On May 6th, celebrities and designers flocked to the Metropolitan Museum of Art for its annual Met Gala, celebrating the Costume Institute's newest exhibition “Camp: Notes on Fashion”, inspired by the late American writer, filmmaker, philosopher, teacher, and political activist: Susan Sontag. And for those who are uneducated in the profound essay by Susan, it was and remains an inspiring dissertation detailing what precisely 'camp' is, in the form of a 58 point list - and can be read here.
The theme, for many new to the concept of ‘Camp’ was bewildering. In the simplest of explanations, Camp is artificial, passionate, yet serious. Camp is Art Nouveau objects, Greta Garbo, Warner Brothers musicals and Mae West intertwined. It’s about being flamboyant, eccentric, rampant with zest and bursting at the seams with tacky theatricality.
The beauty and pageantry gracing the powdered pink carpet was undeniably perpetual:
Lady Gaga demonstrated a dramaturgic performance whilst waltzing up the stairs and making a total of four costume changes. Actor Billy Porter arrived in Icarus-like wings, adorned in gold, and being carried in pure Egyptian style by six chiselled men.
Zendaya was magically transformed into a real life Cinderella with a wave of her stylists magic wand.
And Ezra Miller left us seeing triple with a disorienting cosmetic transformation...
The most pompous aside however, I have taken my magnifying glass to highlight what I deem to be the ten most dazzling and drop-dead looks of the event.
So let us begin the run down of this year’s Met Gala…
Crazy Rich Asians actress Constance Wu came dressed draped in a Marchesa-strung pearl and tulle gown; hair twirled into glossy finger waves, positioned prettily with a particularly stunning chain-link hairpiece by Derek Yuen. Her aura played a record of gothic Gatsby charm, meets the angelic demeanour of Fantasia 1940 Part 1: The Pastoral Symphony.
Hues of canary yellow, orange blossom honey and ivory seashell quite literally danced from Celine Dion's Oscar De La Renta ensemble. The fringed bodysuit scintillated from every angle and with each motion, and quite honestly made me think of her as the angel on top of one's Christmas tree.
Gaudy and gobby she may be, but Cardi B didn't fail to stun spectators with a crimson, duffle quilted and feathered gown by Thom Browne that required its own team of handlers to make its way down the red carpet. The piece took around 2,000 hours to create, and was adorned with genuine ruby nipples, designed by Stefere and costing $250,000 each.
The breathtaking model 'Emrata' arrived to the Met Gala in a sparkling semblance, with a look that to my eyes can only be compared to a fusion of the Greek God Hermes, Guillermo Del Toro's Shape of Water creature and the classic illustrations of Art Deco master Erte. The halter-necked custom Dundas dress displayed a full bodice cut-out, open back, sheer silhouette, complete with a small train.
Ah, blessed J Lo and 'that' derriere. Versace was the chosen designer by the infamous singer-come-actress; the garment featuring a plunging V neckline and a thigh-high slit because, really, no J. Lo lewk is complete without a full leg reveal. Lopez paired the dress with iridescent platform heels, stacks of diamond bracelets, rings and a silver Judith Leiber clutch. An enormous pendant necklace rounded out the dripping-in-ice effect.
Actress Julia Garner was the epitome of Erte in a a custom lamé gown crafted in an ombre effect of silver to gold, accessorized with a 3D-printed vine headpiece with leaf and berry embellishments; created by the one and only Zac Posen. Speaking of his inspiration, Posen remarked: "I went underwater for that one and started looking at deep-sea creatures and the effect of light and scale".
Yes, she may have morphed into a gigantic cheeseburger for the after party of the Met Gala, but prior to this, Perry quite literally illuminated the red carpet as a walking Moschino chandelier. The outfit featured a basic body con dress bathed in clear crystals, which bound as the foundation for the multiple light-up candles bestowed upon her head and her waist.
Dressed as if she was dripping wet, Kim Kardashian arrived to the event in a Thierry Mugler gown which not only took a total of eight months to create, but also happens to be the first new garment for Mr Mugler to design in a grand total of 20 years. The latex corseted dress clung to the reality star's body, with teardrop beaded crystals hanging lustrously. Kardashian later shared some images of Sophia Loren wearing a see-through wet dress in the movie Boy on a Dolphin to her Instagram Stories, suggesting that this is where her and Mugler drew the inspiration from.
A violently violet Versace garment custom designed for the billionaire babe that is Kylie Jenner stunned in more respects than one. Embracing the true meaning of excess and extravagance, the look of monochromatic purple crystal mesh trimmed in hand-painted ostrich plumes truly nailed the concept of camp.
Last, but most certainly not least, is supermodel Bella Hadid, who - like Katy Perry - chose to wear a look crafted by the house of Moschino. The bejewelled Bella took new meaning to Marilyn's chorale 'Diamond's Are A Girls Best Friend' as she promenaded the pink carpet, looking like she had quite literally been dipped in diamanté.
And there, ladies and gentlemen, is another year at the Met Gala.
Another annum of the ostentatious.
A 47th evening of icons within the fashion and arts world parading their presences.
Until next year, Gala. Until next year.