The MET Gala is to May what Coachella is to April.
Every first Mondays of May, the Metropolitan Museum opens its doors to a Charity Gala also inaugurating the Museum’s Costume Institute aisle, which is the Met’s fashion area. Every year, the Met Gala is structured around a given theme leading to a specific dress code. Overtime, the Met Gala became a real fashion runaway allowing designers display their talents and creativity in the freest and most extravagant ways they can possibly imagine. Years after years, the Met Gala has become an unmissable fashion event where expectations toward designers are getting tougher and tougher. The Met Gala is the only fashion event giving free reins and full liberty to every players of the fashion game. That’s the reason why recently expectations have been higher and focused on originality.
This year, the theme was CAMP! Which is a very difficult and broad theme. The world CAMP has been invented and used centuries ago by French philosophers and writers like Molière to qualify an unatural or extravagant appearance. The main synonyms for « Camp » would be exaggeration, parody, or drama. Broader than that, the defintion also includes a taste of nostalgia, a desire to go back to childhood, or a penchant for androgyny. Such a blurry definition was the perfect excuse for designers and celebs to get off the beaten track and leave creativity do magic!
I have selected some of the most (positively AND negatively) inspirational outfits of the Met Gala and classified them in 3 categories: The Cheap Ones for those who misunderstood the theme and skip the line between eccentricity and costume. The risk-takers for those who deeply explored the theme. And the Geniuses, for those who took the theme to a whole next level. I won’t mention those who were totally outside of the theme such as Emma Stone, Gwyneth Paltrow, or – unfortunately – Miley Cyrus and Rami Malek (I’m still very sad and disappointed).
- Katy Perry in Moschino: We know that Jeremy Scott creates wonderful and unrivaled outfit perfectly matching the originality expected for the Met Gala. HOWEVER! Dressing up as a human chandelier has absolutely nothing to do with the theme and mostly looks like a costume than a fashion outfit. Obviously, the costume itself is marvellous: glitters, silver, pearls, lights. But even if the world CAMP implies the « too-much » it doesn’t mean you have to come dressed as furnitues…
- Donatella Versace in Versace: It’s really heartbreaking to say so, but this year Donatella’s dress looked cheap. She probably wanted to look Camp through the colors and the big paterns, however I’m not sure it’s reaching the set goal. That’s unfortunate because the suit she’s wearing under the skirt looks nice. The skirt is basically downgrading the outfit and looks like she made it 10 minutes before walking the pink carpet.
- Zendaya in Tommy Hilfiger: The Cinderalla inspiration was amazing and I really loved her purse and the whole show around her, but the dress just looked like a cheaper version of Claire Danes’ Zac Posen Dress for the Met Gala in 2016. However, we can’t deny that Zendaya’s outfit respected the theme.
- Billy Porter in The Blonds, and Emily Ratajkowski in Peter Dundas: They were both wearing amazing outfit but it was more belonging to a Greek or Egypt Mytholgoy theme than the camp theme.
- Lady Gaga in Brandon Maxwell: Not only an on-fleek outfit, but also a real show. Lady Gaga arrived on the pink carpet wearing a huge fushia dress with a amazing bow and a perfect make-up style. Besides the dancers, the umbrellas, and her amazing performance and poses, lady gaga was wearing three different dresses from the same designer to finally end up in underwear. She took a risk and was totally exagerating everything as if the outfit itself wasn’t enough. That’s too much, that’s CAMP!
- Cardi B in Thom Brown: In the same spirit than Lady Gaga, Cardi B was wearing this huge red dress with a lot of volume, feathers, and diamonds (her hat has been estimated as of about 40 carats!). The details were also reminding of some femal intimate attributes, and that was a lot, as well as being provocative. With this dress Cardi B stayed true to herself and true to the theme!
- Gigi Hadid in Michael Kors: This brand wasn’t expected at all on the pink carpet this year, which makes Gigi Hadid’s outfit an audacious choice. The brightness of her outfit as well as the one-piece appearance with one single suit kinda reminds me of a drag queen outfit, this is totally CAMP and I was really happy to see some Michael Kors on stage (Emily Blunt came with a nice Michael Kors dress as well, that was cool!)
- Kim Kardashian in Mugler: The first risk Kim took was to wear a dress from Mugler: Indeed, before this amazing dress, Mugler hasn’t created any ready-to-wear item for the last 20 years, he wasn’t expected at all on the pink carpet. Furthermore, the second risk resides in the dress’s simplicity. Indeed, while other celebs fully played around the CAMP theme with extravagant, colorful, and voluminous outfits, Kim K came with a simpler dress inspired from vintage california girls clichés with wet clothes, and wet hair. HOWEVER! She’s still 100% respecting the theme since CAMP also represents the non-natural. Let me explain: This dress is entirely made of silicone and includes a very tight corset reshaping Kim’s body to extra-amplify her curves. Correct me if I’m wrong but such a silhouette emprisonned in a dress made of a non-textile material is NOT natural! Basically, Kim and Mugler cleverly explored another definition of the theme. This outfit was a risk but it also made Kim surprisingly one of the most original celeb on the pink carpet this year.
