The Met Gala, an annual fundraising benefit of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute in New York City, held it’s 2019 event on Monday, May 6th. Many people who do not follow art and fashion closely are not aware that the Gala’s annual theme reflects the theme of that year’s Costume Institute exhibition. This year’s theme was Camp: Notes on Fashion, which will “explore the origins of the camp aesthetic, and how it has evolved from a place of marginality to become an important influence on mainstream culture.”
Camp as an aesthetic was completely lost on audiences who are not fashion geeks and historians. According to Wiki:
Camp is an aesthetic style and sensibility that regards something as appealing because of its bad taste and ironic value. Camp aesthetics disrupt many of modernism’s notions of what art is and what can be classified as high art by inverting aesthetic attributes such as beauty, value, and taste through an invitation of a different kind of apprehension and consumption.
And, once again, a style of dress that was pioneered by queer culture, particularly drag queens, QPOC, QTPOC, and ballroom culture, was largely left out of the discussions of the evening. But Lena Waithe made sure that her outfit gave credit where credit was due:
Now, hear Waithe in her own words describe her Pyer Moss look:
Listen to @LenaWaithe in her own words, explaining the details in her Met Gala look. Her custom buttons represent Camp icons like Dorian Corey, Kim Pendavis, Octavia St. Laurent, Paris Dupree, Pepper LaBeija, Rupaul, Venus Xtravaganza and Willi Ninja. pic.twitter.com/SBxnHF2Oyy
— Pyer Moss (@pyermoss) May 8, 2019