Met Gala 2019
Michael At The Met
The glitz! The glamour! The gowns! The annual Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute Gala is always one of the most magical Mondays of the year—and 2019 is no exception. When the museum announced that this year’s Costume Institute exhibition (which dictates the gala’s annual theme) would be “Camp: Notes on Fashion,” visions of pitched tents and toasted marshmallows might’ve come to mind. But the concept is more about culture than campfire songs. The exhibition is inspired by Susan Sontag’s 1964 essay, “Notes on ‘Camp,’” in which she characterizes camp by “its love of the unnatural: of artifice and exaggeration.” The antithesis of seriousness, camp is playful. It celebrates the joy of fashion with dramatic extremes like over-the-top silhouettes, elaborate embroidery, and a tongue-in-cheek sensibility.
Naturally, Michael couldn’t wait to dive in. Taking cues from noted camp style icons like Diana Ross, Cher, Liberace and Elton John, he designed exclusive looks for six fabulous women (including his date, supermodel Gigi Hadid) that combine theatricality, extravagance and a hint of humor. Below, Michael describes his vision for some of the Met Gala’s best-dressed guests—from beginning sketch to final look.