Harry Styles and Lady Gaga have made their mark as fashion icons in the music industry, but now they are officially joining Anna Wintour and Serena Williams as co-chairs of the 2019 Met Gala.
Anna Wintour, editor of Vogue and artistic director of Conde Nast, has co-chaired the gala every year since 1995, and picks a handful of celebrity co-chairs to join her. Last year’s picks were Amal Clooney, Rihanna, and Donatella Versace. Other past co-chairs include Beyoncé, Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, and Marc Jacobs.
Titled “Camp: Notes on Fashion”, this spring the annual gala will explore the “love of the unnatural: of artifice and exaggeration… style at the expense of content,” and is shaped around the 1964 essay “Notes on ‘Camp'” by Susan Sontag.
Tracing camp from the Victorian era to the Stonewall riots, “Camp: Notes on Fashion” will honor the presence and influence the tradition has on culture of past and its current state in modern times.
No one growing up on a diet of Italian television and pop stars such as Mina, Patty Pravo, and Raffaella Carrà in the 1980s could be a stranger to the concept of camp, which Bolton also points out embraces elements that include “irony, humor, parody, pastiche, artifice, theatricality, excess, extravagance, nostalgia, and exaggeration”—all of which can, by turns, be discovered in Michele’s playful Gucci oeuvre.
In an interview with the New York Times, curator Andrew Bolton says, “Sontag in her essay said not everything is camp, but since I have been working on the show, I have started to think it is everywhere, and that all fashion is on some level camp… It has gained such currency it has become invisible, and part of my goal is to make it visible again.”
The exhibition, which will be presented in the Met Fifth Avenue’s Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Exhibition Hall, is made possible by Gucci. For Gucci’s creative director Alessandro Michele, Sontag’s essay “perfectly expresses what camp truly means to me: the unique ability of combining high art and pop culture.”
The Met Gala will take place at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City on May 6, 2019.