#METGALAMONDAY: THE CO-HOSTS

This Monday was the first Monday in May and that only means one thing…The Met Gala or the Met Ball - whatever you wanna call it, its one of fashion’s biggest nights. This Met Gala is not like the rest, ‘Notes on Camp’s’ Met starts off with not the usual red carpet but a bright pink carpet . In the essay, 'Notes on "Camp,"' Susan Sontag says 'the essence of Camp is its love of the unnatural: of artifice and exaggeration.'  Something so bad that it’s good and it was definitely good…

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Anna Wintour, Editor-In-Chief of Vogue (holder of my dream job) who has chaired the Met Gala since 1995 arrived first to the fabulously camp pink carpet wearing a beautiful pale pink, flower embellished Chanel gown with a full on pink and black feather shawl.

The look was spectacular and pretty bold for the usually fairly reserved Anna. However, she really brought her A game to the carpet following the theme beautifully whilst still maintaining her personal style.

Anna also didn’t wear her trademark dark sunnies for the carpet and instead opted to show off her make-up - a rarity.

Met Gala pink carpet Zorro chic

Met Gala pink carpet Zorro chic

Harry Styles, to absolutely nobody’s surprise, wore Gucci. I think that a lot of people were a bit disappointed with Harry’s outfit, there was a big expectation that he’d wear one of his usual flamboyant floral Gucci suits. Instead, he wore black head to toe and somehow, in true Harry fashion, managed to avoid comparisons to Zorro.

Harry’s stylist, Harry Lambert said about the outfit, “I think everyone was expecting Harry to be in sequins, bright colours and a crown, but we decided on a different type of 'camp' that hopefully would surprise,” 

Then of course we have the single pearl earring and what design house is it from? Gucci of course - who else. The single pearl earring really elevated Harry’s outfit and gave it the finishing touch, je ne sais quoi if you will. And, Harry…a single earring in your right ear? Is this our baby finally telling us a little something something? If you aren’t quite sure what track i’m on…I’ll guide your mind a little (click me you little rebel). So, there’s that - Harry never does anything without a team of publicists and media superstars thinking it through before hand so we can only assume that he knew exactly what he was saying. Stylist Harry Lambert said that he found the earring last minute and thought it would complete the look perfectly; and a little birdie told me (okay, it was a woman who spoke to him at the Met Gala 🤥) that he pierced the ear himself - utmost control.

Over the years, we have seen our boy go from boyband superstar dressed in awful (but in a cute way) purple sneakers to a Chelsea boot clad fashionista. His solo world tour was a real stepping stone in terms of his fashion and I really love the direction Harry Lambert is taking Harry Styles’ style in (that was complicated - 50 points if you managed that). I got so caught up in the earring thing that I forgot to mention that Harry also wore high heeled boots with his ‘free the nipple’ heavy ensemble - style star.

Harry in his second outfit at the Met Gala party (Mickey chic). The pearl earring made off for the evening and was replaced with a gold and black cross earring.

Harry in his second outfit at the Met Gala party (Mickey chic). The pearl earring made off for the evening and was replaced with a gold and black cross earring.

The boy with the pearl earring - Harry Styles

The boy with the pearl earring - Harry Styles

Gaga upon arrival #parachutebaby

Gaga upon arrival #parachutebaby

Lady Gaga does the most with not just one but four outfits in one. She started the evening off in a bright fuchsia parachute dress with full male dancing ensemble fitted with black tuxes and umbrellas. Then stylist, Brandon Maxwell unbuttoned and removed the dramatic dress to reveal a beautiful old Hollywood style black dress before further stripping her down to a slinky fuchsia number until finally, she went full on Paparazzi/ Fame Monster era stripping down to glitzy fishnets, bra and pants which she rocked with some of her trademark sky high boots.

The multi faceted outfit was interesting as it really drew the line between the old, OTT gaga who wore sky high stilettos and a meat dress and the ‘new’ Gaga who is all about silver screen glamour. The whole ‘strip that down’ thing did it for me up until a certain point. It kind of lost me at the glitzy underwear outfit but I can appreciate where they were going.

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Many of my friends weren’t too complimentary about Serena Williams’ outfit at the Met Gala saying things which were mostly close to “she looks like big bird”. I for one disagree, I actually loved the outfit (armchair critic and all that).

She wore a very vivid yellow and pink Versace dress which I felt not only suited her skin tone really well but the ‘blossoms’ (i’m being liberal here) match the carpet (lol 😂- I hope you got that otherwise i’m an idiot laughing by myself). The dress and shoes are also very much in line with the current '‘in-colour’ Gen Z yellow. The main thing for me though was that she looked very comfortable and very much herself. Yes, the dress is over the top - it’s the definition of ‘camp’ thank you very much.

