We recall the most outrageous and insane images of a pop star: from an ambiguous meat dress and other fancy outfits to the latest elegant dresses on the carpet.
Aesthetics that knows no boundaries – this is how you can characterize the way of dressing, which the 36-year-old singer, actress and real fashion provocateur shocked and delighted the audience during the first decade of her career. At the same time, for all the time, the style of the star has managed to undergo many various changes – from the tail of a mermaid and alien heels to a dress made of raw meat – the range of moods of Lady Gaga’s wild ensembles can vary from “unearthly” to repulsive. Having famous designers among close friends, taking part in Fashion Week shows for Mugler and Marc Jacobs, as well as in campaigns for Versace and Tom Ford, the star has gained serious credibility in the fashion world.
For a very long time, Gaga was faithful to her avant-garde style, but the professional and personal growth of the singer could not but affect her appearance. It seems that Gaga decided to take a break and began to gradually distance herself from fashion exploits, and her images eventually became more relaxed.
Lady Gaga on the red carpet before the screening of the movie “A Star is Born” during the 75th Venice Film Festival in Sala Grande, Venice August 31, 2018
So, the exits of the star as part of the promotion of the film “A Star is Born” (2018), where Gaga plays the main role, were much more noble and refined, but no less exciting. Despite the stylistic solutions that are new for the singer, you can still notice something of Gaga’s classic style in them. Hypersize suits in men’s style, a minimum of makeup and jewelry and calm shades – now this is a list of Gaga’s iconic outfits of the new era.
The film “A Star is Born”, the directorial debut of actor Bradley Cooper, was awarded the Christopher D. Smithers Special Award at the Venice Film Festival and received the Golden Globe and Oscar Awards for Best Song. In addition, at the BAFTA, the acting duo won in the nomination “Best Music for a film”. True, the statuette for the best actress star still did not get, but we have no doubt that Gaga will try to take revenge. In the meantime, we are waiting for the queen of outrage and the “mother of monsters” to please us in the future, we offer to walk along the evolutionary stylistic path of a talented singer and actress.
Before Gaga became Gaga, she was named Stephanie Joanne Angelina Germanotta, but even then a talented girl with a beautiful voice knew exactly what to do to be remembered by the public. During one of her first performances at the Lollapalooza Music Festival in 2007, the brunette Lady Gaga appeared on stage, dressed in a shiny bra resembling a disco ball, shorts, panties and fishnet stockings. Leopard colors, mini and bikinis, hairstyles in the style of Amy Winehouse – the star immediately made it clear to everyone that she was not going to be modest and cautious.
Lady Gaga at the Lollapalooza Music Festival, Chicago 2007
Just Dance, 2008
In April 2008, Gaga’s debut single Just Dance was released, which became a real hit and one of the best-selling compositions in digital format with a circulation of more than 10 million copies. “This album saved my life. In New York, it was like I was lost in the dark. I was depressed, often disappeared in bars. And then I got on a plane to Los Angeles to make my own music. And I was given a single chance to write a song that could change my life. And I did it,” the singer once shared. It was then that the world first got acquainted with the eccentric, slightly eccentric style of the future megastar. Platinum blonde hair, big false shoulders and a disco bra were just the beginning of the exciting era of Lady Gaga. At first, however, it is difficult to trace any particular idea in a particular star’s outfit, and behind all this, rather, there is a catchy outrage and a desire to stand out as much as possible from the pop “anthill”. But can you blame her for that? Let’s pay tribute to the star — she did it perfectly!
Lady Gaga’s performance at the ACC, Toronto 2005
The Fame, 2008
A true workaholic and a fan of her craft, Gaga releases her first album, The Fame, which simply blows up the world. The singer’s career began to develop rapidly and, realizing that the bet on the stage image worked with a bang, the star puts even more effort into its development. The outfits and entourage for each performance were now thought out in great detail by the singer and told the story along with the words and melody. Gaga began to get carried away with structured dresses and geometric headdresses and supply her outfits with new complex details every time.
Lady Gaga performs in San Jose, California 2008
Lady Gaga at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Spring/Summer, 2009
Haus of Gaga
The singer’s imagination had no limits, and it drew more and more fashion fantasies in her head. To implement them, Gaga decides to assemble her personal creative team of creative professionals who will be responsible for the most memorable costumes and props of the artist, and calls her “Haus of Gaga” (German. “Gaga’s House”). “I just called all my coolest friends-masters of art, we sat in a room, and I started telling them all my craziest ideas… It’s an absolutely amazing creative process.” The fashion director of the House and stylist of the star then was Nicola Formichetti. It was he who introduced the singer to many London designers, including Gareth Pugh and Nazir Mazhar, with whom Gaga subsequently collaborated.
