As I write each new wish list I read just a little more of Susan Sontag’s 1964 essay “Notes on ‘Camp’.” The essay was what the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute curator in charge Andrew Bolton used as the jumping point for the theme of this years exhibit and subsequently the theme for this years gala. I have had such a fun time trying to flush out all the ideas that have crossed my mind for this years red carpet. Something in Sontag’s essay that caught my attention is: “The hallmark of Camp is the spirit of extravagance. Camp is a woman walking around in a dress made of three million feathers.” I definitely think that will be a line that stylists will definitely be putting on their mood boards for this red carpet. Claire Danes is usually on the Met Gala red carpet, and she typically does the theme justice. Some of her best include a custom fiber optics infused Zac Posen ball gown in 2016 and a dramatic white Monse shirt and pants in 2017. I wasn’t thrilled with the Marni gowns she wore last year, and I am hoping that she is back on top of the theme again this year. I actually created the idea for this custom Sies Marjan watercolor print gown which features a ruffled pleated organza bodice and silk charmuse column skirt (inspired by a look from the brands Fall 2019 RTW collection) before I even thought about putting it on Claire. I remembered the super chic custom gown that Sander Lak created for supermodel Doutzen Kroes for last years Met Gala and I knew that since he is one of my favorite rising fashion stars that I wanted to have another Met Gala moment on my wishes for his this year. So I had my photo editor Evita whip this look up. Then I started my search for the perfect star to wear it on the red carpet. Claire came up and it just clicked. She has the effortless elegance to really make a gown like this come to life on the red carpet. Now it could work both as a column gown or with a bit of a train. Now I am usually an advocate for a train, so I would like to see that. A sleek updo, soft defined eyes, punchy pink lips, a pair of yellow satin Lanvin tasseled ankle tie sandals, and Harry Winston white and yellow diamond cluster drop earrings would definitely ensure that this is a perfect, on theme, moment for Claire to deliver on this years Met Gala red carpet. Coco Rocha hasn’t been to a Met Gala since the 2013 Punk themed red carpet where she was the guest of Emanuel Ungaro designed by Fausto Puglisi. Coco usually rocks very chic looks on the red carpet. Recently her favored looks have come from Christian Siriano and Jean Paul Gaultier. I decided to go outside of her normal box of brands for my wish for her to wear if she makes a Met Gala return this year with this purple, blue, and pink Iris Van Herpen Spring 2019 Couture 3D layered one shoulder cocktail dress. This was another case of first came the dress and then came the star. I knew the moment I saw this dress that I wanted it to be a Met Gala look as it is the only red carpet where a look like this can actually be appreciated and not seen as wild or overdone. Coco has the presence, and poses, to really make this look come to life so I would keep the look simple adding a sleek updo, defined eyes, plum lips, and a pair of plum satin and velvet Gianvito Rossi ribbon bow strap sandals. When I was thinking of who Brandon Maxwell should bring to the Met Gala this year my mind kept going back to his muse and Project Runway co-star Karlie Kloss. The two have gone to the Met Gala together twice already and both were chic, but not on theme looks. I want to see Karlie deliver something a little more on theme from Brandon Maxwell. I dreamt up this custom hot pink two tone leopard print gown which features a halter bodice with a peplum waist under-laid with ostrich feather trim, a gold belted waist, and a column skirt thanks to pieces that came down the Brandon Maxwell Fall 2019 RTW collection runway. It delivers everything we come to expect from a Brandon Maxwell look on the red carpet, but adds just enough extra to fit the ‘Camp’ theme of this years gala. I would add a sleek low bun, defined eyes, matching pink lips, a gold Judith Leiber Couture ‘Gold Brick’ crystal embellished clutch, and a pair of gold Christian Louboutin ‘Forever Girl’ crystal studded strappy sandals to continue to keep that perfect balance of uptown chic and ‘Camp’ drama. I honestly forgot that Laura Harrier made her Met Gala debut last year. Her short 60s Bridget Bardot inspired Louis Vuitton ensemble was far from the Catholic Imagination theme, and far from dramatic enough for a Met Gala red carpet. I found myself saying that she should have saved that look for a week later when she presented BlackKklansman at the Cannes Film Festival for the photocall. After