This year's theme for the 71st annual gala was "Camp: Notes on Fashion," was inspired by a seminal 1964 essay by Susan Sontag in which she describes the phenomenon as something that shan't be talked about: "To talk about Camp is therefore to betray it." The theme is chosen for the Costume Institute's spring exhibition and gala guests are encouraged to take it on.
Here are 10 of the looks that caught our eye.
The gala hit a high point early with Lady Gaga working the pink carpet to its fullest in long golden eyelashes and a huge fuchsia dress, peeling off layer after layer until she was down to a bra, panties and fishnet stockings.
Brandon Maxwell, who created Gaga’s reveal, helped her navigate the stairs as she posed with several helpers. Maxwell undressed her further, revealing a black strapless asymmetrical ballgown underneath with a huge side bustle. Then she undressed again to show off a pink dress reminiscent of Marilyn Monroe in “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes,” walking up and down the carpet.
But she wasn’t done. Moments later, she was down to a glittering bra and panties set, with huge platform shoes.
The Pose star solidified his growing reputation as a red-carpet star with a dramatic entrance as an Egyptian sun deity on a litter carried by six shirtless men. His golden ensemble — we’re talking gold on the head and the face, too, as well as huge golden wings — was designed by the Blonds.
“The kids today call it being ‘extra,’” Porter said inside, of the camp aesthetic. “It’s about taking a thing and exploding it to the biggest degree. It has in the past been used as a pejorative, but this evening reclaims it.”
Porter was also carrying a purse with a written message that demanded, using an expletive, to be paid fairly. “It means,” he said with a grin, “that you can’t pay me scale no more! Get the prices right.”
Perry, whose candled chandelier look was created by Jeremy Scott for Moschino, said she wanted to be "of the light," though she appeared concerned her heavy looking headpiece would topple as she smiled and walked precariously up the stairs, designer Diane von Furstenberg briefly in her orbit as Lady Liberty.
Leto’s red sequinned frock was unique enough, but it was him walking around with a (very eerily similar) likeness of his own head that bordered on the bizarre.
Dion was dressed in a supremely crafted showgirl-themed creation by Oscar de la Renta’s Fernando Garcia and Laura Kim, inspired by the 1941 movie Ziegfeld Girl starring Judy Garland (a camp heroine, of course.)
Styles offered a tad of see-through via his custom Gucci organza shirt with black lace, donning a single bee earing and heeled booties.
Cardi B swept by in a stunning red quilted dress accentuated with a matching sequin headpiece, feathers and a train that took up much of the pink carpet.
Musgraves, in custom Moschino, was a proper pink Barbie with long platinum hair and hair dryer in tow.
Monae, always evocative on the carpet, balanced multiple hats piled high on her head wearing a pink and black gown with a black-and-white eye covering her breast on one side, courtesy of designer Christian Siriano.
Zendaya’s Cinderella Tommy Hilfiger dress went aglow with the wave of a magic wand. She dropped one of her see-through slippers on the way up the long staircase at the Metropolitan Museum of Art for the cocktail hour.