Lady Gaga and Nicola Formichetti at the presentation of the Nicopanda fashion collection, New York 2016
The Fame Monster, 2009-2010
And now, having enlisted the support of the ideal team, which has become a real family for the singer, in her stylistic experiments, Lady Gaga begins to come off in full, and attention to her person grew with each new release. Outfits are becoming more sophisticated and represent real works of fashion art: dresses of complex designs, intricate headdresses, architectural shoes and theatrical makeup.
What an outfit of plush Kermit frogs and the frightened look of rapper Eminem are worth when he handed the singer in a blood-red lace dress and the same veil on her face the VMA award for the best video of the debutant of the year. At the same time, Gaga’s predilection for religious images first manifested itself when, in September 2009, she performed at a V Magazine party in a red lace bodysuit and a hairstyle inspired by the Virgin Mary.
Lady Gaga accepts the “Best New Artist” award from Eminem during the MTV Video Music Awards ceremony, 2009
All these crazy and sometimes frightening experiments secured the nickname “mother of monsters” for the star, and fans of her work began to be called “little monsters”.
“I just remember how annoyed I was that I had to be “normal.” And that’s why I took great pleasure in showing who I really am in such a grandiose way. It was something like a polite form of “fuck off.” I never thought about looking perfect—I was just me. And I think my fans understood that. My clothes were a form of protection from the whole world, but always with a little hint, like a barely noticeable wink for my fans – little monsters.”
Lady Gaga during the MTV Video Music Awards ceremony, New York 2009
Lady Gaga at the MTV Video Music Awards, New York 2009
Obviously, for Gaga, music and design have become inseparable. Such an approach could not fail to attract the attention of the brightest and equally extraordinary representatives of the fashion industry. The crazy and extravagant energy of the singer and her work just fit perfectly into the concept of the “obnoxious Briton” Alexander McQueen. During Paris Fashion Week, Gaga’s single Bad Romance premiered at the designer’s final runway show called “Plato’s Atlantis”, and the main masterpiece of the collection “armadillo shoes” simply won the singer’s heart. Later, an “alien” pair of shoes will appear in the star’s video for the same song, and will also become part of an unforgettable image for the MTV Video Music Awards carpet. Lady Gaga and “armadillos— are like Cinderella and a crystal slipper – perfect compatibility. The singer was not only a fan of the late designer’s talent, but also his friend. When five years later three pairs of famous shoes appeared at an auction in support of the UNICEF Children’s Fund, the singer bought them all by posting a photo on her Instagram account with the inscription: “When a gift comes to you from heaven.”
Lady Gaga’s performance at the launch of V61, organized by V Magazine, Marc Jacobs and Belvedere Vodka, New York, September 14, 2009
Lady Gaga arrives at the MTV Video Music Awards, Los Angeles on September 12, 2010
In 2010, Gaga’s reputation for wearing fancy outfits only strengthened when she walked in a frankly scandalous outfit made entirely of meat on the carpet of the MTV Video Music Awards (VMA). Designed by the Argentine designer Frank Fernandez, the dress and the same shoes are the most memorable and, perhaps, the most “fragrant” items of clothing in the history of VMA. The singer then received not only eight awards, but also a lot of criticism in her address, which was very annoyed. The outfit was part of her protest against the US military policy of “don’t ask, don’t tell” restricting the rights of homosexuals. “You can interpret this dress in different ways, but it is, first of all, about the struggle for our rights. We have to stand up for what we believe in. We all have as many rights as there is meat on our bones. And I’m not a piece of meat,” the singer commented on her image.
Later, the star shared that the source of all her absurd fashion experiments was the desire to maintain control over herself, because show business often turns an artist into a real slave. Her outrageous outfits and antics were not just self-expression or a way to get noticed in the press, but also proof of the power and importance of her voice. “When they wanted me to be a sexy pop star, I did absurd things that gave me the feeling that I was still in control of the situation,” Gaga says.
Lady Gaga at the MTV Video Music Awards, Los Angeles September 13, 2010
Lady Gaga at the 52nd Annual GRAMMY Awards, Los Angeles January 31, 2010
In the biographical film “Gaga: 155 cm”, the singer reveals the truth that for many producers and influential men in the music industry and Hollywood, women often act as a favorite toy and serve only for pleasant entertainment. “That’s not why I’m here. I’m not a vessel for your pain—” she says. —I’m not just a place where you can throw it out.” To resist such an unfair attitude, Gaga decides to demonstrate some ugliness and ugliness during her performances, as if hinting at all those horrors and imperfections characteristic of show business. “If I want to look sexy at the VMA, performing Paparazzi, I will do it while bleeding, and I will remind you with this what fame did to Marilyn Monroe (Norma Jean) and Anna Nicole Smith, and what she did to… yes. Can you guess who I’m talking about?” (as the director of the film Chris Mukarbel later explained her words, it was about Amy Winehouse), Lady Gaga comments on her performance at the VMA in a snow-white suit stained with blood.
