I bloody love fancy dress parties. I love getting dressed up. And I do proper fancy dress, none of this sexy cat nonsense. Unfortunately, fancy dress parties are in short supply when you’re 33.
So every year I watch with envy the arrivals at the Met Gala. A great big party full of famous people – and with a theme! A chance to do something different and celebrate fashion at the same time. A lot of the time fashion takes itself very seriously. Maybe a little bit too seriously. The Met Gala is welcome relief from that.
This year’s theme is Camp: Notes on Fashion. A bit of a departure from last year’s theme of Catholicism. Although, a lot of the imagery of Catholicism could be deemed camp. The Met gala 2019 date is easy to remember – it’s the first Monday in May! So get on Twitter in the evening of 6th May
It always seems to get lost that the whole gala is ahead of the opening of the latest exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Arts in New York. I do want to question why the V&A doesn’t have equally extravagant parties ahead of the opening of it’s new shows. The Met has listed camp being defined by “irony, humor, parody, pastiche, artifice, theatricality, and exaggeration”.
So over the top. Glamorous. And open to interpretation.
But more than anything else I will be following it on Twitter to see what Rihanna, the undisputed queen of nailing the theme, will be wearing. Can she copy turning up as the Pope last year? I actually think she can.
Surely camp has it’s natural home in fashion. Hopefully this means there will be as much dedication going into some of the looks as there were last year.
Camp is not neutrals. It is not slip dresses, or elegant tailoring. Go big, or go home. I don’t care if Anna Wintour invited you.
But also, I think that for many the thought of camp is synonymous with gay culture. RuPaul’s Drag Race has brought gay culture and the drag circuit into the mainstream like never before, and I’m old enough to remember when Paul O’Grady was still Lily Savage. But this is a difficult time for the gay community, with stories in the news of parents protesting against LGBT+ education at school gates. It’s vital to remember that if you’re happy to celebrate all things fabulous you also need to step up to support the community when it’s needed.
This post was in collaboration with Vogue.co.uk