Painful Italian glamour from within
Gaga, fashion as a team sport, and the appropriate time to use "iconic"
“People say all the time that they think I hid in fashion. But I was never hiding, I was screaming.”
The quote above was said by Mother Monster herself, in a British Vogue video titled “Lady Gaga On The Meat Dress and 19 Other Iconic Looks,” posted today. I highly encourage you to watch.
For a woman whose career has been massively impacted by fashion, it must have been difficult for the British Vogue team to assemble just nineteen looks for this video.
I imagine the meetings went something like this:
“Surely the periwinkle Valentino Golden Globes gown…”
“The bubble dress, obviously!”
“Ok, but definitely the 2011 Mugler CFDA Awards look. The mint hair?!”
“But the Comme des Garçons blue and pink coat!”
I imagine the hours were long and arduous in the final selection process, eager to please both Gaga and Little Monsters alike.
In the above video, Ms. Germanotta perused through a book of some of her most memorable outfits and explained each one in great detail. The word “iconic” is thrown around far too loosely these days, but for the ensembles of a one Lady Gaga, it is fitting, like a pair of Giuseppe Zanotti pumps.
Perhaps more impressive than walking in a pair of Alexander McQueen Armadillo boots is her ability to recall everything and everyone. Pointing out every detail, remembering every designer, mentioning each reference (she’s a sucker for Bosch) - the appreciation does not go unnoticed. She speaks of every outfit - no matter how whimsical, how outrageous - with a tone of respect and reverence to the artists and designers who assembled it together.
But this shouldn’t come as a surprise. In the season 9 premiere of RuPaul’s Drag Race where she is a guest judge, contestants donned their best Gaga drag. She mentions every single person who was involved in the creation of each look (go to 1:20 to watch). She understands that the art she is achieving is a team effort, and everyone earns a participation trophy.
Gaga has donned the most luxurious, exclusive designs (i.e. the Tiffany’s necklace at the 2019 Oscars). And even so, she continues to harken back to her roots, from continuing to wear Pleaser boots, to a nod to her early performance days in her final outfit reveal at 2019 Met Gala. She is not above wearing a Givenchy gown and adding costume jewelry - if it appropriately completed the looks. While Gaga explores different styles throughout her eras, she is still true to herself.
Gaga is currently gracing both British Vogue and Vogue Italia. The above British Vogue cover is reminiscent of Patrick Nagel art (at least it is to me)
Luckily, or perhaps unluckily for you, most of my attention (i.e. content) over the next several weeks will be exclusively dedicated to House of Gucci. The cast is currently on their press tour, where we can anticipate Gaga to be, in her words, serving painful Italian glamour from within (did you know that she’s an Italian girl from New York?).
This post has just briefly touched on the fashion history of a very iconique woman. A woman who labeled accessories as “the vessel,” Louis Vuitton brown” and “urine blonde hair.” A woman who wore a meat dress and Alexander McQueen gown the same evening. It continues to somehow get better. What was originally dubbed as a “schtick” - and perhaps it was - continues to exist, grow and evolve. I’m on the edge of my Little Monster seat to see what’s next.
Now, where can I buy that book?
Below are some of my favorite ensembles:
In Marc Jacobs, 2018 ELLE Women in Hollywood event
2012, in Roksanda
2012, The Fame perfume launch. The Louis Vuitton Brown hair!
2013 VMAs, in Prabal Gurung
And my absolute favorite look of all time. 2014 in Brandon Maxwell, for the Cheek to Cheek album release
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