Gird your loins because it’s practically the first Monday in May already. The 2018 “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination” Met Gala doors only just closed and already Anna Wintour and the gang have them swinging back open with new details about next year’s annual event at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute.
As announced on October 9, the theme of the Met’s spring 2019 exhibition will be “Camp: Notes on Fashion.” If your mind immediately envisioned Madonna atop a horse wearing a canoe, wrong kind of camp—bonfires need not apply.
*at the 2019 met gala*
THEY TOLD ME THE THEME WAS CAMP pic.twitter.com/Yoyl3f7WGP
— gabe bergado (@gabebergado) October 9, 2018
Rather, head curator Andrew Bolton notes the night’s theme draws from Susan Sontag’s 1964 essay “Notes on ‘Camp,'” in which she describes “camp” as the “love of the unnatural: of artifice and exaggeration.” In short, it’s a mix of elite art and pop culture—a combo that Bolton feels is particularly relevant right now.
“We are going through an extreme camp moment, and it felt very relevant to the cultural conversation to look at what is often dismissed as empty frivolity but can be actually a very sophisticated and powerful political tool, especially for marginalized cultures,” Bolton told The New York Times. “Whether it’s pop camp, queer camp, high camp or political camp—Trump is a very camp figure—I think it’s very timely.”
The "camp"-themed Met Gala red carpet is going to be lit pic.twitter.com/0jAvsAJxzU
— Daniel D'Addario (@DPD_) October 9, 2018
Translation: Exaggerated and theatrical, the bigger the bow the better the lewk. Designers to watch for are Hedi Slimane, whose previous work at Yves Saint Laurent renders a near identical collection to his more recent work at the helm of Celine, giving off the type of camp energy Wintour is sure to praise. Naturally, Gucci’s Alessandro Michele has been serving campy vibes ever since his appointment to creative director in 2015—and his latest spring 2019 runway collection fits the bill exactly.
— thesmilecentre (@info91810276) October 9, 2018
Every A-list pop culture icon will do their best to interpret this theme for their grand walk up the formidable steps of the Met. In addition to the theme, Vogue also announced that the 2019 gala co-chairs will be Anna Wintour, Serena Williams, Lady Gaga, Gucci’s Alessandro Michele and Harry effing Styles.
Based on co-chairs of Met Gala’s past, these hosts have some seriously chic designer shoes to fill. For the 2018’s Heavenly Bodies exhibit, co-chair Rihanna showed up as the literal Pope in a custom creation by John Galliano for Maison Martin Margiela, complete with a matching robe and mitre. In 2017, Katy Perry tended to her co-hosting duties in an outrageous red Margiela artisanal number for her stint at the 2017 Met Gala themed “Rei Kawakubo/Commes des Garçons.” So basically, these hosts better bring it.
Given H. Styles’s most recent world tour ensembles and his budding relationship with the House of Gucci, this gig will be a walk in the park. As for Williams, we predict she’ll favour an avant-garde Off-White number and much like her stellar performance in A Star Is Born, we fully expect Gaga to blow our minds, maybe in a meat dress 2.0?
While their outfits remain to be seen, with co-chairs this stylish we’re sure to see a stacked staircase full of celebrity snacks ready to rival last year’s show—the most visited in the Costume Institute’s history. Now, if only Wintour had the sense to blacklist the Kardashian/Jenners (please).
The gala will be held on Monday May 6, 2019 and the exhibit will be open to the public from May 9 through to Sept. 8, 2019. See y’all chickens in the spring!