That's Camp!: See How Lena Waithe, Billy Porter and Rupaul Made LGBTQ History With Their 2019 Met Gala Looks

Met Gala, Lena Waithe, Billy Porter, RuPaul

That's Camp!: See How Lena Waithe, Billy Porter and Rupaul Made LGBTQ History With Their 2019 Met Gala Looks

The LGBTQ community represented for the theme that belonged to them.

Published 2 weeks ago

Written by Tira Urquhart

On the first Monday in May, A-list celebrities gather together for the biggest party of the year. Your favorite rappers, fashion industry insiders and movie stars walk the red carpet for the MET Gala held annually at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Met Gala is a black-tie fundraiser for the museum's Costume Institute that raised over $12 million for the museum last year. The high-profile event also celebrates the opening of the Costume Institute's annual fashion exhibit.

The theme for this year’s MET Gala is “Camp: Notes on Fashion,” not to be confused with going camping. It means humor, parody and an overall theatrical moment. So we can expect to see the absolute most on this year’s red carpet. 

"Through more than 250 objects dating from the seventeenth century to the present, The Costume Institute's spring 2019 exhibition will explore the origins of camp's exuberant aesthetic,” read a statement on the Met’s official website. “Susan Sontag's 1964 essay "Notes on 'Camp'" provides the framework for the exhibition, which examines how the elements of irony, humor, parody, pastiche, artifice, theatricality, and exaggeration are expressed in fashion.”

See a few standout notes below:

5. Camp taste has an affinity for certain arts rather than others. Clothes, furniture, all the elements of visual décor, for instance, make up a large part of Camp.

7. All Camp objects, and persons, contain a large element of artifice. Nothing in nature can be campy . . . Rural Camp is still man-made, and most campy objects are urban.

10. Camp sees everything in quotation marks. It's not a lamp, but a "lamp"; not a woman, but a "woman."

25. The hallmark of Camp is the spirit of extravagance. Camp is a woman walking around in a dress made of three million feathers.

54. The experiences of Camp are based on the great discovery that the sensibility of high culture has no monopoly upon refinement.

 

However, we can't define "Camp" without mentioning the LGBTQ community. From drag costume to ballroom culture, the queer community is the driving force behind the"Camp" meaning. Fashion Icons such as RuPaul, Bootsy Collins, Prince,  and more paved the way with their androgynous dressing. They wore bold, bright colors, eclectic prints, along with sequin and feathers galore.

RuPaul's hit show, "RuPaul's Drag Race" and Billy Porter's "Pose," show us exactly how influential black drag culture is. At yesterday's Met Gala, Ru, Billy, and Lena represented for the LGBTQ community to the fullest.

Billy paid homage to Diana Ross's iconic film Mahogany, wearing a gold fringe ensemble with wings by The Blonds NY. He was accompanied by a bed and a slew of men posing. Recieving "tens" all around. While Lena Waithe gave a history lesson with "Black Drag Queens Invented Camp," written across her back of her Pyer Moss suit. RuPaul being the icon he is opted for a hot pink zebra striped sequin suit, with an ostrich feathered zebra mane draped over his shoulder, by his resident designer Zaldy NYC. 

These icons made history with their statement-making looks. 

Billy Porter Paid Homage To Mahogany
Billy Porter Paid Homage To Mahogany
Lena Waithe Honored Drag Culture With Song Lyrics Written Down Her Suit And "Black Drag Queens Invented Camp" Across Her Back
Lena Waithe Honored Drag Culture With Song Lyrics Written Down Her Suit And "Black Drag Queens Invented Camp" Across Her Back
The Icon RuPaul Started It All And Wore A Pink Sequin Zebra Print Suit
The Icon RuPaul Started It All And Wore A Pink Sequin Zebra Print Suit

Rihanna was one of the co-hosts last year, while Serena Williams and Lady Gaga will help Wintour host this year’s event. 

There were lots of feathers, sequin, exaggerated trains, over-the-top head dresses and a ton of other meme-worthy moments on the carpet. The black folks definitely showed up and showed out on theme. 

If you want to learn a little bit more about camp, watch the short history lesson below.

 

(Photo: John Shearer/Getty Images,Photo: John Shearer/Getty Images for The Hollywood Reporter, Photo: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)

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