Upstairs, Downstairs 2011: The salvation of camp?

Notes from the fashion apocalypse.
April 14 2011 12:18 PM

The End of Camp?

Startling, appalling, tragic evidence that camp—that glorious mode—is dead.

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Upstairs, Downstairs. Click image to expand.
Upstairs, Downstairs

Back to camp and its potential extinction: There is hope. Last Sunday night Liberace and I tuned in to watch the remake of Upstairs, Downstairs. The original '70s sitcom was a heady mix of high camp, social commentary, and drama. (Didn't poor Ruby, the scullery maid, hang herself with her own knicker elastic?) When, five minutes into the action, Eileen Atkins came flying down the stairs—with her osprey-feathered hat, pet monkey, and turban'd male secretary, she resembled a Lartigue photo come to life—Liberace and I heaved a sigh of relief. We settled back to watch the camp unfurl, as if we were settling back to watching the camp unfurl.