Held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the annual Met Gala is one of the world’s biggest fashion events. This year’s theme was ‘Camp: Notes on Fashion’, inspired by American writer and activist Susan Sontag’s 1964 essay, Notes on ‘Camp’. The brief on the Met’s website was to “examine how the elements of irony, humour, parody, pastiche, artifice, theatricality, and exaggeration are expressed in fashion,” essentially giving permission for designers to really push the boat out and create unique, off-the-wall looks.
Whilst there were many wonderful outfits from many people – some of my favourites being Janelle Monae, Billy Porter, Lizzo, and Michael Urie – there were many outfits that just didn’t meet the mark. Rating the outfits is difficult because the criteria is not based on aesthetics or style. What may be pleasing to the eye isn’t always camp. So here are the five outfits that I found were least in keeping with the theme of ‘camp’.
- Anna Wintour
Perhaps it is a little unfair to Anna Wintour to include her on this list as her outfit was certainly beautiful, consisting of a long bejewelled pink dress with a pink feather cloak, but it did not stand out and was not particularly memorable. As the editor-in-chief of Vogue and chair of the Met Gala, it was a little disappointing.
- Alexander Skarsgård
I am naming and shaming Alexander Skarsgård in particular, but the same criticism could be applied to dozens of men attending the Met this year: sheer lack of effort. The Met Gala is one of the biggest fashion events of the year with a notoriously exclusively guest list, and for someone to get a ticket and then rock up in a plain black suit is just mediocre.
- Benedict Cumberbatch
To his credit, at least Benedict Cumberbatch attempted to stand out with his all white suit, cane, and fedora. Although the look was given a positive reception by Cosmopolitan, it did not go down so well on social media, with Twitter user @aimeeraeless summing up the look as “Plantation owner but make it fashion?” Unfortunately, I’d have to agree.
- Gwyneth Paltrow
Gwyneth Paltrow seemed to make absolutely no attempt to stick to the theme and came dressed in a long lemon-yellow dress that looked gave off strong nightgown vibes.
- Harry Styles
I am aware that this will be an unpopular opinion, but I found Harry Styles’ outfit to be incredibly underwhelming after seeing all the hype around it on social media. Styles wore a sheer ruffled shirt and black high waisted trousers and, while the overall look had a cool emo pirate vibe, it was not particularly ‘camp’. Perhaps on a traditionally more conservative dresser, the look might have been exciting, but, given his reputation for jazzy outfits, Styles’ Gala look was nothing spectacular. Harry Styles was one of the co-chairs for the event and could have used the opportunity to really push boundaries but instead he remained firmly in his comfort zone. His outfit was to me, too serious and, after all, “the whole point of camp is to dethrone the serious. Camp is playful, it is anti-serious.”
[ Gracie Beswick – she/her – @graciebeeswax ]
[Photo credit: Theo Wargo/WireImages]