Will the newly-opened Met's Costume Institute mega exhibition 'Camp: Notes on Fashion,' turn us all New Yorkers campy? Will it inspire us to ditch our serious black-white-navy-cream dresses? I don’t think so. But, it is fascinating, entertaining, experience of extravaganza, and will definitely turn the premier blockbuster and headline-maker of this summer. It also acts as an agent of stimulation for all of us to look into our own taste and what is camp to us. Is a leather jacket printed with a logo of LV or Gucci campy? Is a pink ballet skirt is campy? Are plastic jewelry campy? Is Kardashian or Lady Gaga style campy? I think it is relative. Camp aesthetics, the love for the 'unnatural, the baroque, the artifice, and the exaggeration,' in the words of Susan Sontag whose 1964 essay had put this phenomenon in a cultural context and inspired the show, were first celebrated at Versailles starting with the Sun King who loved everything bigger than life. While the show comes to explore its origins and flourishing moments, it emphasize the role of men in the evolution of camp, because in its early days campy was not the exclusive commodity of gay men, but of the aristocracy. We typically think of Donna Summer's disco, Versace, Thierry Mugler, Beyonce, and Josephine Baker's banana skirt as campy, but this show is reminding us that even the classicists have had their own campy moments. And at the end, I realized that nothing about me is campy, and that perhaps I should start introducing playful themes to my own taste.
View Our Shop For Limited Edition Items