Which Kardashian-Jenners Actually Pulled Off Camp?
As is custom, Kris Jenner and 50 percent of her children made an annual trek from Calabasas to the Upper East Side, to show the Met Gala how much Southern Californians love a theme party. Each year, we watch in wonder as the Wests descend upon the carpet in either a terrifying or terrifyingly boring look. The 2019 Met Gala theme was Camp: Notes On Fashion, and as the Kardashian-Jenners are the campiest of all families, one might suspect that their looks were campier than camp itself. But did they actually execute? Let’s find out.
in Tommy Hilfiger.
Since Kris Jenner’s first Met Gala in 2015, she’s dressed appropriately on-theme, but often stays a bit more in the shadows to let her daughters shine. This year, Kris decided to stand out.
Under the advice (or declaration) of Billionaire Slash Daughter Kylie Jenner ("She said, 'Mom, there is no black hair. You're going blonde.”), Jenner put on a last minute blonde bob, one that made her look like a beautiful aged owner of a brothel you’d see on Law and Order: Special Victims Unit. Kris paired the wig with a custom Tommy Hilfiger jumpsuit, that flared at the feet and was the home to minimal crystal designs on her chest, and pant leg. A bold choice, not because of the muted navy blue color which is decidedly un-Camp, but because of the carefree wrinkles that found a home in her look. This, my darlings, is Camp!! To really send her look over the edge, Kris wore a massive tulle opera jacket, and told Vogue that she was “channeling David Bowie going to the opera.” A bold ideal, and one she executed quite well.
While Kris Jenner took the theme and ran with it like she was Caitlyn Jenner in the 1976 Olympics, Corey…did not. As is the case for many men on the red carpet this year and most), he played it safe. Instead of going toe-to-campy-toe with Kris, Corey wore an exquisitely fitted tuxedo in black, with gold accents, and a royal blue pussy bow underneath his tuxedo jacket. Honestly, Lisa Vanderpump has done it better. One of many celebrities who thought wearing something slightly out of their personal norm would be enough to satisfy the theme.
Kim Kardashian West
Since 2013 (when she came as Kanye West’s plus one), Kim Kardashian West has been a fixture on the Met Gala red carpet. She hasn’t shied away from the challenge of leaning into the theme, and making headlines the next day. Last year, for instance, her Heavenly Bodies skintight, golden gown, and innocently flowing hair, was spot on. This year, not so much, depending on whom you ask. I’ll admit, when I first saw Kim walk onto the red carpet in a nude latex-look mini-dress with tiny pearls dangling from her body and hair that looked like she just patted it down after a sweaty workout, I was less than thrilled.
When speaking to reporters, Kim said that her Mugler look was inspired by the vision of, “this California girl stepping out of the ocean, wet, dripping.” Which, upon closer examination, is exactly how she looked, but the look doesn’t scream camp. But, it is precisely that. You’ll find on the Met’s Camp: Notes on Fashion page, a section dedicated to trompe l'oeil which is “designed to fool the eye.” This deceptive look, was eight months in the making and is “the first time in 20 years [that] Mr. Mugler has designed for the House of Mugler. So to come and design this gown for me is such an honor,” Kim told E!.
A historic fashion moment, worn by Kim Kardashian West, the woman who was once banned from the Met by Anna Wintour! That, is a note on fashion, and inherently camp. Plus, the theme is all about exaggeration and taking every aspect of your look to the extreme, which is what Kim did with that snatched waist. A walking hourglass who is at once a joke and, as Susan Sontag wrote in her defining essay “Notes on Camp,” “dead serious,” Kim Kardashian West, is, and will always be camp.
As is becoming custom for the men in the lives of KarJenner women, Kanye’s look was unsurprisingly underwhelming last night. Despite being a fashion designer himself, Kanye West wore a $42 Dickies jacket to the event. It’s true that camp is the shocker of wearing bargain clothes to the most glamorous and luxurious event of the year, so technically Kanye was right on theme. Especially when you place his affordable jacket next to Kim’s custom Mugler. Plus, his minimalistic look is a departure from his too small slippers and the campy costumes he’s worn in the “I Love It” music videos and performances in the past year. Though Kanye was on theme, it was still pretty boring, and we demand that Kim bring North as her plus one next year!
Unlike Corey and Kanye, Travis Scott added some unexpected flair to his Met Gala look. Wearing a suit, or elements of a suit, Travis accessorized with a leather harness, gloves, a pendant, and the prolonged desire to transform into an action figure. Not overly inspired, but at least his attire was more costume-y than boring.
Kendall & Kylie Jenner
Kendall Jenner in Versace and Tiffany & Co. Kylie Jenner in Versace.
Leave it to the youngest set of KarJenner offspring to wear the most inspired and campy outfits to the Met. In one of few public sister acts, Kendall and Kylie, wearing Versace, draped themselves in glitter, feathers, wigs, daring hemlines and worked the carpet in poses to further exaggerate their looks. Kendall’s look was inspired by Cher (an icon of Camp), while Kylie’s was inspired by her everyday life, and possibly Lil’ Kim (specifically, one of her campiest red carpet moments in a career full of them), both women embodied characters different from themselves, and the internet took notice. As they walked the carpet, the sisters were compared to the titular characters in White Chicks; Velma and Daphne from Scooby Doo; the evil stepsisters in Cinderella; Dumb and Dumber; and many more, which is what the sisters were going for. Before and after the carpet, Kendall posted some iconic duos on her Instagram stories that she and her sister most likely drew inspiration from.
Of the Calabasas contingent, the Jenner sisters win the camp theme, and hopefully they’ve lit a fire under everyone’s ass for more over the top looks next year. If the theme calls for it, that is.
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