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What sets the annual Met Gala apart from all the other red carpet extravaganzas that take place during the first half of the year? For one, there’s no room for subtlety at the
Rihanna show Met Gala, especially when the theme is Camp: Notes on Fashion, which celebs generally followed. Simple, understated gowns and suits garnered a few looks but it was the gaudy, over-the-top looks—including Lady Gaga’s four outfit changes—that catapulted a slew of celebrities to the top spot of Twitter’s trending box. Other celebs had a moment, because they didn’t even try to nail the dress code. Kanye West and Frank Ocean, I’d like to have a chat.
To the uninitiated, the 2019 Met Gala theme Camp: Notes on Fashion might immediately conjure images of camping tents, combat boots, fisherman vests, etc. Listen, you’re not alone. As celebrities waltzed onto the carpet, my entire group chat put on their judging hats and began to critique the night’s best and worst looks before a friend wrote, “If these celebrities were going for a ‘glamping’ look, they missed the mark.” We laughed at first, then educated her on what the “camp” actually entailed.
As explained by the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s official site Camp: Notes on Fashion “examines how the elements of irony, humor, parody, pastiche, artifice, theatricality, and exaggeration are expressed in fashion.” In other words, there’s no such thing as being too “extra.” Billy Porter understood, and floated onto the Met Gala pink carpet on velvet bed held by six attendants, giving the Met Gala one of its most iconic entrances ever.
Jared Leto also got the memo and accessorized his bedazzled Gucci gown with a replica of his own severed head.
And we can’t discuss some of the best men’s looks of the night without mentioning THE Ezra freaking Miller, who peeled off his white cape to reveal a pinstriped suit with a embellished corset and mask of his face. On his actual face, five realistic pairs of eyes painted on by makeup artist Mimi Choi.
But with all the incredible camp-themed looks that walked the red carpet, Kanye West settled for a more pared down ensemble. Standing next to his wife, Kim Kardashian, who wore a custom skin-tight beige latex Thierry Mugler dress, Kanye looked every bit the USPS mailman. West paired his $48 Dickies jacket with black trousers and chunky black workmen boots.
West and Frank Ocean must have bounced ideas off of each other because Ocean also dressed in an all-black ‘fit, but instead of mailman chic, Frank went for the hot mall security guard who’s way too friendly but you don’t really mind because he’s, errr, hot, and probably didn’t see you sneak that Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb in your Sephora bag. What time does his next shift start?
Maybe I expected too much from them. Or maybe, West and Ocean’s looks were so off-theme that they were on-theme? Was their lack of effort more camp than their contemporaries? Some Twitter theorists believe so. But then again, Frank and Kanye probably knew this was a battle they should sit out. Because, really, there’s no beating Billy Porter, ever.