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Camp: Notes on Fashion

Bolton, Andrew, with Karen Van Godtsenhoven and Amanda Garfinkel, with an introduction by Fabio Cleto, and photographs by Johnny Dufort
346 pages
179 illustrations
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"Indeed, the essence of Camp is its love of the unnatural: of artifice and exaggeration." —Susan Sontag, 1964

Although an elusive concept, "camp" can be found in most forms of artistic expression, revealing itself to be a complex aesthetic that challenges the status quo. As an expression of the playful dynamics between high art and popular culture, fashion both embraces and flaunts such camp modes as irony, humor, parody, pastiche, artifice, theatricality, and exaggeration. Drawing from Susan Sontag’s seminal 1964 essay "Notes on 'Camp'," this multifaceted publication presents the sartorial manifestations of the camp sensibility while contributing new theoretical and conceptual insights to the camp canon through texts and images. Stunning new photography by Johnny Dufort highlights works by exceptional fashion designers including Thom Browne, John Galliano, Jean Paul Gaultier, Marc Jacobs, Karl Lagerfeld, Alessandro Michele, Franco Moschino, Yves Saint Laurent, Jeremy Scott, Anna Sui, Gianni Versace, and Vivienne Westwood.

Analysis of Beauty, Plate 1, William Hogarth  British, Etching and engraving; third state of three
William Hogarth
March 5, 1753
[Thomas Eakins and John Laurie Wallace on a Beach], Thomas Eakins  American, Platinum print
Thomas Eakins
ca. 1883
Scapin, Bow Porcelain Factory  British, Soft-paste porcelain, British, Bow, London
Bow Porcelain Factory
Multiple artists/makers
Multiple artists/makers
Susan Sontag, Peter Hujar  American, Gelatin silver print
Peter Hujar
Madonna and Child, Carlo Crivelli  Italian, Tempera and gold on wood
Carlo Crivelli
ca. 1480
The Fortune-Teller, Georges de La Tour  French, Oil on canvas
Georges de La Tour
probably 1630s
The Musicians, Caravaggio (Michelangelo Merisi)  Italian, Oil on canvas
Caravaggio (Michelangelo Merisi)
The Collation from a set of the Italian Village Scenes, François Boucher  French, Wool, silk (21-23 warps per inch, 8-9 per cm.), French, Beauvais
Multiple artists/makers
designed 1734–36, woven 1762
The Chinese Emperor, Höchst Manufactory  German, Hard-paste porcelain decorated in polychrome enamels, gold, German, Höchst
Höchst Manufactory
Johann Peter Melchior
ca. 1766
Robe à l'anglaise, silk, French
ca. 1780
Robe à la Polonaise, silk, American
Vues Diverses, Adam Perelle  French, Etching
Adam Perelle
Nicolas Langlois
Panoramic View of the Palace and Gardens of Versailles, John Vanderlyn  American, Oil on canvas, American
John Vanderlyn
Court dress, silk, metallic thread, British
ca. 1750
Laceing [sic] a Dandy, Anonymous, British, 19th century  British, Hand-colored etching
Anonymous, British, 19th century
Thomas Tegg
January 26, 1819
Corset, cotton, American or European
American or European
early 19th century
An Exquisite, George Cruikshank  British, Hand-colored etching
George Cruikshank
Thomas Tegg
ca. 1817
Aubrey Beardsley, Frederick H. Evans  British, Platinum print
Frederick H. Evans
ca. 1894
Showing 20 of 61

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Bolton, Andrew, Karen Van Godtsenhoven, Amanda Garfinkel, Fabio Cleto, Johnny Dufort, and Susan Sontag. 2019. Camp: Notes on Fashion [Exhibition, New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art, May 9-September 8, 2019]. New York (N.Y.): the Metropolitan museum of art.