The Metropolitan Museum of Art just announced the theme of next year’s Met Gala and accompanying Costume Institute exhibition, The New York Times reports. It’s “Camp: Notes on Fashion,” a clear reference to Susan Sontag’s seminal 1964 essay “Notes on Camp.”
The point of reference is exciting, in part because it will flip the usual best dressed/worst dressed red carpet lists on its heads. Usually, we celebrate the celebrities who try the hardest to stick to the Met Gala’s theme. But if the theme is camp, then effort and success will spell failure, resulting in a kind of intentional camp (e.g., Sharknado, ‘80s costume parties) that Sontag declares “less satisfying” than best kind of camp, what she calls “pure camp,” which is utterly naive of its failure (e.g., The Room, actually being a teenage girl in 1986 and proudly crimping your bangs for picture day).
I’d suggest that attendees, duh, read the essay, which contains a lot of helpful gaudy “pure camp” guideposts to consider like beaded dresses and feather boas, but most of ‘em will probably equate “camp” with “tacky” and show up in some travesty by Moschino, so why do I even bother! Faster, straight celebrities! Misinterpret! Misinterpret!