“Camp taste turns its back on the good-bad axis of ordinary aesthetic judgement. Camp doesn’t reverse things. It doesn’t argue that the good is bad, or the bad is good. What it does is to offer for art and for life a different —or supplementary —set of standards.”
— Susan Sontag, 1964
Through more than 250 objects dating from the seventeenth century to the present, The Costume Institute’s spring 2019 exhibition explores the origins of camp’s exuberant aesthetic. 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..
NOTE TO READER: I merely aim to call to attention things I find of interest. I’m usually slow to the start and behind in the times, so if you’ve seen it before or so on and so forth, feel free to keep flipping. I also tend to write a lot of drafts, then forget to finish or otherwise get busy with other things and they stay sitting in the drafts folder. So periodically I have to go through the folder and delete, finish, or trash. Sometimes, and in this case, while I put some effort into this, I didn’t put quite enough. But I don’t want in to go into the trash. So I’m posting as-is what I had before I got busy with life.
Thank you. Justin. 💋
Andrew Bolton traces the origins of the term ‘Camp’ to nearly 350 years ago in Molière’s 1671 play The Adventures of Scapin. Which is where the exhibition opens. Gender nonconformity and roots in homosexual (LGBTQ) communities is where Camp was conceived, birthed, nourished, and raised to become the prima donna they is today. (I’m not sure if that last statement is coming off right or neutral, I still need a good lesson in that).
“Camp is the answer to the problem: how to be a dandy in the age of mass culture.”
— Susan Sontag, 1964
I have not visited The Met’s newest exhibition, CAMP: Notes on Fashion, but only glimpsed upon articles, photographs, and videos that our modern means of technology can bring to me here in Idaho. The exhibition opened with its annual grand showing Met Gala, as has been done since 1948. Celebrities of course done up to the nines and in this case tens and twenties. I’d be eager to visit the museum’s exhibition if my fortune finds me in NYC before September.
Kim Kardashian West wearing custom Manfred Thierry Mugler. The crystal bead dripping latex dress took about eight months to create, but more notable, was the first creation from Mugler in two decades. The inspiration came from Sophia Loren in Boy on a Dolphin (pictured left) and from what the internet says, took breathing lessons to wear.
“The camp attitude is a mode of perception whereby artifacts become the object of an arrested, or fetishistic, scrutiny. It does not so much see everything in quotation marks as in parentheses. It is a solvent of context.”
— Andrew Britton, 1978
Yotka, Steff. “On the Eve of the Met Gala, Andrew Bolton Takes Vogue on a Walking Tour of ‘Camp: Notes on Fashion.’” Vogue, May 5, 2019. https://www.vogue.com/article/camp-notes-on-fashion-exhibition-andrew-bolton-interview
Casely-Hayford, Alice. “Met Gala 2019 Dresses: Every Look Live From The Red Carpet.” British Vogue, May 6, 2019. https://www.vogue.co.uk/gallery/met-gala-2019-dresses
Newbold, Alice.“Moschino’s AW19 Collection Is Full Of Winning Looks For The Met Gala 2019” British Vogue, Feb. 22, 2019. https://www.vogue.co.uk/article/moschino-game-show-aw19
Berrington, Katie and Maitland, Hayley. “The Moments You Missed At The Met Gala 2019.” British Vogue, May 7, 2019. https://www.vogue.co.uk/gallery/moments-you-missed-met-gala-2019
Newbold, Alice. “Lady Gaga Made 4 Outfit Changes Before Even Entering The Met Gala.” British Vogue, May 6, 2019. https://www.vogue.co.uk/article/lady-gaga-met-gala
Madison III, Ira. “Notes On Camp, An Addendum From The Met Gala.” Crooked, May 9, 2019. https://crooked.com/articles/notes-on-camp-met-gala/