April 18 (UPI) —
Fashion’s brightest will explore the concept of camp at the 2019 Met Gala.
The camp-themed event will take place May 6 at the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour will co-chair this year’s gala with tennis star Serena Williams and singers Harry Styles and Lady Gaga. The event’s official title is “Camp: Notes on Fashion,” a reference to Susan Sontag’s essay Notes on Camp.
“Whether it’s pop camp, queer camp, high camp or political camp — Trump is a very camp figure — I think it’s very timely,” Costume Institute director curator Andrew Bolton told The New York Times in October. “Much of high camp is a reaction to something.”
In her essay, Sontag identified artifice, excess, extravagance, irony, nostalgia, démodé and innocence as elements of camp. Camp traces its origins to 17th and 18th century French aristocrats, with artist Andy Warhol as a 20th century example.
“At moments like this, fashion is very powerful because of its ability to convey very complex ideas about our cultural mores in seemingly accessible ways,” Bolton said. “One of my favorite definitions from Susan’s essay is when she talks about the idea of camp as failed seriousness. When it is ‘campy,’ it is more self-conscious, but we are going to look at both.”
Past Met Gala attendees include Kim Kardashian, Beyoncé and Jennifer Lopez. WWD said Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Burberry have bought tables for the 2019 event, while Dior, Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein appear to be opting out.
Fortune said in 2018 tickets cost $30,000 per person or $275,000 per table. Designers often cover the stars’ costs, including loaning gowns and other pieces for the celebrities to wear.
The “Camp: Notes on Fashion” exhibit opens May 9 following the gala and will run through Sept. 8. The exhibit features designs from Christian Dior, Cristóbal Balenciaga, Franco Moschino, Donatella Moschino and other designers.