The Met Gala has unveiled its hosting committee, which includes Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez, Lupita Nyong’o, Chadwick Boseman, Kerry Washington and Lena Waithe.
Among the celebrities and figureheads chosen by Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour for the host committee are Bradley Cooper, and Jennifer Lopez (paired with her fiancé Alex Rodriguez), as The Hollywood Reporter notes. The host committee, which consists of 183 people this year, also includes power couples and Met Gala staples like Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds and Nick Jonas and Priyanka Chopra, the newlyweds who first hit it off at the 2017 Met Gala. As far as other black celebrities go, Lena Waithe, and Kerry Washington with Nnamdi Asomugha will also be representing the host committee — as will Venus Williams.
Chaired since 1995 by Wintour, the gala draws global media attention on the first Monday in May as guests ascend the Metropolitan Museum of Art steps, often wearing custom looks that suit the Costume Institute's exhibition theme. This year's "Camp: Notes on Fashion," curated by Andrew Bolton and opening May 9, offers maximum potential for theatrics. "I like to say that we go from sun kings to drag queens in the show; it's to be hoped that there will be plenty of both, not only at the gala but also coming to see the exhibition," Wintour says.
Bryan Lourd and Ryan Murphy, writer, director and executive producer of the camp-friendly 2017 series Feud, are confirmed as guests, while Cher — who has one of her costumes set for inclusion in the exhibition from her Las Vegas residency at Caesars Palace in 2008 (designed by Bob Mackie, also a Met Gala committee member) — is rumored to be attending. The "Goddess of Pop" first attended the Met Gala with Mackie in 1974 and last walked the event’s red carpet in 2015 with Marc Jacobs.
Tom Ford, Donatella Versace, Miuccia Prada, Valentino’s Pierpaolo Piccioli and Givenchy's Clare Waight Keller are among the fashion contingent, which represents 32 percent of the 2019 committee. Also on the list are prominent New Yorkers and philanthropists, ranging from Annette de la Renta and Wendi Murdoch to Sean and Alexandra Parker. Among athletes on the committee list, Venus Williams can be found alongside only one other currently active player, Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton. (Nnamdi Asomugha is expected to attend with wife Kerry Washington, but like Rodriguez, is retired.)
Taking its cue from “Notes on Camp,” Susan Sontag’s seminal 1964 essay, the exhibit “Camp: Notes on Fashion” will explore how fashion historically has employed tones of theatricality, humor and exaggeration to create over-the-top designs. The theme, however, has many questioning how to put together their own Met Gala looks, but at least one committee member sounds confident.
“I really want to channel all my foremothers and forefathers from the New York ball scene — they started this,” says committee member Lena Waithe. “It all began with the black queens in inner cities looking for a way to be themselves, and then the culture got co-opted, so I really want to pay tribute to them. I think we might play with color and really lean into the drama.”
Looks in the 200-piece exhibition range from 17th century wardrobe worn at the Court of Versailles to Bjork’s infamous swan dress at the 2001 Academy Awards, to a fur cape and sparkly suit custom-designed for Liberace, who wore the ensemble in the 1980s during his residency at the Las Vegas Hilton. “The surprise for many people is going to be the realization that camp has a long history in fashion,” says Wintour. “We start with the court of Louis XIV at Versailles, then go [from] Oscar Wilde’s Victorian velvet bohemia to 1930s Hollywood to today’s runways, with their feathered and sparkled extravagance, thanks to such visionary designers as John Galliano, Karl Lagerfeld and, of course, Gucci’s Alessandro Michele. That said, the show is very much rooted in the here and now. It arrives at a time when, quite rightly, gender definitions and assumptions are being challenged as part of the progressive urge to forge a far more inclusive idea of the world.”