In Susan Sontag's 1964 essay Notes On "Camp," which helped to inspire this year's Met Gala theme and exhibit, the writer names many things that are camp. Tiffany lamps. Swan Lake. The pop songstress La Lupe. However, one concept of the aesthetic is harder to define, yet will be right in front of your nose as you take in the 2019 Met Gala's best-dressed couples: The inherent campiness of love.
"Camp taste is a kind of love, love for human nature. It relishes, rather than judges, the little triumphs and awkward intensities of 'character'," Sontag wrote in Notes on "Camp" (which was so kindly published by Georgetown University's website). "Camp taste identifies with what it is enjoying. People who share this sensibility are not laughing at the thing they label as 'a camp,' they're enjoying it. Camp is a tender feeling."
And that tenderness, and how the Met Gala's enamored attendees choose to display it, is the most interesting aspect of the night. After all, seeing what your favorite celebrity couple wears to any award show is a treat. Watching how they dress at one that triumphs the androgynous epicene style (which Sontag defined as "the convertibility of 'man' and 'woman,' 'person' and 'thing'") — that's fascinating.
While all of the celebrities invited can definitely carry themselves, by themselves — and any Victor/Victoria moments are appreciated here — the art of camp is much more fun with a partner in crime. Ahead, the best-dressed couples at the 2019 Met Gala.