Second only to the Oscars, the Met Gala is one of the most popular events in the United States. For over 70 years, it has been taking place every first Monday of May, coinciding with the opening of the exhibition at the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of New York. The dress code requires guests and attendees walking down the red carpet at MET – selected by President Anna Wintour – to wear outfits in line with the exhibition theme.
Never as in this 2019 edition have red carpet guests been so eccentric and theatrical, with a strong kitsch twist. It couldn’t have been otherwise, since the exhibition, titled“Camp: Notes on Fashion”, explores camp aesthetics and all its variations – parody, pastiche, exaggeration and exuberance – through 33,000 fashion creations and the influence it has had on mainstream culture.
The keyword of this year’s edition was thus daring, or rather exaggerating, exceeding – should one verb alone not be enough to express the power of the event core theme. And on a red carpet where anything is possible and everything is extra – synonymous with “camp”, according to Billy Porter – it is no wonder that Katy Perry turned into a chandelier and a hamburger, nor that Diane von Furstenberg transformed into the Statue of Liberty.
However, one of the major trends of this Met Gala 2019 was Gender Fluidity. Several attendees showed up in hybrid looks hovering between male and female outfits that defied stereotypes.
Harry Styles’s outfit by Gucci was emblematic of camp fashion: his artificial, typically female look consisted of an elegant suit with puffed sleeves, lace details and a transparency on the back. High-waist trousers, black ankle boots with rounded toes and heels and pearl earrings completed his provocative attire.
The brand led by Alessandro Michele, also attending the event, dressed Jared Leto too. The actor drew the press and photographers’ attention to himself with a bright red dress finished by a statement jewel and silver shoes. His look was dominated by a life-size replica of his long-haired head, an accessory already introduced at the Italian fashion house’s latest show.
Styled by Christian Siriano, actor Michael Urie’s outfit was half a predominantly male pinstriped suit on a nude pump, half an evening gown in pink tulle on a Dr. Martens’s shoe ̶ a dualism mirrored by his beauty look too.
As far as make-up is concerned, Ezra Miller’s was definitely a trompe l’oeil, with multiple sets of eyes painted on his face. Miller wore a pinstriped suit by Burberry with a corset detail at the waist and a train, matched with finely decorated oxford shoes.
As for the less conventional looks, Billy Porter wore a dress by The Blonds from the 2019 Oscars standing out for its gold wings and sparkling catsuit, paired with equally gold ankle boots by Giuseppe Zanotti.