Metropolitan Museum of Art
When Kanye West debuted ‘Church Clothes’ merch at his Coachella Sunday Service, it cemented what we’ve known for years: Nothing ensures bragging rights like a deftly designed t-shirt.
The aesthetes at the Metropolitan Museum of Art got the memo just in time for tonight’s Met Gala. They’ve enlisted 14 labels, including Marc Jacobs and Molly Goddard, to create Museum merchandise especially for the legendary event and its accompanying exhibit.
With the theme of “Camp”—as in, over-the-top, ironically fabulous, insanely ornate, extra AF—the art show is a clever mash-up of royal fops, retro icons, and runway showstoppers from Gucci, Dior, Stella McCartney, and more. Oscar Wilde’s handwritten prose is enshrined; so are Susan Sontag’s original typed pages for her famous Paris Review essay, Notes on ‘Camp.’
Other highlights include Andy Warhol’s famous soup can dress, Céline’s coveted fuzzy heels, a Viktor and Rolf meme gown and generous helpings of Moschino, including Gigi Hadid’s famous butterfly pouf. You can see one of Bob Mackie’s gowns for Cher next to Liberace’s insane crystal suit and wig. Indie labels like Romance Was Born and Vaquera get playing time, too, as well as tulle scoops of sherbet from Tomo Koizumi.
But perhaps it’s the gift shop that will see the most action. There, museum-goers will find Off-White limited-edition hoodies, tees, bags, and sweatpants with exhibit details printed on the crotch. Despite retailing for $590, the pants will likely sell out within seconds because, well, Virgil Abloh. From Gucci comes a $650 t-shirt, along with a $50 notebook, and Moschino has made exclusive Barbies (!!!) to commemorate the show. British wunderkind Matty Bovan has a very kooky t-shirt (in a good way) while Erdem and Richard Quinn channeled their floral obsessions into quirky-but-tidy print scarves.
Then there’s the Charlotte Olympia “Cat Nap” set, which includes pink kitten slippers and a matching sleep mask. That’s not to be confused with a set of real masks—the kind worn at hospitals or Burning Man—by Korean designer KyuYong Shin. Bedazzled with crystals that spell out THE MET, they’re both apocalyptic and hysterical, which is the kind of camp we deserve in these desperately dazzling times.
Of course, the best museum merch is a ticket to the actual exhibit, which you can attend from May 9—September 8 in New York City. True, you may not see Harry Styles in line for the restroom—but getting this-close to a Dior couture gown and a Salvador Dali is its own kind of humble brag, t-shirt or no t-shirt.