In this house, we stan legends, especially those who understand that the personal is political, and so, too, is fashion. Cementing her spot in the canon of greats, for yet another Black and queer AF look at the Met Gala, is the one and only Lena “Foot On Our Necks” Waithe. The prolific writer-producer-actress-everything shut down the red carpet in a Pyer Moss suit with a message on the back: “Black drag queens invented camp.”
In the words of Drag Race queen Monique Heart, “Facts are facts, America!” Also, “Brown cow, stunning!”
(Note: "Invented" is spelled wrong on the back of the suit, but yall know what TF she meant!)
This year’s Met theme is “Camp: Notes on Fashion,” inspired by Susan Sontag’s 1964 essay Notes on Camp. She once described camp as a “love of the unnatural: of artifice and exaggeration… style at the expense of content.” And while many would love to erase the Black aesthetics — queer and otherwise — that have contributed to the camp cannon, Waithe quite decidedly said, “Not on my watch!”
Her red carpet mate, Pyer Moss designer Kerby Jean-Raymond, also had a statement on his suit: “Fix your credit. Pool money. Buy back the block.”
And their shoes. My Black queer God, their shoes. And the "stripes" on Waithe's suit are actually lyrics from queer anthems like Dian Ross' "I'm Coming Out" and Sylvester's "Might Real."
The is the second year in a row that the historic Emmy winner has made such a political statement on the Met Gala red carpet. Last year, the theme was “Heavenly Bodies” and she wore a rainbow, Carolina Herrera cape — with the Black and brown stripes — atop her suit. We love a revolutionary, defiant queen.
Update: Apparently, Waithe mispelled "invented" on the back of her suit on purpose. She tweeted her explanation Tuesday afternoon.