Bold, histrionic, exaggerated. Apart from her talent as an all-round performer, Lady Gaga has, from the earliest moments of her career, relied heavily on the stage factor. And she won, thanks – in part – to three looks that have unquestionably made history.
Lady Gaga at the Met Gala with the 4-piece dress
Singer, dancer, actress, show-stealer. One twist after another, Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta has managed to establish herself as the definitive pop icon of the beginning of the millennium. Changing her skin like a true chameleon, she is very good at anticipating tomorrow's trends. But above all, the star of the Top Gun: Maverick soundtrack is a true number one in the art of astonishment, always poised between fashion, theatre and provocation.
The character is so sui generis that she manages to make her way even into the hearts of the discerning Met Gala audience, already accustomed to the jaw-dropping, out-of-the-box looks. In 2019, to say the least, she outclassed Harry Styles in lace and jabot and Katy Perry as a living chandelier. Unleashing an elaborate outfit in four alternating fuchsia and black chapters straight onto the stars' most hotly contested pink carpet.
Designed by Brandon Maxwell, the multiple dress designed for that edition's theme 'Camp: Notes on Fashion' in homage to Susan Sontag is emblematic of a multi-faceted personality. But also ultra-receptive and able to ride contemporary themes without fear of daring with excess and artifice. As we can clearly see from two other looks sported above.
Space style in the year of the Covid
The trail of her appearances that have entered into legend is endless, but some we will remember the most because they are linked to indelible historical moments. Like 2020 and the first period of the Covid emergency, interpreted by the star of A star is born with a series of outfits in which face protection became a couture element.
The most emblematic moment of the anxiety and anguish of this period is reflected in the numerous looks she sported at the 2020 MTV Video Music Awards. In which she wears a variety of masks, from Lance Victor Moore's horned one to Cecilio Castrillo's pink one. Not forgetting, of course, the transparent helmet by designer and wardrobe fabricator (beloved of Billie Eilish and Madonna) Conrad Muscarella worn with Area's foil effect dress.
The first meat dress in history
We find the real coup de theatre, however, by rewinding the tape of time even further. Digging out from the pile of her most discussed and controversial outfits is the famous (and equally infamous) Meat Dress designed by Franc Fernandez with styling by Nicola Formichetti.
Nominated by Time Magazine as the Biggest Fashion Statement of 2010, the asymmetrical dress was worn at that year's MTV Video Music Awards to collect the 'Video of the Year' award. Composed of raw beef, the outfit – sewn on the spot and later entrusted to a taxidermist – also included a handbag, boots and hat. And it was criticised by animal rights groups, but for Lady Gaga a way of saying: we must fight to the bitter end for the things we believe in.
Written by Michael Zippo
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