Lady Gaga during a performance at the Lollapalooza Music Festival, 2010
This is not the first time Gaga has talked about the complicated motives behind her wild style. In 2015, the singer admitted that her loud outfits actually stem from frightening loneliness and depression. “For me, fashion, art and music have always been a form of armor. I just kept fantasizing more and more to escape to try on a new skin. And every time I lost the old one, it was like taking a shower and washing off the dirt— getting rid of all the bad things and becoming something new.”
Born This Way, 2011
In May 2011, Gaga released her second album Born This Way. “The album is about rebirth in every sense—” she explained. —It’s about being able to renew again and again until you find inside yourself what best defines you for who you are and makes you feel like a winner in life.”
It’s hard to believe that something will ever be able to surpass a meat dress, but it still happened when the singer arrived at the 2011 VMA in a vessel shaped like a giant egg. During her performance, Gaga literally “reborn” on stage, appearing from it in an “alien” latex suit. Before the performance, the singer’s stylist Nicola Formichetti said that Gaga is in the incubation period and therefore cannot communicate with fans and the media. According to some reports, before “hatching” from the egg, the singer spent three days in it and admitted that it was really important for her to get this “creative experience and be born on stage.”
Lady Gaga’s “Hatching” on the VMA stage, Los Angeles February 13, 2011
Lady Gaga at the CFDA Fashion Awards, New York, June 6, 2011
This period of Gaga’s work was clearly saturated with reincarnations: each new exit is not like the previous one, and, apparently, Gaga was really in constant search of her real self. It seemed that everyone was already used to her absolutely crazy theatrical designs, when suddenly Gaga decides to appear in a feminine evening dress, having previously dyed her hair green, so as not to disappoint the “little monsters”. And so, it seems, she decides to stop at this compromise: sexy elegance with an injection of Gaga’s signature “ugliness”.
This year was also marked by interesting fashion collaborations for Gaga. The following month, Gaga made her debut on the catwalk during Paris Fashion Week at the Thierry Mugler show, thereby congratulating her friend Formichetti on his first collection as creative director of the French fashion house. In the same year, Gaga collaborated with Giorgio Armani, who created unique costumes specifically for the singer’s Monster Ball world tour. The designer just fell in love with Gaga’s energy and offered to be her stylist himself – previously, few people were awarded such an honor. But Lady Gaga is a special case, because, according to representatives of the brand, “her theatrical aesthetics is a real work of art.”
Nicola Formichetti, Lady Gaga and Sebastian Payne during the Thierry Mugler Autumn/Winter 2011/2012 show, Paris March 2, 2011
Lady Gaga during her Monster Ball tour, Auckland March 22, 2011
In the same year, together with Formichetti and photographer Nick Knight, Gaga organizes a sensational photo shoot for the autumn-winter issue of Japanese Vogue Hommes, where the star appeared in the image of an extravagant Italian man. “The character of Joe Calderone is a mischievous experiment, a figment of my imagination, on which we later worked in detail together with Nick,” Gaga says about her male alter ego— “Nick and I share many years of experience of tireless and passionate work… And one day we thought: how far are we willing to go?” Later, Joe Calderone also appeared at VMA 2011, walked the red carpet and performed the song You And I. Along with this song, Gaga’s more mature hits The Edge of Glory and Marry The Night appear, which became the first harbinger of the transformation of the singer’s style towards a calmer elegance.
Lady Gaga during an appearance at the MTV Video Music Awards, Los Angeles 2011
Lady Gaga poses at the 28th Annual MTV Video Music Awards, Los Angeles 2011
And so Gaga’s constant throwing led her to a very unexpected but interesting experience, namely to a creative collaboration with the iconic American jazz performer Tony Bennett. In tandem, they recorded the song The Lady Is a Tramp and shot a video in which the singer appears in a completely new image of a retro diva and thereby proves that she is not going to be limited only to incendiary pop rhythms. And the singer will return to jazz and retro, but more on that later.
Theatrical eclecticism penetrates into the singer’s everyday wardrobe, which she treated no less seriously. For Gaga, there was no such thing as “off duty”: “I am Lady Gaga 24/7,” she once admitted. — I don’t have days off. An artist should live by his creativity. You’ll never notice me in sweatpants and a hoodie. Even in bed, I’m wearing pearls and high heels.”
