Exclusive: Tiffany Haddish Explains What Really Happens Inside the Met Gala

Tiffany Haddish knows how to have a good time, and the 2019 Met Gala is no exception. At her first Met Gala red carpet last year, the comedian stunned in a black-and-white Brandon Maxwell pantsuit, with a long white train following behind her every step. This year, however, she's upping the ante to the tune of 57,000 sequins. In accordance with the Costume Institute's theme, "Camp: Notes on Fashion," Haddish arrived in a glossy Michael Kors flared-leg pantsuit and a matching hat designed by Stephen Jones. Before the red carpet, Kors provided W with a sketch of the look that reveals that, with 17,000 sequins stitched onto the jacket and 40,000 attached to the pants, Haddish's look recalls getups worn by Elton John or Liberace. Thankfully, Haddish has the vibrant personality to match. Before the big night, Haddish spoke to W about what Michael Kors taught her about "camp," her favorite Met Gala memories, and which snacks she plans to sneak inside this year.

How are you feeling about your second Met Gala?

I’m pretty excited. Like, on a scale of one to 10, I would give it an eight.

What are you doing to prepare?

I’ve been taking laxatives all day to get my stomach flat, so we’ll see what happens. [Laughs.]

What do you think will be different this year?

I hope the food is different. It can’t be, though, right?

What was the food like last year?

Man, I was hungry as hell. Last year, I was so hungry. This year, I got me a bigger bag. Gonna put some fried chicken in it. Don’t tell nobody till tomorrow. [Laughs.] I’ve already called a few people that I know are going like, ‘So, I’m going to bring the chicken. You bring the hot sauce, okay?’

Who do you know who’s going?

I know Chris Rock is going. Lewis Hamilton, Law Roach, Anna Wintour is gonna be there! Michael Kors. It should be fun.

Which theme was more daunting or difficult to dress for? Last year’s “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination” theme or this year’s “Camp: Notes on Fashion”?

I think all of them are difficult to dress for when you have to wear those heels. Oh my gosh. My knees ain’t built for it. But this year my outfit is really fun and something that I would wear on stage anyway, so I would think that this year is easier. Because last year you didn’t want to offend anybody, you know?

How would you describe your look for this year?

I’m wearing some sequins. It’s a two-piece. Pantsuit. And let’s just say if there are any lions in the house, they’re gonna be trying to hunt me down. Oooh!

Hand drawn sketch of Tiffany Haddish’s 2019 Met Gala sequined pantsuit, courtesy of Michael Kors.

You wore pants last year, too. Which look is more comfortable? Last year or this year?

This year, only because last year I had pants but I had that train. People were stepping on it. It was making me really upset. This year, I don’t have a train. Should be fine.

Who stepped on your train?

Girl! It was too many people stepping on my train. Stop trying to hold me back. I won’t say names, ‘cause they can’t stop me.

This year’s theme is “Camp,” which can mean different things to different people. What is your definition of camp?

Now, when I first heard it I was like, This is great, I’m gonna wear walking shorts and a tank top with some cute boots. That’s what I first thought. Then Michael Kors was like, "No Tiffany. Camp is fun, it’s flirty, it’s outrageous, it’s gorgeous, it’s dynamic, it’s hilarious." And I was like, "So, walking shorts and a t-shirt and some cute boots?" [Laughs.] I’m learning. Because for me, camp is like survival. When I think “camping,” I think, survive, homeless, sleeping in the woods. That’s what I’m thinking. But it’s not like that. Apparently.

Did Michael Kors give you any examples of camp icons?

Yeah, he was saying, like, the things Cher would wear. He mentioned Patti LaBelle. I was like, "Oh okay, just something a little over the top. Got it."

Are you channeling any camp icons for your red carpet reveal?

I’m channeling Tiffnicity. My inner camper.

Besides yourself, do you think anyone else will do the theme justice?

Yeah, I’m sure there are gonna be a lot of people who are gonna be amazing.

Is there anyone in particular that you’re excited to hang out with inside?

