A Met Gala Report Card

Who got the "camp" theme right? Who got it royally wrong?

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May 7 2019, 5:02pm

Well, friends, the champagne has been drunk, the dinner has been picked at, the pink carpet has been packed away, and now it's — you guessed it —Met Gala report card time.

Theme parties are always difficult to interpret, and this year's Met Gala theme, "Camp: Notes on Fashion," was particularly tough, as it forced celebrities (not always the most perspicacious group of people) to submerge themselves into the murky, Sontag-ian waters of cultural theory. Some people nailed it (hi, Ezra); some people didn't; some people just clammed or candelabra-ed themselves up and called it a day (no disrespect to Ryan Murphy or Katy Perry, both of whom, IMO, fell into the "nailed it" camp.) GARAGE has rounded up our passes and fails of the night, according to the actual definition of "camp." Note: this is by no means an exhaustive list, as I am exhausted.

PASS:

Lady Gaga.

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This combination of pictures created on May 06, 2019 shows Singer/actress Lady Gaga arrives for the 2019 Met Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 6, 2019, in New York. - The Gala raises money for the Metropolitan Museum of Arts Costume Institute. The Gala's 2019 theme is "Camp: Notes on Fashion" inspired by Susan Sontag's 1964 essay "Notes on Camp". (Photos by ANGELA WEISS / AFP / Getty Images)

Duh.

Billy Porter

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Billy Porter arrives for the 2019 Met Gala celebrating Camp: Notes on Fashion at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 06, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Karwai Tang/Getty Images)

I mean, being carried in on a litter? Yes!


Lena Waithe

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Kerby Jean-Raymond and Lena Waithe attend the 2019 Met Gala celebrating "Camp: Notes on Fashion" at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 6, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Taylor Hill/FilmMagic)

The message — "Black drag queens invented camp" — was on-point, but just as importantly, so was the Kerby Jean Raymond-designed zoot suit.


Hamish Bowles

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Hamish Bowles attends The 2019 Met Gala Celebrating Camp: Notes on Fashion at Metropolitan Museum of Art at on May 6, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Bauzen/GC Images)

Repping Ursula the Sea Witch gets a hard "pass" in our book.


Kacey Musgraves

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Kacey Musgraves attends The 2019 Met Gala Celebrating Camp: Notes on Fashion at Metropolitan Museum of Artat on May 6, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Raymond Hall/GC Images)

There is pretty much nothing more camp than Barbie, except, perhaps, impersonating Barbie. Our yeehaw queen nailed it.


Cardi B

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Cardi B attends The Metropolitan Museum Of Art's 2019 Costume Institute Benefit "Camp: Notes On Fashion" at Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 6, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Sean Zanni/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)

This look takes its cue from Rihanna in Guo Pei, but we can't hold it against Cardi that Rihanna did the sweeping train first — after all, Rihanna does everything first, that's why she's Rihanna. Bleeding out, but make it fashion!


The Olsen twins

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Ashley Olsen and Mary-Kate Olsen arrive for the 2019 Met Gala celebrating Camp: Notes on Fashion at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 06, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Karwai Tang/Getty Images)

Okay, hear me out; in refusing to adhere to the "camp" theme and showing up in boring black leather, the Olsen twins are actually doing the most camp thing of all. "In naïve, or pure, Camp, the essential element is seriousness, a seriousness that fails," writes Sontag, and the Olsen twins have brought their trademark seriousness to the Met Gala once more, telling the world that they take themselves too seriously to fool around with feathers and fripperies. After all, at a party where everything is so camp that it veers on becoming boring, isn't being boring the most camp thing of all?

Frank Ocean

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Frank Ocean attends the 2019 Met Gala celebrating "Camp: Notes on Fashion" at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 6, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Taylor Hill/FilmMagic)

See above.

Jared Leto

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Jared Leto attend the 2019 Met Gala celebrating 'Camp: Notes on Fashion' at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 06, 2019 in New York City.. (Photo by Gotham/GC Images)

When it comes to camp, two heads are better than one.

