After following the controversial theme of "Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination" in 2018, the 2019 edition of the Met Gala will be going in a very different direction. On Oct. 9, the Metropolitan Museum of Art announced that the theme for next year's Costume Institute exhibition will be framed around Susan Sontag's seminal 1964 essay "Notes on 'Camp,'" with Lady Gaga, Harry Styles, Serena Williams, and Gucci's creative director Alessandro Michele named as cohosts alongside Vogue's editor in chief Anna Wintour.
"We are going through an extreme camp moment," explains Andrew Bolton, the curator in charge of the Costume Institute, to The New York Times. "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."
But how should one dress for such a momentous occasion? Well, Bolton mentions the idea of surplus — "A bow that's too big, too many feathers, too many sequins" — which perfectly resonates with Sontag's definition of what camp is: the "love of the unnatural: of artifice and exaggeration . . . style at the expense of content . . . the triumph of the epicene style." And as for Gucci's creative director, without whom this exhibition wouldn't have been made possible, camp means one thing: "the unique ability of combining high art and pop culture."
As we patiently and excitedly wait to see how guests will interpret this year's fascinating theme, read on to see why the new cohosts were the perfect choice, as well as the guests we're most excited to see dress for the occasion.