Every Met Gala theme leads to a glorious spectacle and a test of one’s patience: For every attendee who nails the concept, there are 12 who show up in some boringly pretty garbage that squanders the opportunity to get weird and, at best, veers unconvincingly off topic. Last year’s Catholicism theme was probably one of the easiest and yet people still managed to fuck it up, so on the curve of imagination it makes sense that 2019—“Camp: Notes on Fashion,” based on Susan Sontag’s 1964 essay “Notes on Camp”—will likely be a real shitshow. Or, who knows, maybe the most wealthy and well-manicured among us will develop a sense of humor overnight and be able to have fun with it! Lord, I hope so, because the homogenization of Big Fashion has been a snooze for several years now, and there’s nothing like a jolt of freaky shit to wake it up. Who’s going to roll through dressed like Sontag herself, turtleneck and grey streak and all? (Woulda been me—next year holler, people!)
Alternately, people are likely just going to show up wearing three-million-feather gowns. Look, I’ll take what I can get. Welcome to Jezebel’s annual, increasingly unhinged, updated-in-real-time-from-the-couch Met Gala red carpet looks blog! May trash culture bless us all for a good time.
Above, co-sponsor Lady Gaga goes full caw! caw! caw! in Baby Jane lashes and a knowingly straight face. A fine start!
No one has ever accused Anna Wintour of being an adventurous dresser from a personal standpoint, so it makes sense she’s wearing her uniform, but with the aforementioned Sontag feathers. Daughter Bee Carrozzini is a bit more puzzling, but I guess what’s campier than... is that a bolo tie? Gaga had a costume change, lest you forget she grew up with drag queens in the cluh.
I have GOT to hand it to Stefani... she knew she’d be pulling a lot of the weight tonight. A pink champagne wheelbarrow is seriously the best idea. Wonder if she’s got sparklers in there too? She definitely is cosplaying as a bottle service attendant at The Box.
I am not sure if this is camp in the definitive sense, but it’s a glorious combination of garish hues, and I’m extremely happy that Serena Williams gets to wear comfortable footwear at this notoriously sadistic fashion event!
Oh, you THOUGHT Billy Porter wasn’t going to show up to a camp-themed fashion event wearing a gilded crown and cape (The Blonds!), and carried by six of the finest topless Pit Crew members whose salary was too high for Drag Race? YES, muva. This is what we need—a sense of humor, a sense of self-regard, and a mild sense of self-regret for what is going to happen at the after-after-after-after-party. My queen.
AND ANOTHER ONE!
Laverne Cox is getting her tens with this eleganza and ice-queen dyejob. Harry Styles and Alessandro Michele... I guess? I suppose all his designs for Gucci are imbued with a sort of chintzy nostalgia and excess, and this is camp in a David Bowie fashion. But if I had access to styling Styles, former boy-bander turned Americana soloist, I might go wilder than International Male catalog and eyeliner.
I like Vogue lifer Hamish Bowles’s 15th century dandy, but it also kind of makes me want to overthrow the state? I don’t know, I guess who is campier than Louis XIV.
While I would like to own a pair of Dapper Dan logo stockings, I fail to see how Ashley Graham’s Gucci look fits into the theme (it made more sense when I thought the jaguar on her jacket was a rat). Regina Hall goes excess brocade and establishes herself as Beyhive with some appliqué, and Wendi Deng Murdoch just looks like someone who’s going to write you out of her will at the last minute before the stock market crashes.
21 Savage is wearing a variation on what he always does, which is perhaps a statement in itself. Bevy Smith is fun in the draperies, and Céline Dion’s Vegas showgirl ensemble is reflective of her new outlook on life!
Dapper Dan does his version of a Nudie suit, and frankly anything this icon does is fine with me. Awkwafina looks gorgeous, but this is not camp, this is just right. However, the only thing more camp than Nichapat Suphap dressing like Jojo Siwa (who BETTER be there) is that she’s a Vogue contributor. The campiest job in media!
Charli, Karli, and Robb Stark, fuck yeah! Charli XCX nabbing the curtains cord as a belt is nice, though I’m getting more electroclash than thematic fealty. Karli Kloss doing Dynasty is fine, Richard Madden in pirate pants, okay.
America’s Past Drag Superstar Aquaria is going goth Raggedy Ann, I guess just living is her whole steez. Taron Egerton’s dainty KFC ribbon counts, and Caroline Trentini is serving last-minute Halloween looks, respect.
Finally, some nuanced readings! Ava DuVernay took a more surrealist turn, while Ryan Murphy dressed up as oysters on the half shell. Absolutely flawless. Young slay queen Yara Shahidi is a glamping extra in a 2019 Crybaby, everything John Waters could have dreamed of—Ronnie Spector, a glossy bad girl, a fur that looks a little bit like a cat. I love these!
