The Met Gala has always been known to have incredibly creative, provocative themes, this year was no exception. Anna Wintour and her team have brought a spectacular show to the famous steps of the Metropolitan Museum, where the celebrity world can thrive and have the opportunity to show off, pull ludicrous poses and be unapologetic no matter how outrageous they look. The theme ‘Notes on camp’ has definitely kept people guessing how the celebrities invited will tackle it this year. I’m not sure everyone executed it well (though much depends on personal interpretation) but we definitely got some showstopping looks and finally, some men could actually outshine the ladies in many ways.
‘Camp’ can be a tricky subject, I find it very hard to pin down its definition. Since it can be interpreted in so many ways, this year’s theme has resulted in one of the most diverse and flamboyant red carpets in recent years. One thing is for sure: ‘camp’ is not a theme for the faint-hearted.
Since being camp has become so embedded in our culture, it almost can’t be considered as outstanding, extraordinary so it is very hard to bring new to the table catching people’s attention even if you are a seasoned entertainer. Lady Gaga is definitely one who’s representing ‘team camp’ among the ladies admirably well, Ezra Miller is one of the most exciting non-binary actors when it comes to style and representing men Billy Porter mastered ‘camp’ beautifully over the past years too.
According to fashion designer Sandra Rhodes, camp means “ something that’s over the top in its concept, that wouldn’t go unnoticed and [that has] a sense of humour about it, but it’s not mainstream, and it’s joyous and out of the ordinary …” Or, as Fabio Cleto, a co-author of the Met’s exhibition’s accompanying book puts it: “It may be roughly described as a form both of performance and of perception celebrating theatricality and excess, improvising reality as a stage for outrageously ironic self-display and reinvention.” However, ‘camp’ has long been attached to male homosexuality, so many accuse Cleto of denying the fact that ‘camp’ has its roots in gay culture since gay people are usually the most vocal audience of it.
In my world, ‘camp’ is inclusive, fun, outrageous, flamboyant and anyone can indulge in it regardless of their gender or sexuality. When it comes to makeup and hair I think of exaggerated shapes, ornaments, bold colours, glitter, feathers, lots of lashes. Think Marie Antoinette, ’30s Mae West or Marlene Dietrich, ’70s Lisa Minelli in Cabaret, ’70s David Bowie, Elton John, ’80s Cher, Madonna, Grace Jones or Boy George.
Excuse the wordy intro, I could talk about this for hours! So without further ado here are my favourite looks from the night in no particular order:
Lily Collins collaborating with makeup artist Fiona Stiles nailed the theme going for a late ’60s, early ’70s vibe paired with a perfectly styled bouffant, bold jewellery and a frilly Giambattista Valli gown. Lily here is wearing all Lancome skincare and makeup, see Fiona Styles’ IG post here for all the details of the look. I am in love with the eyeshadow she used (Lancome Color Design 5 Pan Eyeshadow Palette in ‘Lavender Grace’) and I am determined to find a similar vegan shade.
According to Priyanka Chopra‘s makeup artist Pati Dubroff, her inspiration for the makeup was ‘Louis XVI meets Dior runway with a twist of Bowie attitude’ but I get some serious Queen of Hearts vibe from it too. The white accents on her eyes were combined with a deep purple eyeshadow and a deep deep purple lip created with Marc Jacobs Beauty Poutliner Longwear Lip Pencil in Currant Mood 308 and Marc Jacobs Beauty Le Marc Lip Crème Lipstick in Boy Gorgeous 222.
Lady Gaga‘s long-time makeup artist, collaborator even shared the pink carpet with her. Tanno was seen touching up the look with blush during Gaga’s third costume change. Yes, you heard me, third costume change! She did a whole 20-minute performance that lit up social media straight away and was fascinating to watch. To show you how much effort is being put into such appearances, Tanno designed 20 different looks, then she trialled 10 on her assistant before presenting the final look to Gaga. Interestingly, Tanno skipped applying foundation but used a lot of face tape so the star’s eyes would look more open and they would help to carry those heavy eyelashes for longer. Other than that the Oscar winner is wearing all Marc Jacobs makeup and Swarowsky crystals were used as eyeliner.
Lily Reinhart‘s beauty look was inspired by Marie Antoinette, her makeup artist applied a pink blush all the way up to her temple pairing it with fresh pink lips. Her hair team designed a very Antoinette-esque style and made the look more camp with a floral headpiece.