Janelle Monae

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Janelle Monaei arrives to The 2019 Met Gala Celebrating Camp: Notes on Fashion at Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 6, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by James Devaney/GC Images)

Four hats when one would do definitely falls into Sontag's definition of "natural oddities (the two-headed rooster, the eggplant in the shape of a cross)", with a decidedly campy dose of the unnatural.


Lizzo

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Lizzo attends The 2019 Met Gala Celebrating Camp: Notes on Fashion at Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 06, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/WireImage)

It's always going to be a yes from me when it comes to Lizzo, sorry.


Cara Delevingne

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Cara Delevingne attends the 2019 Met Gala celebrating 'Camp: Notes on Fashion' at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 6, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Raymond Hall/GC Images)

Delevingne could have just rested on her aesthetically blessed laurels, but instead, she brought it, fried egg, wind-up teeth, bananas and all. Carmen Miranda would be proud.


Katy Perry in her afterparty burger

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Katy Perry attends the 2019 Met Gala Boom Boom Afterparty at The Standard hotel on May 06, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Daniel Zuchnik/GC Images)

A candelabra is camp, sure, but a burger is — somehow, inexpressibly — even more camp. It vaunteth not itself, it is not puffed-up...it just rules.

FAIL:

Wrong: Harry Styles

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Harry Styles arrives for the 2019 Met Gala celebrating Camp: Notes on Fashion at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 06, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Karwai Tang/Getty Images)

The expectations were high for Styles, and sadly, he didn't clear them in this sheer top/sensible pant/pearl earring combo that looks like something your mom would wear to your graduation dinner.

Karlie Kloss

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Karlie Kloss arrives to The 2019 Met Gala Celebrating Camp: Notes on Fashion at Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 6, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by James Devaney/GC Images)

This is the straight agenda at work.

Rami Malek

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Actor Rami Malek is seen arriving to the 2019 Met Gala Celebrating Camp: Notes on Fashion at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 6, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/GC Images)

Buddy, you played Freddie Mercury; you owe it to his memory to camp! It! Up!

Lena Dunham and Jemima Kirke

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Jemima Kirke and Lena Dunham arrive for the 2019 Met Gala celebrating Camp: Notes on Fashion at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 06, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Karwai Tang/Getty Images)

All camp is subculture, but not all subculture is camp.


Hailey Bieber

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Hailey Bieber arrives to The 2019 Met Gala Celebrating Camp: Notes on Fashion at Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 6, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by James Devaney/GC Images)

As some genius mentioned, she looks like an Acne Studios bag. Meh. (Although she is making me think of the Degrassi episode where Manny scandalizes everyone by wearing a thong, so she gets points for that.)


Kim and Kanye

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Kanye West and Kim Kardashian West arrive to The 2019 Met Gala Celebrating Camp: Notes on Fashion at Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 6, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by James Devaney/GC Images)

I don't know what I was expecting, exactly, but it wasn't this.


Hailee Steinfeld

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Hailee Steinfeld attends The Metropolitan Museum Of Art's 2019 Costume Institute Benefit "Camp: Notes On Fashion" at Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 6, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Sean Zanni/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)

I'm not sure those Viktor & Rolf dresses are exactly camp! They’re sort of post-camp, or camp-adjacent, but not fully camp.


Elizabeth Debicki

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Elizabeth Debicki attends the 2019 Met Gala celebrating "Camp: Notes on Fashion" at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 6, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Taylor Hill/FilmMagic)

Being six feet and three inches tall is undeniably camp, but this dress is not.


Gwyneth Paltrow

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Gwyneth Paltrow arrives for the 2019 Met Gala celebrating Camp: Notes on Fashion at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 06, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Karwai Tang/Getty Images)

This is a nightgown, bich! Have some fun!


Emma Stone

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Emma Stone arrives for the 2019 Met Gala celebrating Camp: Notes on Fashion at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 06, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Karwai Tang/Getty Images)

A risk! My kingdom for a risk!