Trevor Noah. Michael B. Jordan. The same dudes I hung out with last year. I don’t know if Chadwick [Boseman] is gonna be there. It would be cool if Chadwick is there because he’s funny. I don’t know if Issa Rae is gonna be there, but she’s hilarious. She’s fun. If Mary J. is there, I know I’m gonna have a good time. I have a good time no matter where I go. It could be a bunch of all business lawyers there, I’m gonna have a good time. It doesn’t matter.

What’s your favorite Met Gala memory from last year?

Everybody got together, jumping around in the corner taking pictures and making noise. That was fun. Oh, you know what! Jonah Hill was there and he was telling me that I need to stop thinking about Leonardo DiCaprio and start thinking about him. I thought that was hilarious. And when they brought the food out I was just laughing my butt off because I was like, "Okay, when the real food bout to come? The hors d’oeuvres were nice, but when’s the real food getting here?" They were like, "That is the real food." I kept laughing because I thought it was a joke, but I guess everybody gotta eat like a model on this night. But that’s why I’m bringing a big enough purse, because they calling it “camping.” I’m gonna have some snacks. Otherwise I get a little attitude.

Who else from Michael Kors is going to be seated at your table?

I think Gigi Hadid. I’m not sure.

Have you met her before?

Yeah, I got her phone number.

Oh, do you guys text?

We talk occasionally. Not all the time. You know, we’re both very busy women.

Well, I’m sure you’re also in a lot of different group chats.

[Laughs.] Girl. Sometimes I turn on my phone, and I’m like, why are there 90 text messages? And it’s mostly group stuff. Full-on group conversations.

What are you most looking forward to about tonight? Is there anything that you’re really hoping happens inside or on the carpet?

I hope I meet the man of my dreams, and he sweeps my off my feet, and twirls me around and picks me up, and then burps me. [Laughs.] I don’t know! Girl, I’m just excited to have a good time. You can’t go into these things expecting certain things, you just gotta go ready to have a good time. She ready! I’m ready to see wonderful exhibits, and meet really cool, awesome people. I’m ready to have some fun. You know what, I have to take it back—you know what the highlight of last year was? When Madonna was performing and she finished her performance, and everybody was just looking at her. I was like, "Is anybody gonna clap? Come on! She ready!" And then everybody started clapping. Yeah. That was the highlight of last year, actually.

Are you going to any fun after parties?

Yeah, I’m going to a lot of fun after parties. The goal is to make it to three. I might only end up at one. Last year, I did three, and boy was my legs hurting.

Well, I hope you get to change into some comfortable shoes at this year’s after party.

Nope! Those are my hunting shoes, girl. The after party shoes are for hunting. [Laughs.] You know I’m just playing, right? It’s so funny, I’m like, I play with the girls and say, "I’m gonna talk to all the men." Then you don’t talk to anybody. [Laughs.] You’re like, "Please pass the salt and pepper." And they’ll be like, "So did you talk to anybody?" "Oh yeah, I told one guy to pass that salt!" [Laughs.]

Well, I won’t keep you from the rest of your hair and makeup and getting ready for tonight! And I hope the food is better this year.

I hope the food is good. Oh man, what if they got, like, pigs in a blanket? Oooh. Them models gonna be hungry. That’s why I learned from last year to bring a little snack.

Björk at the 73rd Academy Awards

Björk’s sensibilities as a whole can be better classified as “avant garde” (she’s a serious artist and musician, after all), but when Björk showed up to the 73rd Academy Awards after being nominated for best song from her film *Dancer in the Dark* (though, as many would argue, snubbed in the best actress category) in a gown meant to resemble a swan, it was a moment of pure camp. The dress alone, designed by Marjan Pejoski, would have been camp just hanging on a rack, but a figure like Björk wearing it to, of all places, the Oscars—in a year that was dominated by the film *Gladiator*—truly just kicked it into another level. It also provides an important distinction in how to appreciate something from a camp point of view. Camp is not the “Oh, my God, what the hell is that weird dress she is wearing?” jokes that followed. Camp is thinking the moment was so bizarre and perfect that you can’t imagine Björk wearing anything else for the moment, and regarding her as a hero all these years later for having done so.

Related: How Does Tiffany Haddish Have Time to Be in Everything?

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