previews

New York

“CAMP: NOTES ON FASHION”

The Met | Metropolitan Museum of Art
1000 Fifth Avenue

Curated by Andrew Bolton

Dandiacal is such a marvelous word—it sounds like a portmanteau of dandy and maniacal. Andrew Bolton uses it to describe a frock coat designed by Alessandro Michele for Gucci that, for this exhibition, will be installed next to a regal full-length portrait of Oscar Wilde (painted by Robert Pennington ca. 1884) wearing a similar item of clothing. Though most people think of camp as a mincing pink beast in marabou feathers, I like to imagine it as a glittering black widow with diamond fangs, a supple creature that threatens to fatally upend the straight and self-serious aspects of our culture. This grand presentation at the Met’s Costume Institute, featuring roughly two hundred pieces from designers such as Edda Gimnes, Gareth Pugh, Jeremy Scott, Donatella Versace, and Vivienne Westwood, promises to unveil the myriad marquise-cut facets of the term that Susan Sontag famously dragged up from the gayest of ghettos and into our contemporary lexicon.