Ahead of his red carpet appearance Freedom 1865 Juneteenth Vintage T-Shirt . Porter spoke exclusively with Vogue about how his show-stopping Met look came together. He began by reflecting on this year’s theme. “Camp is often used as a pejorative,” Porter said. “What I love about having it at the Met Gala, and contextualizing camp, is it brings honor to a word and genre that can be discounted very often, or thought of as cheesy. When it’s done properly, it’s one of the highest forms of fashion and art.”
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As he began brainstorming ideas, inspiration struck Porter after a phone call with Ryan Murphy, the creator of Pose Freedom 1865 Juneteenth Vintage T-Shirt .Murphy suggested that Porter do an ode to Diana Ross in 1975’s Mahogany, including several outfit changes. “I was like, ‘Okay, calm down,’ ” he said. Working with his stylist of one year Sam Ratelle, Porter landed on an interpretation of Ross’s Ancient Egypt–inspired look. He also cites additional references, such as Elizabeth Taylor in Cleopatra and Bob Mackie’s iconic costumes for Cher, while the Blonds designers Phillipe Blond and David Blond were inspired by ballroom fixture Pepper LaBeija.When it came time to finding his designers, Porter knew The Blonds duo was the right choice. He had attended the New York City label’s Fall 2019 runway show in February, which confirmed that camp was well in their wheelhouse.“It’s true modern-day camp,” he said of The Blonds. “They just are so good—the glitz and the glamour and the capes and bustiers!” Ratelle said the choice was obvious for him, too. “I knew that The Blonds had previously done an Egyptian-themed runway show, which I really loved,” he said. “And given the massive collection of Egyptian art the Met has, it was also our way to pay respect to that.” “To be honest, English is not my first language, so initially I had no idea what Camp meant. I thought we were going camping!” admits the Argentine-born de Betak. Once she researched the concept, she fully committed.
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