Best Dressed At The 2019 Met Gala
Ah yes, the very first Monday in May, which is perhaps the only Monday of the year us fashion devotees look forward to. This year’s Met Gala theme centred around the camp aesthetic, with Susan Sontag’s 1964 essay Notes on Camp serving as a framework for both the gala's theme and “camp” exhibition.
“The essence of Camp is its love of the unnatural: of artifice and exaggeration. Camp is esoteric… something of a private code, a badge of identity even among small urban cliques… I am strongly drawn to Camp, and almost as strongly offended by it.”
If that doesn’t narrow it down, see our piece explaining the origin behind this year’s theme here. The annual event, which took place last night, was co-chaired by Lady Gaga, Alessandro Michele, Harry Styles, Serena Williams and Anna Wintour. Whilst each co-host fashioned their own intricate versions of campiness, some of the star-studded guests really put the amp in camp. On a red (or pink as of last night) carpet where anything goes, here are our favourite looks of the night:
1/15 Billy Porter
Could this be the most glorious entrance in Met Gala history? In a theatrical nod to Ancient Egypt, actor Billy Porter arrived on a velvet chaise lounge carried by six men, fashioning a “Sun God” ensemble designed by The Blonds. The ensemble featured a bejeweled catsuit outfitted with 10-foot wings and a 24-karat gold headpiece. The star wore fine jewels by Andreoli and Oscar Heyman as well as custom gold-leaf boots by Giuseppe Zanotti.
2/15 Celine Dione
Celine Dione dazzled on the pink carpet in haute couture Oscar de la Renta. The star had previously admitted to not knowing what this year's theme meant—which is ironic given that the air she exudes is camp in itself. Celine Dione’s Met Gala ensemble: camp. Celine Dione eating breakfast: camp. Celine Dione not having any idea of the meaning of camp: camp.
The girl, she can do no wrong! The former Disney child-star transformed into a Disney princess at this year's event. Accompanied by her fairy godbrother and stylist Law Roach, Zendaya wore a glow-up blue corseted Tommy Hilfiger ballgown, replete with a Cinderella carriage handbag. Magical.
4/15 Henry Golding
It’s about time Henry Golding and the Gala steps Met. For the hunk's Met ball debut, he rocked a glittery custom Versace suit.
5/15 Lupita Nyong'o
Dressed in head-to-toe Atelier Versace, actress Lupita Nyong'o went major. Her stunning column gown was crafted from star-shaped macramé and enriched with crystals in fuchsia and emerald tones—all of which were perfectly paired with a hand-brushed organza cape enriched with bejeweled buttons.
6/15 Lady Gaga
Gaga did what Gaga does best. Known for her seriously outlandish looks, Gaga kicked off the night with a theatrical display involving a total of four elaborate outfit changes—all right in front of our very eyes. Upon arrival, the star and camp connoisseur arrived looking like a real-life Russian doll in a large, hot pink Brandon Maxwell gown, accompanied by an entourage of umbrella-holding men. But of course, how could it stop there? With help from a team of dancers, Gaga undressed playfully, each time revealing a different camp look. The display concluded with the star stripping down to a crystal embellished two piece and fishnets, naturally.
7/15 Hamish Bowles
Sontag wrote that “the hallmark of camp is the spirit of extravagance. Camp is a woman walking around in a dress made of 3 million feathers.” And by those standards, it’s safe to say that Vogue editor, Hamish Bowles, made full use of the elaborate theme in a colourful feathered cape and purple suit designed by Maison Martin Margiela.
8/15 Joan Collins
Dame Joan Collins ascended the pink steps fashioning her character Alexis from the 1980s primetime soap opera, Dynasty—a perfect choice given that the Dynasty villainess is the godmother of camp. Wearing diamonds upon diamonds, a tiara and an all-white, tiered feather Valentino gown, the fashion icon couldn’t be more camp if she tried. We bow down to you Dame Joan.
9/15 Ryan Murphy
The American screenwriter, director and producer came out of his shell for this year's event channelling the late and legendary Liberace in a custom Christian Siriano pearl-embroidered, floor-length cape and encrusted sequin silk suit.
10/15 Diane Von Furstenberg
A look we never knew we needed to see. DVF took to the Met Gala this year as the Statue of Liberty in a gown with her very own face on it, of course. She and her team designed the custom dress whilst her 3D-printed torch and crown were created by Machine Dazzle, a renowned artist and costume designer. The look was worn in tribute to DVF’s late mother on the 75th anniversary of the day she was sent to Auschwitz.
11/15 Naomi Campbell
No stranger to the best-dressed list is of course high-fashion model Naomi Campbell. She opted for an orchid high-slit gown paired with lace tights and an attached feathered cape designed by Valentino’s Pierpaolo Piccioli.
12/15 Gemma Chan
The Crazy Rich Asians star oozed the style of a sultry ice queen for her look this Monday. Gemma wore a dazzling Tom Ford chainmail dress that was embroidered with thousands of crystals and teamed with a matching cape and heels. Her dramatic headdress was inspired by Elizabeth Taylor’s famous number from the film Boom!
As over-the-top and fabulous as one could possibly be, American artist Lizzo, takes the cake. She looked like the life and soul of the party in a white gown and highlighter-pink feathered cape by Marc Jacobs. Nothing says camp more than neon pink hair and dramatic make-up to match.
14/15 Janet Mock
The stunning writer and transgender activist wore a silver feather-adorned Alberta Ferretti frock and Jacob & Co jewels. Swoon.
15/15 Serena Williams
As a co-chair of the Camp Met Gala, Serena Williams did not disappoint. The tennis star wore a custom neon yellow Versace gown that featured pink feathery and leaf appliqué throughout. And whilst Williams accessorised with bright yellow Nike x Off-White trainers, her look was anything but casual.
Related: The Best Beauty Looks From The Met Gala 2019