The MET Gala 2019: Camp is More Than One Night

Courtesy of the MET

Courtesy of the MET

For those who are not aware of the MET Gala and its purpose, the media frenzy, the outfits, and the anticipation may seem like a little much. However, for those who know the influence of the Met Gala and the institute it supports, the yearly extravaganza is less useless glam and more creativity meets fashion meets an earnest dedication to documenting these moments in history. With a theme like “Camp: A Note on Fashion” for this year’s MET Gala, one would expect the same type of care and dedication. Did the Met Gala hit the mark? Depends on who you ask.

Tom Gates/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Tom Gates/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

The Met Gala, like Camp, has a history that is rarely told in full when presented to the public. The fashion-filled night has been in place since 1948 to raise funds for the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, a theatre school turned into curated museum, home to archives from stage, costume design, and fashion since 1937. The Brooklyn Museum’s merger with the institute brought even more clothing and donation from New York’s high society and to keep it all going the Met Gala continued.

When the world of preserving art, fashion, and costume meet the world of extravagant, ironic, and proud queerness, what do you get? Not the Met Gala 2019 event. No organization or one event will ever get it right, and it might be worth exploring what “right” is and how a community or group defines it. Either way, what we saw at the Met Gala this year were at most lively and beautiful attempts to connect to a very real and very active part of queer history and American history.

Tayllor Johnson