Lady Gaga has been a tour-de-force from the moment she burst onto the music scene. From the start of her career her wardrobe choices have garnered massive attention, just as much as her powerhouse voice in fact. Behind the phenomenon is famed stylist/designer/editor Nicola Formichetti who has been at the forefront of cutting edge fashion for years. The two in combination with each other have taken the world by storm, starting in 2009 at a photo shoot for V Magazine, famous for its edgy outlook on style. The interesting points of their collaborations have been the grey line between fashion and performance costume. Formichetti and Gaga have created an interesting juxtaposition: wearer-friendly pieces with the avant-garde couture creations of the world’s most outrageous conceptual designers. When not in her own “Haus of Gaga”, headed by Formichetti (who is also the Creative Director at Thierry Mugler), Gaga frequently sports creations from Alexander McQueen, Jean Paul Gaultier, Jean de Castelbajac, and Hussein Chalayan and famed jeweler-to-the-stars, Rodrigo Otazu, who is one of her favorites. Gaga’s latest stage-wear for her Monster Ball tour has been designed by Mr. Giorgio Armani himself.
The collaboration between Gaga and Formichetti has gone far beyond just styling Gaga at this point since they now collaborate on performances. Formichetti’s added eye to Gaga’s performances and music videos has caused them to transcend their definitions and has turned them into virtual fashion shows, exposing the world to the concept of high fashion and introducing mainstream society to relatively unknown avant-garde designers. Gaga’s style has nabbed the attention of the entire world from the start of her career with her hair-bows and latex suits in her “Poker Face” video (hair used as a millinery material popularized by Gaultier). The pop star seems to always take her cues from what’s on the runways in Paris; in the “Paparazzi” video you can see creations like her Dior knuckle-rings and shoes from John Galliano to her Jeremy Scott sunglasses.
In “Bad Romance”, Gaga really flourished in a creative sense and showed a greater range of styles beginning with costume in a white latex body suit with prosthetic ribs and her face almost entirely covered. She makes a point of showing off her Alexander McQueen plexiglass “Alien” shoes in multiple scenes in multiple colors. The camera often pans to these objects d’art, featuring them in a glorious context. Mainstream culture unaware of these spectacular creations get a peak into the world of high fashion through Gaga’s mainstream music videos. After McQueen’s Spring 2010 presentation, “Plato’s Atlantis”, he debuted her new single on the runway, teasing us and leading us to expect such a collaboration between the two in this video.
Gaga goes back and forth from costume to fashion, sporting a crystal mesh bra and headpiece, to then walking around in the Alexander McQueen “Jellyfish” finale look, a real stunner coupled with his Armadillo boots which add an extra 10 inches to Gaga’s stature. Gaga also wears simple lingerie in the video too, but gives it more of an edge with amazing prosthetic-like jewelry like metal masks and brass chin straps.
It is near impossible to be able to describe her hundreds of now infamous outfits she wears in her performances, TV appearances, street fashion, music videos and photo shoots. From her recent dress made from raw steak to her Giorgio Armani ethereal gown, Gaga continues to play with that grey area between fashion and costume. To say I’m interested in what she does next is an understatement, especially with her new album “Born This Way” which connotes a lot of religious iconography. Please take a look at some of my favorite moments of Lady Gaga’s most intriguing styles!