Every year a theme is allocated to the event, corresponding to the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute spring exhibition. Susan Sontag's 1964 essay "Notes on "Camp" provides the framework for the exhibition, which will examine how fashion designers have used their métier as a vehicle to engage with camp in compelling, humorous, and sometimes incongruous ways. // 1. Might Rihanna (who embraced this year's Catholicism theme so wholeheartedly in full "sexy pope" get-up, complete with mitre) arrive in a pomp-filled tribute to a camp figurehead - Marlene Dietrich, or Judy Garland, or Cher, or Elton John? On display at the museum will be examples of where high art and fashion have collided in history with more than 175 artefacts tracing the origins of camp back to Versailles.
That sumptuous, sprawling show drew more visitors than any Costume Institute exhibit - more than 1.3 million to the Met's main Fifth Avenue location, and almost 200,000 to its Cloisters branch - and indeed was one of the most attended shows in the museum's history.
"We are going through an extreme camp moment, and it felt very relevant to the cultural conversation to look at what is often dismissed as empty frivolity but can be actually a very sophisticated and powerful political tool, especially for marginalized cultures", Andrew Bolton, the curator in charge of the Costume Institute, told the publication.