The Stonewall Inn hosted the pre-Met Gala party on May 5th, completely transforming the spot’s interior to fit the theme of “Cotton Campy” as seen in the photographs that the landmark posted to its Facebook page.
“Queer people have always been the trendsetters in fashion and art,” Stacy Lentz, co-owner of The Stonewall Inn tells GO. “So, I think it is fitting that, on the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, the met gala plays homage to our community by having the pre-party at The Stonewall Inn.”
According to Vogue, there were dozens of decorations adorning the historic landmark in celebration of the “camp” theme of the Met Gala and the “Cotton Campy” theme of the pre-party. In one part of the room, there were floral branches and glitzy fabrics hung and lit with candles to create a pink-hued wonderland.
The “camp” theme isn’t easy to pin down, but the Met Gala based its framework for this year’s gala on Susan Sontag’s 1964 essay “Notes on ‘Camp.'” In her writing, Sontag describes camp as “a certain mode of aestheticism. It is one way of seeing the world as an aesthetic phenomenon. That way, the way of Camp, is not in terms of beauty, but in terms of the degree of artifice, of stylization.” In other words, “camp” is the art of putting together an aesthetic look—something The Stonewall Inn certainly pulled off for the pre-Met Gala party.
Kurt Kelly, co-owner of The Stonewall Inn, tells GO that if he could describe the spot’s new look using three words, he’d call it “inspired, beautiful, fun.” The night was hosted by drag queen Aquaria.
“Drag queens at the Met? Very cool,” the former Ru Paul’s Drag Race winner announced, according to The New York Times. “Drag queens at Stonewall before the Met? A little predictable, but still cool.”