I have no clue who the stylist behind this outfit was, I could probably find out but ultimately that sounds like a lot of effort and I was never ready - sorry. However, whoever it was who put it together, it’s a great look. The other thing I really loved was that Serena wore trainers to the Met Gala so she was undoubtedly the most comfortable guest there (female in any case) and it was a lovely ode to her previous work with Virgil Abloh of Off White. If I seem to have gone off my rocker and you have no idea what i’m talking about, Serena did a collaboration with Off White called the ‘Queen Collection’ which was designed by Virgil. In any case, now you have that (possibly useless) information, the sneakers she wears here are ‘Volt’ Nike X Off White Air Force 1’s.

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The final co-host of this year’s Met Gala was Mr Gucci himself, Alessandro Michele. Alessandro, if you’ve never heard of him, is the creative director of Gucci. He’s the guy behind Gucci’s over the top, maximalist aesthetic which I am so very in love with. He has, according to CNBC, grown Gucci's brand value the most of any luxury fashion label with the brand’s revenue up 30 percent.

In what was possibly even less of a surprise than Harry Styles wearing Gucci, Alessandro also opted for a Gucci look (shock). In any case, he looked perfectly camp in a bright pink Gucci…suit thing? The blouse is heavily ruffled and very vibrant and Alessandro, like Harry, opted for heels, heavily ringed fingers (Gucci) and an over the top head piece.

Fabulous baby

MANTSHO BY PALESA MOKUBUNG

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By far one of the most beautiful collections I have ever had the privilege of seeing at SAFW was Mantsho by Palesa Mokubung for the Luxury Collections SS19. I have never in my life been so grateful to be sitting front row for a show. Her designs are beautiful in their intrinsic simplicity which runs through and connects the entire collection. The lines of the garments are equal parts strong and feminine with strong lines juxtaposed with soft curves and frills.

The dresses are full and voluminous with big oversized sleeves and frills and all of them are brightly coloured. The whole show was a beautifully colourful event with Mokubung creating all her own patterns for Mantsho. The music in the show was also a departure from the usual heavy bass vibes of fashion shows with Palesa instead opting for a classical piece to back her show. Mantsho is definitely clothing made with all women in mind regardless of body shape or height

It has also just been announced that Palesa will be collaborating with H&M and bringing us the Mantsho X H&M collection which will be available in stores from 15 August 2019. She is officially the first South African designer to have their own collection in the H&M flagship stores worldwide as well as all SA H&M stores.

Mantsho is a deserving collection and Palesa is a deserving individual and I simply cannot wait for her collection to hit H&M stores - I look forward to supporting it in a big way. Let’s all do our bit on August 15th to show H&M how much we love seeing South African designers celebrated by selling out this collection.

Congratulations and all my love Palesa X

Photo credit: Megan Smit for Ari&Me

WHAT WE KNOW ABOUT THE MET GALA 2019 SO FAR...

The Met Gala always takes place on the first Monday in May and this year, that very special day is May 6th. The theme this year is hugely exciting (for me at least) ‘Camp: Notes on Fashion’. Now this is all amazing and sounds potentially glittery, outrageous and like a lot of fun but what are we supposed to draw from this theme? Well, the Met this year is inspired by Susan Sontag’s famous 1964 essay entitled ‘Notes on Camp’. I’ll use the quote most commonly cited from her essay “Camp generally refers to outrageous and The essence of Camp is its love of the unnatural: of artifice and exaggeration.”

Camp is the embodiment of proud, outrageous and over the top fashion. With the theme and feel of the Met Gala this year, is it any wonder that the co-chairs include Lady Gaga and my favourite boy Harry Styles. Other co-chairs include Alessandro Michele (Gucci), Serena Williams and as per usual, Vogue’s Anna Wintour. The first time I saw this theme I’ll admit I was a little confused. As it so often is, my question was answered by Guilty Feminist host and all round amazing woman, Deborah Frances White who said of camp “Camp is I can’t conform so I might as well live my whole self. You’re not going to like me anyway, I am going to be different anyway. I might as well stick a sequin on it and turn up the Kylie.” (The Guilty Feminist Podcast, Reality TV, 21/01/19)

Am I excited for this years Met Gala? Yes, I am - I am incredibly excited. If there was ever a time to be camp, that time is now. The fashions and trends as well as a more free society allows for camp fashion to caress all of us with its beauty. I think that 2019 might actually be the year to be camp. Camp is acceptable now with Harry Styles as a frontman. Frankly, what’s more camp than Gucci at the moment? Harry, Lady Gaga and Gucci? I can’t think of anything more beautiful. Cal Wilson said on a recent episode of ‘The Guilty Feminist’ about the subject of camp “Watching someone live to the edges of who they are is beautiful. Like using the good crockery everyday.” (The Guilty Feminist Podcast, Reality TV, 21/01/19)

Possibly my favourite thing in the world has been watching the evolution of Harry Styles from fairly stereotypical big-shoed boyband member to gorgeous long haired tattooed rock god and finally to what appears to be the height of himself. He is the epitome of a style(s) evolution done right. I can’t speak for him and I absolutely do not wish to but if I was going to pick a night on which to reveal my true self, I can’t really think of a better night than the 2019 Met Gala. I will certainly be watching eagerly. This will certainly be a night to remember and I cannot wait!