With his gender-defying style and wonderfully inventive red carpet looks, it’s safe to say Billy Porter is the reigning king of what we know as “camp.” Now, the Grammy and Tony winner and Pose star is taking his dynamism back to the Met Museum on June 23 to “discuss the concept of camp in performance and the impact of ballroom style on pop culture and high fashion” with cultural critic, DJ, and assistant professor of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies, Virginia Commonwealth University madison moore, reads the museum’s site.
Presented in conjunction with the ongoing exhibition Camp: Notes on Fashion, it’ll presumably be Porter’s first time back at the Met since shutting down this year’s Gala pink carpet with a winged and gilded Egyptian-inspired ensemble worthy of the museum’s Temple of Dendur. Coincidentally, Lena Waithe also made a noteworthy statement on the carpet this year, wearing a Pyer Moss suit jacket that read “Black Drag Queens Invented Camp” across the back.
Aside from his own playfully non-binary approach to dressing in real life, Porter made his mark playing drag queen Lola in Broadway’s Kinky Boots, and now narrates the significant impact of the ’80s and ’90s ballroom scene in FX’s Pose. All the above make him an expert on exactly how influential black and brown visionaries have been on the concept of “camp”—and on fashion, at large.
The Glow Up tip: Sunday at The Met—Camp: Notes on Fashion will take place on Sunday, June 23 from 2 to 3:30 p.m. at the Metropolitan Museum of New York. The talk is free with admission.