It's arguably the biggest day of the year for fashion, and you can bet the outfits next year will be more extreme than ever. The anticipated 2019 Met Gala theme has been announced as "Camp: Notes on Fashion," and who better to host than the queen of camp herself, Lady Gaga? By her side will be celebrity co-chairs Serena Williams and Harry Styles.
Each spring, celebrities flood into "the party of the year," as the Met calls it, flaunting their over-the-top gowns on that famous red carpet-clad staircase. On Tues., the Metropolitan Museum announced the theme of its upcoming Costume Institute exhibit which launches every year at the ultra-exclusive benefit. It seems likely that the 2019 Met Gala will bring out the most outrageous outfits yet, because guests will be encouraged to comply with the theme of "camp."
The Wendy Yu Curator in Charge of the Costume Institute, Andrew Bolton, explained the theme to Vogue, saying it was inspired by a 1964 essay by Susan Sontag called "Notes on Camp." In the essay, Bolton describes camp fashion as "love of the unnatural: of artifice and exaggeration...style at the expense of content."
As far as hosts go, Gaga is a given. The A Star Is Born actor is famous for her over-the-top fashion (her most recent red carpet look was a Victorian-inspired Alexander McQueen dress with a frilly neck and puffy sleeves). The singer skipped the Met Gala in 2018, but will be co-chairing the event next spring with tennis icon Serena Williams and Harry Styles.
The event will be sponsored by Gucci, which made Met Gala co-chair Harry Styles the face of its Tailoring Campaign this past summer. The brand has been churning out rather extravagant styles lately and the English singer has been its muse.
More than 1.3 million guests turned up at the 2018 event, according to The Washington Post, making it one of the most attended years in Met Gala history. The theme of 2018's gala was "Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination," intertwining style and religion.
Among the night's best dressed was Blake Lively, who showed up in a custom Versace gown that allegedly took some 600 hours to embroider and a golden halo bursting out of her bun with 100 carats of diamonds. Katy Perry also followed the angelic theme with larger-than-life feather wings, but Bella Hadid went the opposite direction, dressing in an all-black latex dominatrix top and floor-length gothic veil by Chrome Hearts. No guest, however, outshone co-chair Rihanna, who wore a bejeweled gown and overcoat by Maison Margiela, complete with a show-stopping bishop's hat by Stephen Jones.
You can almost certainly expect even more over-the-top getups following the camp theme in 2019. Although more lighthearted than the previous year's religious motif, the camp theme certainly speaks to the political climate of the moment. Bolton told Vogue, "I felt it would have a lot of cultural resonance." Designers such as Cristóbal Balenciaga, Marc Jacobs, Prada, Versace, and Christian Lacroix, among others, will all be featured in the benefit on May 6.