I knew Hailee Steinfeld won’t have difficulties with the theme of the gala, she can practically wear any beauty looks she wants. Giving off an Alice in Wonderland vibe Haliee was wearing pretty and bold pastel colours, clashing yellow-green (Lime Crime in Candles) with baby pink (lipstick in Marrakesh from 100% Pure and blush in Dollface from Tarte), complete with faux freckles (Mac Brunette brow pencil) paired with curly hair and topped with a giant bow. Makeup artist Carolina Gonzales designed the whole look, check out her Insta post here for the detailed breakdown.
Dua Lipa looked perfectly camp wearing a bold ’60s bouffant and an eye-catching Versace gown. My favourite makeup artist of all time Lisa Eldridge created her look that nicely played into the vivid colours of her dress drawing focus to the eye area with a lavender shade used around the eyes paired with huge lashes. Her psychedelic nail art was matching the outfit too and was one of the highlights of her look.
Nothing says more camp than drag makeup, so quite fittingly Lupita Nyong’o‘s makeup artist Nick Barose chose the famous drag queen Divine as inspiration. There’s a lot happening within her look from drag queen to Caribbean Carnival with lots of bold colours and plenty of glitter. Barose cleverly chose neutral coloured glitter for the eyes since the dress was so bright, it would have been too much. He highly recommends using Urban Decay Heavy Metal Glitter Eyeliners if you fancy doing a similar look to avoid the mess that usually goes hand in hand with glitter application. On Lupita’s lips, he used Lancome lip pencil in Aubergine and L’Absou Lacquer Gloss in Not Afraid. The finishing touch when getting ready was decorating her afro beehive with gold picks in the shape of raised fists. Now that’s what I call attention to detail.
Elle Fanning was also definitely among the ones nailing the theme. Wearing Miu Miu, her look was evoking the late ’60s and early ’70s pastel dreams and Malibu Barbie with kitschy jewellery and a show-stopping manicure by Mar Y Sol using Essie.
Emma Stone went for ’80s camp wearing a shimmering Louis Vuitton jumpsuit that her go-to makeup artist complimented with vibrant red lips (Le Phyto-Rouge lipstick in Rouge Capri with a glossy layer of Phyto-Lip Twist in Love), strong blush blended high up over her temples, some blue (Phyto-Eye Twist in Lagoon and SoVolume Mascara in Deep Blue) in the lower lash line. She used rhinestones along the upper lash line as an eyeliner that made the look a true stand-out.
Zoe Saldana brought ’70s disco to the pink carpet wearing a beautiful bronze coloured Michael Kors dress and a giant purple flower pinned into her gorgeous curly hair. Her makeup artist Amy Oresman used Charlotte Tilbury makeup debuting the glitter version of the Luxury Palette.
Adut Akech‘s Black Swan-esque theatrical look was designed by Pat McGrath. Her ruffled Valentino dress was complimented with flawless skin, beautiful highlights and nude lips. Her eyes were layered with Perma Gel Ultra Glide Eye Pencil in Xtreme Black and finished with the Perma Precision Liquid Eye Liner. McGrath added a few coats of the incomparable FetishEyes Mascara and finished the look with black Swarovski Crystals.
During all her red carpet and press appearances celebrating the last season of Game of Thrones, Sophie Turner and her makeup artist Georgie Eisdell has been coming up with perfect beauty looks one after the other (check out her amazing IG feed here). For this occasion, she wore a graphic deep blue eyeshadow look with a nude-rose lip and a ton of glitter even in her hair and on her body too. This makeup is not necessarily bang on theme but it was beautifully executed nevertheless.
Ezra Miller‘s Dali-esque surreal makeup was a real showstopper. Makeup artist Mimi Choi had a 4 am call time just to get ready by the 9.30am photoshoots and the look had to hold all day long up and until the gala and the after party. She used Mehron Makeup’s Mimi Choi Illusion Palette, Kryolan Aquacolor, Make Up For Ever’s Artist Color Pencils, Velour Lashes and Houseoflashes falsies for the multiple eye illusion. The skin was done using Kevyn Aucoin Skin Enhancer and Kat von D beauty Shade+Light Face Contour Palette. The lipstick she used was Mac’s Ruby Woo. Check out her Insta feed here, she is one to follow, trust me. I am so impressed with what she has created here. This look of many eyes staring back at you is a real artistic achievement and is perfectly fitting for the theme of the gala.
There is one more look I wanted to mention and that is Rita Ora‘s afterparty look that was actually better than the one she wore on the pink carpet. When I heard the theme of the gala will be camp I instantly was thinking Marlene Dietrich in the ’30s ’40s and I was surprised she was the only one going for it. I would have definitely used it as my inspiration had I been invited.
Have you seen the pink carpet show? Which look was your favourite? What would have been your inspiration?