Florence Welch is on that unicorn shit, Huma Abedin is on that state dinner shit, Ruth Wilson is going as bad Donna from Twin Peaks and it works.
Kris Jenner told E! that she is “channeling David Bowie,” but I’m getting more like Maleficent-as-momager, which is campier than Bowie. Anderson.Paak and Saoirse Ronan are fun and adventurous in these looks, but again... thematically I’m underwhelmed.
I’m with anyone who wears Iris Van Herpen, and Jordan Roth is cosplaying as a concert hall! The detailing!
Tiffany Haddish called her Michael Kors “pimp-a-licious” on E! and I’m loving it. James Charles just looks pretty, which fine. Natasha Lyonne is serving you Bernadette Peters at Studio 54, but also looks like a teacup.
What is sort of dunderheadedly funny but America? Tommy Hilfiger and Dee Ocleppo Hilfiger know what’s up, all Texas and Vegas and the 1972 RNC. Madelaine Petsch is doing what 95 percent of the 23-year-olds at Electric Daisy Carnival do, which works. Michael Stephen Shank got the yeehaw memo, and Taylor Hill is at least trying for America via Marilyn Monroe, sans depressive context!
My mans, on Aurora James: “She looks like she’s wearing a barrel, so it’s good.” Mindy Kaling is giving us Krystle Carrington, I guess? As for Ashley and Mary Kate Olsen... simply being a twin is camp. Between that and their cinematic repertoire between ages 0-18, they don’t have to do shit.
Frank Ocean is a clear winner for tonight, my mans is dressed like middle management at a local bank who’s using his lunch break to go to Pep Boyz. Lena Dunham and Jemima Kirke are twinning in one of the best designers, Christopher Kane, though I’d call this more swinging London than anything. Still, at least it’s got some flavor. Lucy Boynton’s look is very pretty, but again, she’s dressed like a slightly fancier version of the stage dancers during Guetta at EDC.
Say what you want about creepy Jared Leto, and I will and do, but I also cannot deny that he did that. I just laughed for three minutes straight. [ADDENDUM: I forgot this shit was already on the Gucci runway, instantly not as funny.]
Demi Moore as Elvira, I’ll accept it. Miley Cyrus looks like a Saint Laurent runway, but arguably being married to Liam Hemsworth is camp enough. I don’t know what Sienna Miller and Emily Blunt are doing besides looking gorgeous and sparkly, the latter of which is kind of boring. When is someone going to look purposely ugly on this carpet, for chrissakes!
Alessia Cara is rocking the Comme des Garçons platform Nikes I’m still mad I did not cop! Dev Hynes is just always having a good-ass time. Alexa Chung still seems really buttoned up even whilst wearing a couch. It’s the vibe as much as the look.
Katy Perry, always adventurous, really just needed to show up. The look is fantastic, but also, how she gonna sit, though?
Diane von Furstenberg is declaring herself the queen of New York with a print of her own face! One of like, three people who gets it here. Elle Fanning came as Heather Graham’s character in Austin Powers; Zoe Saldana looks like she went to Studio 54 with DVF in the ‘70s, but if she had, the look would have been campier.
Danai Gurira is going to break out in a Bob Fosse routine with
Tom Hiddleston Benedict Cumberbatch, whatever!, while Halsey kicks somebody’s ass.
Joan Smalls looks more like a Westerosi than a camp icon, but whatever, at least Kacey Musgraves and Pom Klementieff are giving us Barbie two ways.
Cody Fern, I’m loving this look from head to toe. Janet Mock, also gorgeous, the feathers in effect. I think a lot of the people here, like Haley Bieber, interpreted Sontag’s 1964 essay as just “dress like the ‘60s”? But Alexander Wang’s wearing his boxers, so.
Is green lamé camp? I’m going to say hard no, at least in Julianne Moore’s interpretation. Gigi Hadid, Michael Kors, and Naomi Campbell got a little closer, but I’m still dying for someone to just subvert the whole paradigm.
Alicia Keys is supposedly wearing a look in homage to Grace Jones. Gal Godot looks like she is paying homage to my perfect look in eighth grade. Zöe Kravitz has band-aid boob! Band-aids are funny. It’s also funny that they call them “plasters” in the UK, you crazy kids.
Bette Midler can just show up, but I appreciate the effort here, with daugher Sophie Von Haselberg. Janelle Monáe’s boob-eye winks, which is relatable to me personally. Georges LeBar is letting his husband RuPaul shine in an homage to Deee-Lite via Reno, at least in my mind.
Donatella Versace and Kim Kardashian are both inherently campy just by being themselves, while Kanye West is definitely giving us camp in the face. Nick Jonas and Priyanka Chopra... I don’t know what’s going on here but it is fun at least!
Let’s just take a moment to appreciate that Kristen Stewart is the maddest-looking person on any red carpet and I adore it every time!
