All the stars from Lady Gaga to Serena Williams will align for today's annual Met Gala in New York. In conjunction with the Met's Costume Institution spring exhibition, Camp: Notes on Fashion, which is also this year's much-hyped Gala theme, the Met Store has unveiled a new, exclusive Camp-themed retail collection. You know, for those of us not famous enough to attend the real thing just yet.
The entire 300-product catalog, simply called Camp Collection, offers a little something for everyone wanting to feel their extra oats (which should be all of you). Among the range encompassing irony, humor, and glam are new wares from 14 notable fashion designers, limited-edition prints by artist Jane Kaplowitz, and Met-branded merch, all exclusively created for the Met Store. Also available: a fully-illustrated catalog by Andrew Bolton, Wendy Yu curator-in-charge of The Costume Institute, with Karen Van Godtsenhoven and Amanda Garfinkel that accompanies the exhibition and features an introduction by Fabio Cleto.
Participating designers riffing on what Camp means to them are: exhibition sponsor Gucci, Blindness, Charlotte Olympia, Erdem, Gypsy Sport, Maison Margiela, Marc Jacobs, Mary Katrantzou, Matty Bovan, Molly Goddard, Moschino,Off-White™, Richard Quinn, and Vaquera. There are literal sock purses, furry accessories, clashing prints, glammed-up Barbies, and more. Kaplowitz's prints are of historical figures embodying various aspects of Camp, from queer artists to scholars. They will be displayed in the store and its mezzanine gallery, and are available for limited-edition sale at 20 prints each.
They include the likes of Jean Paul Gaultier, Susan Sontag (whose well-known 1964 essay Notes on Camp provides the framework for the accompanying show), and Oscar Wilde. "I've always been involved with gay culture, which historically has a large component of what we see as Camp," Kaplowitz says. "And there is plenty to mine for Camp inspiration in contemporary life as well."
Indeed, life is a spectacle. Camp: Notes on Fashion is on view at the Met Museum's Costume Institute from May 9 to September 8, so there is plenty of time to buy whatever it is that brings out the don diva in you. See a selection of looques from the Camp Collection, below.