Fools Magazine's Top Ten Met Gala Looks
A random-order list, written by Olivia Harter
Jordan Roth arrived in a seemingly-simple cape gown, designed by Iris Van Herpen, featuring a theater with the curtains closed but when he raised his arms, his gown transformed into a portrait of the theater in full, with the curtains open to reveal the stage. Roth’s outfit is appropriate, both because he is the owner of five large theaters in New York, but also because the theme, camp, is based around performance.
2. Kacey Musgraves
Many celebrities understood the theme of camp to mean extravagance and opulence, and that’s exactly what it is. However, the other side of camp is the trashy, tacky side. Musgraves is clad in hot pink with a fake tan and a long platinum wig: tackiness personified. Her choice to embody Barbie, whose entire brand is tacky extravagance, paid off. I personally appreciate her attention to detail—Musgraves is even carrying her sunglasses draped over her fingers as if her hand is unmoving plastic, Barbie come to life.
3. Naomi Campbell
Hear me out: Naomi Campbell’s actual look, while pretty, could have been better. The color looks lovely on her, and her choice to clad one leg entirely in lace is good, but the overall look is a little lackluster compared to some of the other attendees. Plus, it’s not very campy. However, Campbell brought in someone to stand next to her and fan her with a large plastic sheet so her hair and dress would blow out behind her when she was being photographed. This is the very definition of camp, and therefore, we’re including this man as part of her outfit and putting her on this list.
First of all, Ciara’s dress is beautifully constructed. The way the fabric transitions into that feather train is absolutely gorgeous. We’re guessing Ciara is drawing inspiration from Diana Ross with her hair, headpiece, and gloves. Ross herself is a pioneer of camp, but she is also an LGBTQ icon and her song “I’m Coming Out” is considered a gay anthem. Since camp originated in the African-American LGBTQ community, Ciara’s outfit is not only elegant, it’s a wonderful homage.
5. Celine Dion
Celine Dion’s look was inspired by the Judy Garland film “Ziegfield Girl.” Dion’s fringe dress itself is gorgeous, but her 22-pound headpiece as a reference to Old Hollywood glamour is what really makes the look campy. As The New York Times put it, Dion has been hidden in plain sight for decades—but we’re so glad her Met Gala outing was as extravagant at this.
6. Janelle Monáe
Fools Magazine is a long-time fan of Monáe — of course she’s made it on our list. In an interview on the pink carpet with Vogue, Monáe said, “I am camp, it’s embedded in my DNA.” We would have expected nothing less from the woman who featured “vagina pants” in her music video for Pynk. This look is certainly camp, but there’s much more to it than a Picasso-inspired dress: a large eyeball on Monae’s chest spends the night actually winking at the audience, and the lips in her braid, (not actually) blowing us kisses.
7. Lady Gaga
Was there any question that Lady Gaga was going to deliver? Any time you arrive to an event with five people holding your train, you’re serving camp. Not only did Gaga fit the theme, she gave us an entire performance. She shed her first bright pink tent dress for an black ball gown, then stepped out of that into another pink fitted maxi dress. Then, finally Gaga shed that to reveal glittering black lingerie and sky-high platform heels. The entire time, she posed, talked to the crowd, and had props and accessories delivered to her by her crew. Her piece de résistance was Gaga lounging across the pink-carpeted steps in her sparkling final outfit. While Gaga’s individual looks were somewhat basic, having four looks in total, along with some seriously stellar gold eyelashes, was a successful choice.
8. Billy Porter
My initial reaction to this look was “woah.” Porter killed this red carpet, much like he did at the Golden Globes in a tuxedo jacket ball gown. However, this time around, like Gaga, Porter went above and beyond, and not only dressed extravagantly, but staged an entire entrance (side-eyeing Ancient Egypt) and gave us performance. Along with his golden angel wings and chainmail, he arrived on a litter carried by six men clad in gold ensembles. To Vogue, Porter said, “Camp is often used as a pejorative…what I love about having it at the Met Gala, and contextualizing camp, is it brings honor to a word and genre that can be discounted very often, or thought of as cheesy. When it’s done properly, it’s one of the highest forms of fashion and art.”
9. Ezra Miller
Ezra Miller’s outfit features some absolutely gorgeous pieces: pin stripe suite, diamond corset; we love the way Miller mixes the feminine aspects of the outfit, like his corset and train, with the traditionally masculine suit and shoes. However, what we’re really stuck on is his six-eyes, red-lips look. Miller said “forget it” to traditional—and in opening his third eye (…and fourth, and fifth, and sixth…), he welcomed a most dizzying, campy look.
10. Lena Waithe
Lena Waithe arrived at the Met Gala in a stunning powder-blue suit; upon first glance, she looks powerful but elegant, and her bright yellow snakeskin shoes are almost enough for us to be satisfied. Then, she turns, and the back of her suit flashes: “Black Drag Queens Invented Drag.” While Waithe’s suit, at second glance, becomes a powerful political statement, the devil is in the details. The suit’s pinstripes are actually tiny words: lyrics to gay anthems such as “I’m Coming Out” and “You Make Me Feel.” And, her Versace-inspired buttons? Tiny golden heads of LGBTQ icons. Lena’s stride for the Met was definitely camp, but it was so many more things, and of the most important: a reminder to give credit where it is due.