- Harry Style in Gucci: Being a Gucci’s muse made it obvious and expectable for Hazza to wear Gucci on the red carpet. We’ve been used to see him wearing colorful, bright, and over-patterned suits on stage so we were expecting something even quirkier from Harry. However he surprised us with a all-black suit cleverly inspired from the women-dressing. Indeed, androgyny is also an aspect of the theme CAMP, which Harry understood and worn very well while always keeping a very boyish attitude. That was genius to respect the theme through details such as transparency, lace, heels, jewelry… Just As Kim K, we surprised us and distinguished himself thanks to the simplicity of his outfit and his original perception of the theme. By the way, Alessandro Michele gave a similar interpretation of the theme with is memorable pink suit!
- Jared Leto in Gucci: Jared Leto is a genius. In 5 words: HE CAME WEARING HIS HEAD! Just as a nod to Gucci’s famous fashion show for Milan’s Fashion Week 2018. Such an original and creepy accessory gave him the opportunity to exagerate and create a whole performance on the pink carpet as he was playing with it and proudly posing with his own head! In addition, his outfit looked really bright, extravagant and even royal which is a fun wink at royalty and traditions to cut traitors’ heads!
(Or I’m just too obsessed with Games of Thrones haha).
- Ezra Miller in Burberry: Ezra also gave us a show! Not to say an Experience when arriving with a bright cape and a creepy mask hiding another totally different style. Indeed, under his cape, he was wearing a over-sized and elegant suit, with a very androgynous, creepy, and CAMP make up.
- Anna Wintour in Chanel: Obviously, Queen Wintour came wearing Chanel! As the voice of today’s modern fashion and luxury industry, she had to come elegant no matter the theme. Noone was expecting her wearing outrageous outfits, she’s too iconic for that! Which was challenging for such a theme. However she cleverly nod at the Met Gala’s invite which was showing a pink flamingo. Her outfit was still CAMP thanks to the bright colors, the oversized feather cape, and the big diamong on her dress. It can be very challenging to made Chanel – which is such a classic and elegant brand – looks camp, but this Queen did it!
- Bella Hadid in Moschino: Seriously look at her! She looks like a duchess. Her dress was so elegant and timeless, and the huge accumulation of jewelry was the perfect CAMP detail! I also really love her hairstyle which modernizes the look and gives her a diva attitude. In addition she came with Jeremy Scott himself (FYI: He is Moschino’s Fashion Director), and they were perfectly matching! I also really love his outfit.
2. Lily-Rose Depp in Chanel: Lily-Rose showed up in a magnificent, simple, but CAMP Chanel dress playing around the theme kinda the same way Bella Hadid did. You know me, Chanel is my weakness.
3. Nina Dobrev in Zac Posen: Her dress was very pretty and she looked like a lovely ballerina! I liked the exaggertaed shapes and volume here and there to make the dress looks cunningly original. In addition, Zac Posen always dreamt to use 3D printing to design his ready-to-wear masterpieces, and that’s what he did on Nina Dobrev. Indeed, her dressed has been created with 3D printing to perfectly fit her body measurement. A real artwork! Afterall, the Met Gala is the best place to showcase new creative techniques, to take risks, and to innovate.
- 4. Hailey Bieber in Alexander Wang: They explored the childhood and nostalgia sides of the theme with a quite simple dress totally relying on Hailey’s body and an amazing open-back. The big oversize black ribbon holding her ponytail is also a nice CAMP detail. It was a very subtle way to explore the theme and Hailey looked so pretty is this dress. I really like this style on her.
5. Kendall and Kylie Jenner in Versace: What an amazing idea to come as a pair wearing contrasting colors from the same brand. They look stunning and remind me of Brazilian dancers.
I hope you enjoyed this article! It feels good to be back on the blog after so long. I had to be very focused on my last months of school before FINALLY getting my degree and I really had no time and energy to write. After that, life get a little crazy and I had so much other professional priorities to deal with. But I’m back on tracks now, and I’m committed to write more and to post more often. I also want to thanks those of you who reached me out on Instagram to ask me why I wasn’t writting anymore. It’s very ecouraging to know that you guys are waiting for my articles! Thank you so much.
Ps.: I get many information about the Met Gala backstage and designer’s little secret thanks to Vogue’s youtube videos. Click Here
— Lot of love, Cece.