The Met Pays Tribute to the Art of Camp in a New Exhibit

Written by | Art & Design, Lifestyle

camp dresses sketched

From Left: Ensemble, Virgil Abloh (American, born 1980) for Off-White c/o Virgil Abloh. (Italian, founded 2013), pre-fall 2018; Ensemble, Alessandro Michele (Italian, born 1972) for Gucci. (Italian, founded 1921), fall/winter 2016–17

Camp is defined as being “deliberately exaggerated and theatrical in style, typically for humorous effect.” It’s long been a term applied to a number of LGBTQ-related aesthetics — on stage, on screen, and off. This year, the Metropolitan Museum of Art is celebrating and exploring the influence of camp on fashion with the exhibition Camp: Notes on Fashion.

More From Metrosource

If that alone were not enough to tempt you, it will also be the theme of the May 6 Met Gala, co-chaired by fashion forces Lady Gaga, Alessandro Michele, Harry Styles, Serena Williams and Anna Wintour. According to the Met, “The Costume Institute’s spring 2019 exhibition 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.”

Susan Sontag’s 1964 essay Notes on ‘Camp’ provides a framework for the exhibition, which examines how fashion designers have used their métier as a vehicle to engage with camp in a myriad of compelling, humorous and sometimes incongruous ways.” Even if you can’t score a ticket to the gala, you’ll be able to take in the fabulous fashions on display starting May 9.

Want Metrosource LGBTQ content notifications? Sign up for MetroEspresso.

Last modified: May 1, 2019