Met Gala 2019: What the theme really means

By Jamie Santarella

When the news broke of 2019’s Met Gala theme, there was nothing but confusion among many. Camp? Like nature and a tent? With fire and s’mores? It sparked an abundance of funny twitter remarks and memes, including a female model dressed in a camping tent. 

The jokes are all fun, but like anyone could guess, the theme has nothing to do with camping. The theme follows the definition of “camp” that is, “deliberately exaggerated and theatrical behavior or style.”

“Camp” like Elton John and Lady Gaga or Marc Jacobs’ Candyland collection recently exhibited on the runway during New York Fashion Week. Think fun, outrageous, over-the-top, and possibly, out-of-place. Think too many feathers or sequins; a bow that’s too big or shoulder pads that are too wide. Think DRAMA.

Rolling Stone

If you’re still unsure of the theme, look at the hosts for this upcoming year’s Gala. Harry Styles, Lady Gaga, and Serena Williams will stand alongside Anna Wintour. Harry’s Instagram depicts camp in his most recent tour style consisting of fun and dramatic patterns and colors, while Serena Williams’ tutu tennis dress, designed by Louis Vuitton’s Virgil Abloh, worn while playing in the 2018 U.S. Open sparked controversy for being out-of-place, or as Vogue may say, camp.


After my own confusion subsided, I started to believe that this upcoming year’s theme may end up being one of my favorites. I can’t wait to see the exhibit and how each celebrity guest interprets the theme. After all, dressing in a tent may be “camp” after all.

Head to Vogue to learn a lot more about the inspiration, history, and details of 2019’s Met Gala theme.