I didn’t stutter on that title. Obviously there are other couples tonight who killed it style-wise – more than usual, actually – and we’ll get to all of them. But the reason that Cole Sprouse and Lili Reinhart seem like the establishment here even though they’re early in their 20s and only attending the Met Gala for the second year is, well, they kind of are camp, in the best way possible.
First of all, Riverdale is campy-noir – something all the cast, but especially these two, have really embraced and leaned into. There’s the whole on-and-offscreen couple thing, too. Once you’re a love story who’re also involved in doing a love story, for your job, you kind of become that thing the kids say: ‘couple goals’.
You know what I mean. Every time you see these two, it’s like they’ve deigned to come out of their little bubble of two-person all-encompassing love in order to share it with us, and they’re so pleased to be able to show everyone how much they vibe with each other – as though we couldn’t tell in every photo.
Look how they lean into each other. Look how their body language mimics one another. They’re so into this, and into each other, and it’s not reaching to say that makes them both more into the theme.
First of all, she looks awesome. The Marie-Antoinette-at-the-Kennedy-compound thing she has going on is charming, and what her outfit lacks in, say, tailoring – there is sort of a Project Runway feel to those gathers at the top, and I wouldn’t have minded if some of the excess gathers were streamlined a bit – it makes up for in exuberance. A lot of people tonight said that the definition of Camp is ‘more is more’, and you can feel it here.
Plus, Cole came to play. Often (though less in recent years) men at the Met Gala sort of shrug and say “who are we kidding, nobody’s waiting to see me anyway”, and it was a delight for that not to be the case this year – there were all kinds of men who really, really gave it – but in large part the men in high-profile couples adhered to that idea. Kanye West basically wore a bowling jacket so his wife could be the focus.
But you can see that Cole Sprouse is enjoying this as much as Lili is, and that the fact that they’re both the focus is making them both really happy. Another outlet said they looked like Dr. Seuss characters, and I have no idea if that was the intent, but it’s very clear they’re both in the same joyously camp headspace, possibly since ‘Bughead’ became an offscreen thing.
In fact, I hesitate to say this, because I don’t want to put a lot of pressure on these kids – but as anyone who’s read any of our awards-night coverage in the last five years knows, I live for Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys, who often attend the Met Gala and always look like they’re there as much for each other as for the press and Anna Wintour. Keri and Matthew weren’t there last night, and I’m sure they delighted in watching the show in their sweatpants that are somehow still very sexy.
But I think, vibe-wise, they might have passed the torch to these two, and without murdering my metaphor, I am always gonna be here to see this kind of crazy-in-love-with-each-other’s-bodies-and-minds flame burn, for as long as they allow us to enjoy it.