My mans is currently ranting about how everyone’s having a “poverty of imagination” and that we are all colonized by Western capitalist demands, so here are some outfits! Feathers abound because these peoples’ stylists only read one line from Sontag, but at least these are fun colors—Kendall Jenner and Kylie Jenner and Lizzo are serving us birds of paradise, while A-Rod is unintentionally camp and J.Lo just does a look and shit. She’s worn better on World of Dance, though, I have got to be honest.
In Rihanna’s absence, Cardi B has brought the large train drama, while combining fancy-bathroom lounge and true Bird shit. Loving it!
Indya Moore is stunning as ever, and maybe with a little yeehaw in the mix! Lupita Nyong’o rolled through with neon wings and a Marie Antoinette-inspired hairstyle interpreted with afropicks, wonderful. Salma Hayek is like NO I’m THE HEIR TO THE IRON THRONE, GAWD!
Some things that I like: Cara Delevingne cosplaying as a candy raver; Keiynan Lonsdale going as a butterfly; Zendaya bibbity-bobbity-boo’ing her way into an LED-lit skirt. EVERYONE SHOULD JUST GO TO A CORPORATE RAVE AFTER THIS.
More in the category of gorgeous gowns but why do these look like Oscar red carpet outings rather than Fashion Prom: Gabrielle Union, Gemma Chan (with Tom Ford), and Lilly Singh. At least Lilly went a little wacky-literal... waterlily?
Dominique Jackson is giving us old-way vogue ball looks; I cannot be mad at anyone paying homage to the ‘80s ballroom boom. Haley Steinfeld is employing irony, Michael Urie is just giving us the old Victor/Victoria gag. I bet they’ll be super fun to hang out with tonight.
Elizabeth Debicki is subtle with it, but I think I see what she’s doing here. I can almost smell the vintage on it. Ezra Miller went full surrealist and gave us a chandelier corset plus six eyes, probably the fullest visual representation of what I feel in my soul right now. Regina King also did Dynasty. I’d definitely trust her with my stock portfolio (if I had one).
Cole Sprouse and Lili Reinhart are giving us a great narrative, and it is thus: Lili is Baby’s sister (Lisa?) in Dirty Dancing, doing the luau shit. Cole is Patrick Swayze’s character, only instead of dirty dancing, they join Cirque du Soleil. Lili teaches Cole to make finger sandwiches and other gross Betty Crocker hors d’oeuvres, and then supports their growing family as a torch singer while Cole stays home and teaches the kids how to do magic tricks. Divorce has not yet been invented.
Man, Nicki Minaj knows she can do better camp than this; she should have tried to recreate that photo of her sitting front row with Anna Wintour in the pom poms. I mean, where is Roman in all of this? It’s a cute ballerina joint, but feels underachieving.
Show! Me! Where! The Camp! Is at!
Lala Anthony gets it! One of the best of the night, combining early 2000s all-over money print with... a freaking CROWN OF SPARE CHANGE.
Chloe Grace Moretz and Emma Stone had the same era-focused idea and it was fine. Solange’s snakeskin hotsuit might be a message... or it might just be her flexing her sense memory of another fantastic early 2000s look. Never thought I would be ready for this era to return, but I guess I’m there! If I start repping low-rise jeans, though, call my shrink.
Jennifer Connolly, Sophie Turner, and Joe Jonas all got a Mondrian memo; I love it when people wear matching outfits. Robyn is a peach manicure; not sure where the camp is at but I’m just glad she was invited.
You do not have a camp party and forget to call Dame Joan Collins. That’s it. That’s the tweet.
Alicia Vikander is giving us chintz to Ciara’s body-ody-ody; Gwen is just wearing a leotard, I don’t know. Idris Elba and Sabrina Dhowre are not giving us camp at all, but I think it’s fine while this completely nutty commercial starring Idris is still in rotation. More than makes up for the theme.
Pyer Moss’s Kerby Jean Raymond and Lena Waithe’s looks are in homage to Paris is Burning and the original drag balls, giving us executive realness on the carpet; Dakota Johnson is giving us Gucci spokesperson realness; Emily Ratajowski is giving us winged goddess got lost at the wrong Met Gala theme REALNESS!
Kate Moss and Kelela are shiny space witches...
And Tessa Thompson is gonna make damn sure you have a good time. IF YOU ARE NOT HAVING A GOOD TIME YOU WILL BE PUNISHED.
Lupita, perhaps wondering if more people will deign to stick with the theme next year, and knowing the answer. As ever, I express my gratitude for the enthusiastic, and put a pox on the fancy folks who get a shot at fashion’s biggest night and don’t even bother to read the invite! Until next year... exuent.
Correction: An earlier version of this post misidentified Pyer Moss’s Kerby Jean Raymond as Chadwick Boseman due to speed typing and a Getty mislabeling. I deeply regret this error, which I should have seen coming!