16 Mai Camp
Some are describing it as “You get the idea, or you don’t. And don’t even dream of asking why.” (Christopher Isherwood) Others don’t even bother trying to find the right words for it, but enact what camp might be. Both, theory and practice, are now gathered together in an opulent catalogue ‘Camp. Notes on Fashion’ published by Yale University Press. And yes, this book is indeed rose and turquoise. But honestly, how should it be otherwise – approaching fashionable notions of camp and supported by no one less than Gucci? Becoming popular at a moment of social, political and economic instability, to be camp was certainly the move of rebellion at the time. A time when popular culture was reaching out from its shadowy subculture spheres to the Olympus of Art – much to the horror of the establishment. More than half a century later The Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute’s latest stroke of genius, the spring 2019 exhibition ‘Camp. Notes on Fashion’ curated by Andrew Bolton designed a lavish and not-less extravagant catalogue. Tracing the history of camp, its spectacular forms, the 250 objects dating from the seventeenth century to the present are not left on their own. As aesthetic grammar to decline the multifold notions of camp’s exuberant stylistics serves Susan Sontag’s probably most controversial seminal essay ‘Notes on Camp’ which she wrote shortly after leaving the sacred tin foil halls of Andy Warhol’s Factory on East 87th Street in 1964. This two-folded booklet will escort you into a world of haute couture’s most extravagant side, showing the exceptional work of fashion designers as Thom Browne, John Galliano, Jean Paul Gaultier, Marc Jacobs, Karl Lagerfeld, Alessandro Michele, Franco Moschino, Yves Saint Laurent, Jeremy Scott, Anna Sui, Gianni Versace, and Vivienne Westwood on the one side whereas on the other side you’ll find an extraordinary illuminating theoretical examination of camp in different times and different verve.