Inspired by some of the wild red carpet looks at this year’s Met Gala, we thought we’d take a look at how “camp” and “campiness” has influenced fashion, interiors, and our own design work over the years. Perhaps you’ll find something to takeaway to liven up your own home!

The Met Gala and It’s Campy Theme

Every year in NYC, the fundraising event to be seen at is the Met Gala. Formerly known as the Costume Institute Gala, the event benefits the Metropolitan Museum of Art and kicks off the museum’s annual fashion exhibition opening. All of the attendees are expected to adhere to an elaborate costumed theme. And this year the theme was “Camp.” How much fun is that? Here were some of our favorite looks:

Exra MIller played with the concept of the Third Eye and ways of seeing. His look reminds us a lot of high-styling Fornasetti home decor.

Exra MIller played with the concept of the Third Eye and ways of seeing. His look reminds us a lot of high-styling Fornasetti home decor.

katy perry chandelier dress on the met gala red carpet camp and campiness

Katy Perry dressed as a literal chandelier, as our friends at Lamps Plus so humorously pointed out — She went as ‘Lamps Plus!’

Elle Fanning in Mui Mui brought the I Dream of Genie vibes -- What's more campy than that?

Elle Fanning in Mui Mui brought the I Dream of Genie vibes — What’s more campy than that? Not mention she was repping the Pantone Color of the Year: Living Coral.

Elle Fanning in Mui Mui brought the I Dream of Genie vibes -- What's more campy than that?

Elle Fanning in Mui Mui brought the I Dream of Genie vibes — What’s more campy than that? Not mention she was repping the Pantone Color of the Year: Living Coral.

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What is “Camp,” or “Campiness?”

Camp generally refers to an aesthetic involving the mix of high and low, exaggeration, irony, vivaciousness, and self-reflexivity. Great American writer, Susan Sontag, who penned the now infamous essay “Notes on Camp,” defines camp as a ‘variant of sophistication,’ and holds up Oscar Wilde and Art Nouveau craftsmanship as pinnacle examples of campy sensibility. But more accessibly: You know camp when you see it.

Austin Powers Goes to Spain inspired home in Hollywood Hills

When we look back at some of the ways campy pop cultural icons have influenced our designs, we think about the ostentatiousness nature of James Bond. One more quote from Susan Sontag on camp that we love, “Camp sees everything in quotation marks. It’s not a lamp, but a “lamp”; not a woman, but a “woman.” To perceive Camp in objects and persons is to understand Being-as-Playing-a-Role. “ That’s exactly what we do as interior designers when we perceive of a design concept and a story for a client’s home to infuse the space with character and life.

Bond at the Beach

A mysterious bachelor-playboy with unlimited funds, a well-stamped passport, and a license to kill, James Bond is the epitome of camp.(And the model for an ideal design client!) Using his highly romanticized nature as an inspirational springboard, we designed this “Bond at the Beach,” project as though it were where James Bond might spend his down time between serving her Majesty’s Secret Service.

Austin Powers Goes to Spain

This project took things one step further – the way Austin Powers highlights the campy goofiness in James Bond. With this project we infused some groovy elements with hacienda architectural details to create a whimsical enclave here in Los Angeles.

hip hacienda with traditional wooden beam ceilings and groovy lime green design details

Showhouse Style Lets A Designer’s Imagination Run Wild

Showhouses are always a treat for a designer because it’s inherently an over-the-top space where we can let our imaginations run wild. For a showhouse here in Beverly Hills, we designed this elaborate bedroom full of ornate, custom details like the bed and the ceiling. With a poppy palette and a modern sensibility, we took a traditional approach to the way in which we left no detail unrealized.

Lori Dennis for Greystone mansion

Camp and Abstract Glam in Home Decor

Our friends at Lamps Plus just collaborated with Brazilian artist, Romero Britto, whose exclusive line of lamp shades and pillows features fun, colorful patterns very much in the vein of that glam-camp we’ve been talking about! You can find these online and in stores at Lamps Plus. We can’t wait to use some in upcoming projects!