Fashion Focus: Arabs at the Met Gala

How did they interpret the theme of Camp: Notes on Fashion?

Gigi Hadid in a custom hat by Stephen Jones. Photo: Supplied

By Leen Altiman

Fashion 8 May 2019

What a night! As usual The Met Gala has everyone talking.

The first Monday of May every year, marks the most important event in the fashion world’s calendar. This year it saw celebrities arrive in some of the most wonderfully outlandish looks to the somewhat underwhelming.

This year’s exhibition and theme Camp: Notes on Fashion, had a lot of people confused. Thankfully though, no one showed up with a tent, camping boots and a Kathmandu jacket.

The theme was based on writer Susan Sontag’s important essay Noted on “Camp” in 1964 which explored the meaning of the word and the movement itself in culture.

Andrew Bolton, curator in charge of the Costume Institute, said in a Vogue interview when the exhibition and theme were first announced, that Sontag’s essay defined camp as the:

“love of the unnatural: of artifice and exaggeration… style at the expense of content… the triumph of the epicene style.”

Basically being as OTT as possible.

And as Arabs, I think many of us know all about that. We appreciate a little (if not a lot) of camp and we totally got why the carpet wasn’t red this year but candy floss pink. But of course!

So who of our favourite mainstream Arabs were in attendance?

The Hadid sisters, of course, fashion favourites and Met Gala veterans at this point, looked incredible in completely different ways.

Rami Malek, whose Oscar award winning performance as Freddie Mercure (and really wasn’t Freddie the campest of them all?) in the film Bohemian Rhapsody, had initially given everyone hope that he’d arrive on the pink carpet in something straight out of a psychedelic dream.

He didn’t. There is backlash but definitely not from us.

The spectrum of camp differs from person to person. And lest we forget, actors aren’t their characters and we aren’t our actual clothes.

And then of course there was French Montana who managed to seamlessly meld camp, Arab, Ramadan and OTT in perfectly.

Check out the photos below to see what and who our favorite mainstream Arabs wore on the biggest night of fashion!

Which look is your favourite? Let us know!

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