Met Gala: Give it Up for the Boys Who Tried

Posted on May 08, 2019

Because as you may know, we’re ALL about giving it up for the boys ’round these parts. Darlings, this rather sadly small group of men are among the very few of their kind who actually tried to do something interesting or campy with their fashion instead of just showing up in the usual sort of red carpet fare. Let’s salute them, shall we? And also judge them, of course.



Aquaria in Maison Margiela

We admit to intense disappointment. Aquaria’s young, but if you cycle through her portfolio of looks, we think she’s got a fairly decent innate handle on the idea of camp drag. This isn’t it. We realize as a young gay man at his first Met Gala, he wanted to opt for fierceness, but as the first drag queen on the Met Gala red carpet, we found this denial of the theme a let down. It’s not even very good drag. And we may as well go ahead and point out that, while Aquaria may be the first self-identified drag queen on the Met Gala red carpet, Billy Porter was clearly the first true drag queen to hit that pink.



Cody Fern in Maison Margiela

Okay, so. Let us first re-center our initial point, which was to salute these guys for going so far outside the box. Having said that, this looks like random shit he pulled together from the back of his closet. Love the hair; hate everything else. Burn the boots.



Darren Criss in Balmain

We admit to a certain sort of unfair initial response here; which was that the straight boy was kind of slumming on Drag Row. But again, we should salute him for queering himself up so flamboyantly. It’s a bit more glam rock than drag, and the former isn’t remotely campy, but there’s a strong enough Elton/Freddie undertone to this look that it works. The jacket is a stunner. The makeup looks like it was applied in the limo.



Ezra Miller in Burberry


Weirdness aside, that suit is gorgeous, but we wish the train married to it better. It just looks like extra fabric pinned to it. Fabulous shoes. Love the jeweled corset. And if you want to ask what part of this is camp, we’d say that sassy Dorothy Hamill ladycut is pretty campy.



Harry Styles in Gucci

See, here’s the thing that sort of put us off with Darren Criss. Straight guys playing with gender non-conformity is fun and welcome, but it makes for a really odd way of interpreting camp. Gender non-conformity on its own isn’t camp. Drag is, but that’s not what this is. On the other hand, Harry’s been working outside-the-box and even slightly gender non-conforming styles in his performing life, so we don’t think this is totally a Halloween costume for him. We do think it’s a pretty underwhelming look; more frumpy than fabulous.



Jared Leto in Gucci

You just know he stood in front of a full-length mirror and kept saying “I am camp” and “Jared Leto is camp” over and over again while he checked his angles. You also have to figure he didn’t need to get the custom made Gucci head because he already had a collection of them. It’s a gorgeous dress, though. Once again, camp does not mean “wearing lady clothes,” but the fact remains is that he’s worn Gucci womenswear plenty of times before.



Michael Urie in Christian Siriano

One of the things we sort of regret about our book is that we couldn’t really work in a look at the long history of half-and-half or male/female drag. Michael took it even further by making the whole thing a lot less binary; exposing the tattoos, going unshaven and sporting a combat boot on the “lady” side and wearing a pump, earrings, clutch and makeup on the “man” side. It makes for a nice little expression of the modern idea of gender non-conformity. We don’t know how he walked all night.



Ryan Murphy in Christian Siriano

We are bowing down, you big nelly queen. Well done, sir.




[Photo Credit: INSTARImages]

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