having an awards season that started strong, but ended up teetering out I would expect that she will be back on the red carpet at this years Met Gala. Laura is a face of Louis Vuitton so I don’t expect her to wear another label, but Louis Vuitton doesn’t really do ‘theme’ very well. So I wonder what her look might actually look like. I was searching the Louis Vuitton runways and the online racks of Louis Vuitton.com to see what I could find that would work for a custom gown for Laura to wear on this red carpet. I ended up falling in love with a black jersey velour long sleeve mini dress which features a rainbow prism print and thought that could be a great starting point for a look that still embraces the ‘Camp’ theme of this years gala, but also stays within the Louis Vuitton by Nicolas Ghesquiere aesthetic. So basically I took the skirt of that dress I found on the Louis Vuitton website and turned it upside down to create the structured asymmetrical pleated strapless bodice you see here! Paired the bodice with a floor length a-line velvet skirt, that I would actually like to see a sweeping train added to, to make this a chic but appropriate look for Laura to wear on this red carpet. Now typically with Louis Vuitton ambassadors I do go for a full label look adding bag and shoes from the French label to the look, but Laura is also a face of Bulgari so I decided to pick a vintage black Bulgari clutch with a precious stone broach clasp to compliment this look instead of the expected Louis Vuitton ‘Petite Malle.’ Old Hollywood waves, defines eyes, red lips, a pair of black Louis Vuitton ‘Horizon’ sandals, and a selection of vintage Bulgari jewels including gold set diamond and emerald drop earrings and a statement signature Bulgari serpenti cuff in turquoise and emerald would definitely make sure that Laura is on top of her style game on this years Met Gala red carpet. Alright here we are with another gown that the moment I saw images of it coming down the runway I knew that it had to be a Met Gala fashion moment. British based Greek designer Mary Katrantzou is known for her use of color and texture. I was honestly waiting with bated breath for her Fall 2019 RTW show because I figured she would give really great options for custom Met Gala gowns, then this fire and water print ruffled gown detailed with intricate bead and feather embellishments came down the runway and I gasped. Honestly this piece is beautiful. I love it to death. It has the potential to be one of my favorite looks on the Met Gala red carpet. I just need the right person to bring it to life. I was trying to come up with that person and really struggled. I knew I needed someone with either a lot of height or a lot of presence. I decided to go with presence over height picking the gorgeous Ruth Negga to challenge with selling this gown to me. She has this refined presence that wouldn’t typically make this gown the first thing I think of when I think of perfect looks for her to wear on the red carpet, but I honestly believe that is what could make me love this look on Ruth. Now the gown itself is such a statement that I would just style it with a sleek fingerwave updo, smokey eyes, dark wine red lips, simple platinum glittered lame Stuart Weitzman ‘Nudistsong’ sandals, and a pair of dazzling vintage Cartier gold set diamond cluster earrings to allow for the gown to be the real focus of this look. In her Met Gala ensemble dossier Sarah Paulson has only worn Prada on this red carpet, so I think it is a safe bet to pick yet another look from the brand for her to wear on this years red carpet. All of my custom Prada gowns so far in my 2019 Met Gala wishes have been inspired by the Prada Fall 2019 RTW collection, but the brands Spring 2019 RTW collection also had a lot of really great inspiration for this years ‘Camp’ theme. I knew that I wanted to see at least one custom Prada gown inspired using the the tie dye print that dominated the Spring 2019 RTW collection and so I created this strapless pink, white, and black fit to flare gown which features intricate crystal banding on the neckline and waist including tie-dye pattern crystals embellished all over. This gown doesn’t have all the drama of a mile long train or the volume of ruffles. but I think that the shape is pretty standard for Sarah’s style and the print and crystal embellishment make this gown perfect for this years ‘Camp’ theme. Finish the look with a sleek updo, defined eyes, soft rose pink lips, a hot pink Edie Parker ‘Jean’ marbled acrylic clutch, hot pink suede Prada slingback sandals, and a pair of Anabela Chan fuchsia sapphire and diamond chandelier earrings to definitely make this a major moment.
The 2019 Met Gala will take place on the first Monday in May: May 6, 2019.