July 5, 2010

I love that lavender blonde: Gaga and fashion


This is quite subdued for Gaga. Hello Kitty pussypacks are sellable!

Robin Givhan of the Washington Post did a piece this weekend about Lady Gaga as a fashion sensation. In one of the more cutting bits, she ruminates on Oprah Winfrey introducing Gaga at the Costume Institute Gala this spring..

But when Oprah Winfrey... introduced Gaga, it was with such overwrought aplomb, with such breathless references to art, humanity and spirituality, that one might have thought Gandhi, Mother Teresa and Michelangelo had somehow formed a band.
The point of the piece is not to attack Gaga - in fact, Givhan likes her - but to make a point that her clothes do translate into street fashion, which translate into $$$. And she does go there with a Madonna comparison...
Onstage, Madonna wore clothes that were more exciting than street clothes but not so extreme as to be unfathomable costumes. It was somewhere in between, a hyper-realized version of ready-to-wear. The result was that Madonna could catapult a designer to fame, not just in the pages of People magazine but on the runways.
A friend points out the comparison to Madonna is complicated by the fact that Gaga appropriates a persona at all times in public, which must be tiresome and emotionally complex. Like old time stars, she does not run around publicly in sweats. Whereas, in 1983, Madonna literally wore those bangles and crucifixes and head scarves and created a generation of Wannabes.

Gaga is already showing signs of stripping away some of the artifice - she is virtually makeup-less and nude for much of her new Alejandro video. But she also has never looked more like Madonna and that is a problem that will continue to - in my opinion - splinter her desired "ascendance."

1 comment:

Brionity said...

--But she also has never looked more like Madonna and that is a problem that will continue to - in my opinion - splinter her desired "ascendance."--

This line is absolute and incredible well said. This coupled with the fact that her music continues to be derivative to the point of the current song . . . Ace of Base should sue.