped lilac pink Valentino dress came with detailed tights and a man to fan her for the evening. Wind plus feathers? Enough said, Campbell was looking pretty fly.
Jared Leto wore a blood red silk Gucci gown with beaded details on the chest. He was one of the many men who played with gender for the evening, but the only one to carry a severed head. The doppelganger added thrill to the look and made it more of a performance piece, which is very-on-theme.
Lupita Nyongo attracted eyes towards her head as well, with an Afro wig laced with gold hair picks, designed by Vernon Francois. Her hair was reminiscent of Renn Woods’ performance in the film presentation of Hair: The Musical where she sings “Aquarius”. While her colour palette is bold, the silhouette of her Versace dress hails from a galaxy far from our own. The mind behind her makeup – Nick Barose, explained that her look is inspired by that of drag performance artist – Divine.
Cara Delevingne’s colourful candy-caned look was very theatrical and inspired by pride and pop art. Her rainbow striped separates, fit tightly to her body in an angular design, which balanced out the tremendous colour of her look. Each band of colour was individually sewn in a process that took 600 hours to complete. Her cane was a nod to Vaudeville, one of the pillars of broadway acting. Her intricate headpiece was a sweet taste for senses, featuring facial features and peeling bananas.
Another look which displayed showmanship was Tessa Thompson, spotlighting a twelve-foot long latex braid, cracked playfully. The hair alludes to a mix between dominatrix and lion tamer. Her ruffled pink Chanel dress made for an overall Lolita aesthetic. Black vinyl platforms added a fetish flair to her chic appearance.
And lets keep the best till last; Ezra Miller. His costume attracted the eyes of many, to the many eyes on his head. MUA – Mimi Choi took five hours to complete the look with an illusion of five extra eyes surrounding his own. He wore a black Burberry pinstripe suit fitted with a crystal bodice. His look was completed by a caned mask of his own face, a reminder of what he actually looks like.
Words By Ivy Wood
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