By Jocelyn Noveck

The Associated Press

NEW YORK — Next year’s Met Gala will be downright campy. No, seriously.

The Metropolitan Museum announced Tuesday that “Camp: Notes on Fashion” will be the title of its next blockbuster spring Costume Institute exhibit. The exhibit is launched each year by the star-studded Met Gala, where attendees are encouraged to dress according to the prescribed theme.

The museum said in a statement the exhibit will get its framework from a 1964 essay by Susan Sontag, “Notes on ‘Camp.’”

The show “will examine how fashion designers have used their metier as a vehicle to engage with camp in a myriad of compelling, humorous, and sometimes incongruous ways,” it said.

The Met Gala, formally known as the Costume Institute Benefit, is chaired by a team of high-wattage celebrities.

The May 6 affair, to be underwritten by Gucci, will be chaired by pop star and actress-of-the-moment Lady Gaga, tennis star Serena Williams and singer Harry Styles, along with Gucci designer Alessandro Michele and Vogue editor Anna Wintour. The new theme seems decidedly more lighthearted than last year’s hugely successful “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination,” about the relationship between fashion and Catholicism.

That show drew more visitors than any Costume Institute exhibit — more than 1.3 million to the Met’s main Fifth Avenue location, and nearly 200,000 to its Cloisters branch and was one of the most attended shows in the museum’s history.

“Fashion is the most overt and enduring conduit of the camp aesthetic,” said Andrew Bolton, curator of the Costume Institute and creator of its blockbuster shows. Bolton said the 2019 show would “advance creative and critical dialogue about the ongoing and ever-evolving impact of camp on fashion.”

The exhibit will feature approximately 175 objects, not only clothing but also sculptures, paintings, and drawings.

Designers to be featured in the show include: Cristobal Balenciaga, Thom Browne, Gucci, Marc Jacobs, Charles James, Christian Lacroix, Karl Lagerfeld, Prada, Versace and more.

“Camp: Notes on Fashion” will run May 9 through Sept. 8.

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