The Met’s 2019 Spring Costume Institute exhibition is going to be lit. The Anna Wintour Costume Institute’s showcase event will be Camp: Notes on Fashion, and if you’re not up on queer subculture, you’re about to get a fabulous education.
Guiding the exhibit will be Susan Sontag's 1964 essay Notes on Camp, who offers this definition of this over-the-top style of dressing: “Camp is art that proposes itself seriously, but cannot be taken altogether seriously because it is ‘too much.’”
Camp: Notes on Fashion traces its evolution from its origins in the era of Louis XIV, when the French court tried to out-dress each other with the most extravagant outfits they could afford. No little black dresses here — it was all big skirts, more ruffles, high hairdos, where personal style wins over trends.
In the ‘60s, camp became associated with gay culture and became maligned for decades until it began to break through on runways, music videos, pop culture and television.
Here are a few preview looks — or more appropriately, lewks — from a sneak peek of the exhibit that was held recently at the Teatro Gerolamo in Milan. What’s going to be more colorful this spring, the flowers outside the Met in Central Park or these over-the-top outfits? Mother Nature better bring it.
Camp: Notes on Fashion opens May 9 and runs through Sept. 28; for more information, visit metmuseum.org/camp.