Now that A Star Is Born is (mostly) in her past, Lady Gaga has returned to one of her favorite pastimes: casually going about her way while wearing almost literally jaw-dropping ensembles. Of course, that has something to do with the fact that, along with Serena Williams and Harry Styles, Gaga is hosting the 2019 Met Gala on Monday night, which there's been no shortage of hype for—as well as confusion over what this year's theme, camp, actually means, particularly when it comes to fashion. So, with less than 24 hours to go, Gaga served up a crash course on Sunday night, in the form of an accessory no larger than her palm.
Gaga closed out her weekend by dutifully reporting to Anna Wintour's home in New York City for a pre–Met Gala dinner, as did her cohosts, both of whom also turned it up a notch ahead of the big day. But the moment that Gaga arrived, effectively eclipsing both of their looks, Williams's neon yellow crop top ensemble and Styles's high-waisted pants suddenly seemed almost tediously ordinary. She wore a loofah-like tiered mini dress by Marc Jacobs—though, of course, there was much more to it than that. Her look came complete with blue eyeshadow, a towering and similarly loofah-like fascinator, a dark pair of sunglasses, and a pair of the sky-high platform heels that once upon a time were her signature footwear. (Please give the man who still managed to hold an umbrella over her head a raise.)
The real showstopper, though, was minuscule enough that one could have easily missed it, if Gaga hadn't taken care to slip it on to her middle finger and daintily hold it in front of her as if it were a shield. At first glance, it appeared to be one of Jacquemus's infamous micro bags, but that would have been too predictable for Gaga. Instead, it was a miniature couture bag by Delvaux, complete with teensy flower motifs painstakingly made of embroidered satin and handcrafted petals. There's even a video of the fabrication process, if you want to see how complex it is up close.
In Gaga's hands, it managed to pack even more of a punch. Her micro-bag also served as a master class in the meaning of camp, touching on no less than four of the tenets outlined by Susan Sontag in "Notes on 'Camp,'" which served as the Met Gala planning committee's guide book. "The hallmark of Camp is the spirit of extravagance"—check. "The whole point of Camp is to dethrone the serious"—check. "The essence of Camp is its love of the unnatural: of artifice and exaggeration"—check. And, last but not least, one of camp's more difficult concepts: "Camp sees everything in quotation marks," which Gaga took extra care to cover by handing her real, regular-size bag—her beloved Celine one, of course—to her bodyguard the moment she stepped out onto the sidewalk.