Intentional or a genuine mistake? We investigate.
Lena Waithe does the Met Gala red carpet with intention. For last year's "Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination" event, instead of wearing larger-than-life gowns accessorised with gilded headpieces and veils, Waithe chose to embody what God means to her. Stepping onto the red carpet in a grand rainbow cape, the look went down in not only Met Gala history but for LGBTQ community too. And for this year's Gala, Waithe's interpretation of the theme is speaking just as loudly.
Waithe arrived onto the pink carpet in an ice blue pin-striped suit alongside fashion designer Kerby Jean-Raymond, who also wore a similar design. At first glance, the look just about passes as 'Camp' but it was when the screenwriter, producer and actress turned around to reveal a statement, emblazoned on the back of her suit jacket that truly hammered the theme home.
The statement written in black handwriting, read: 'Black Drag Queen Invented Camp.' A message that served to remind Met Gala guests that the theme, however it is being interpreted in 2019, originated among a minority; a group which still remains fairly invisible in mainstream culture. And, in appropriating their creativity, we should be observant and respectful of its origins.
An expression so powerful that it's taken a near six hours after the event for the internet to spot there was a rather unfortunate typo featuring in the outfit. The emblazoned statement actually reads: 'Black Drag Queens Inventend Camp.'
But was this intentional?
For celebrities and us mere mortals, the Met Gala is the most prestigious fashion event of the year so once you've been selected by Anna Wintour and receive that thick white envelope (one which we imagine is delivered by a dozen doves), the question of 'what will I wear?' comes next.
It's also worth noting that this is not Lena Waithe's first Met Gala rodeo and given the theme, an intentional typo is 'Camp.' As Susan Sontag notes in her seminal 1964 essay Notes on 'Camp':
"CAMP ALWAYS INTENDS TO BE SERIOUS, BUT FAILS."
The melodramatic absurdity that is wearing a statement emblazoned statement complete with an easy-to-miss typo is 'Camp'. Look this very tenet up in the dictionary and an image of Waithe's Met Gala 2019 ensemble should appear.
However, should this typo actually be...a typo, that again is 'Camp'. To be deliberately camp, one must have been naive. So naive that one forgets to send a statement blazer through spellcheck.
Intentional or not, a typo is more camp than the looks served by Karlie Kloss, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Fran Summers, Demi Moore and Hailey Bieber combined.