Lady Gaga in London, December 8, 2013
Lady Gaga at the Langham Hotel, London December 8, 2013
In 2013, Gaga’s third studio album Artpop is released. “In this album, I tried to combine pop music and art culture – almost like Andy Warhol. Just don’t draw melodies on canvas, but exactly the opposite,” the singer said.
Initially, the goal of pop art was to blur the boundaries between “high” art and “low” culture. And it seems that Gaga herself was very inspired by this concept and even predicted the album to become “eternal”. But either the idea turned out to be too difficult to perceive, or the words “Pop culture was art. Now pop culture and art are me” sounded too narcissistic, the album was not received as warmly by fans as the previous ones.
But the artist herself was very imbued with the spirit of pop art, which clearly affected her stylistic decisions. Gaga’s images are characterized by juicy, well-defined colors, fabrics are decorated with bright prints (paintings, cartoon characters and even icons).
Lady Gaga at the hotel in London, October 31, 2013
Lady Gaga leaves a hotel in London, October 26, 2013
Ode to Versace
One of the album’s singles is called Donatella and was an ode to designer Donatella Versace. Gaga first met Versace in 2011, when she borrowed some vintage items from a fashion house for the Edge of Glory video. “I thought how incredible she looks,” Versace said in an interview. —The way she wore my clothes in this video was a demonstration to the younger generation of how energetic and fresh the brand can be.” It was the beginning of a long and strong friendship. Flattered by the hit dedicated to her, Donatella invited Gaga to participate in the brand’s 2014 campaign.
Lady Gaga in the Versace Spring/Summer 2014 advertising campaign
It can be said that the singer’s friendship and cooperation with the designer were inevitable: the spirit and aesthetics of the brand fit perfectly into Gaga’s work. It is impossible not to note the external similarity of celebrities, and when it comes to creative natures, these people broadcast their feelings, emotions, views of the world primarily through their appearance. Whether it’s an airport, a walk around the city or a visit to fashion week: Versace outfits constantly helped the singer out, allowing her not to change her style without much effort. In the aforementioned Monster Ball tour, the singer successfully diluted Armani outfits with branded leather looks and massive Versace accessories.
Lady Gaga on the streets of London, August 29, 2013
Lady Gaga and Donatella Versace at the Atelier Versace show as part of the Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week Spring / Summer 2014
Cheek to Cheek, 2014
Gaga’s jazz album with Tony Bennett, Cheek to Cheek, released in 2014, was a turning point in the evolution of her style. Now, not as an experiment, but on a permanent basis on the carpet, the star demonstrates dazzling retro images. As if she came to us from Old Hollywood, Gaga perfectly conveyed the atmosphere of those jazz melodies that she performed.
Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, December 17, 2014
The main inspiration for many of her images was Brandon Maxwell – Nicola Formichetti’s former assistant and Gaga’s new stylist: it was he who managed to find for the singer the very balance between eccentricity and classics. Maxwell, however, insisted that Gaga’s new look is the result of their collaboration. “She does everything perfectly, no matter what she undertakes. I have worked with many people, and she is one of the few artists who are responsible for everything themselves – from writing music to deciding on their everyday wardrobe – all this is Gaga’s personal vision. This year she had a jazz album, which was largely reflected in her new aesthetic. We get older, we evolve, everything changes, and your style changes, as does the person himself when he grows up. It has become more logical to make images that would correspond to icons of the past, great jazz legends, but to do it in their own way. She has a very, very natural beauty and a regal appearance.”
Lady Gaga in New York, December 17, 2014
Lady Gaga at the Galliera Museum, Paris January 20, 2014
But Gaga would not be Gaga if she did not allow herself to deviate from the set glamorous course, diluting all this brilliance, elegance and feminine classics with a drop, and sometimes more than one, of outrageous. Whether you like him or not, Gaga remains true to her style.
This year marks the beginning of Gaga’s serious acting career. The TV series “American Horror Story: Hotel” is being released, for the role in which the now actress Lady Gaga receives a Golden Globe Award. Professional victories finally give the star that sense of satisfaction from herself and her work, make her more confident and calm, as well as her stylistic decisions. She continues to develop along the path of elegant classics, but still in an extraordinary performance peculiar only to Gaga. If this is a pantsuit, then the blouse under it will be seductively transparent, and for the Oscar ceremony, the singer will dilute the luxurious snow-white Azzedine Alaïa dress, embroidered with rhinestones, with accent scarlet gloves.
Lady Gaga at the 87th Annual Academy Awards Ceremony, Hollywood February 22, 2015
Lady Gaga at the British Fashion Awards, London November 23, 2015
You can also notice Gaga’s desire to separate the stage and real life: for events, she chooses seductive evening dresses with an impressive neckline, and in everyday life prefers relaxed silhouettes, simple, clean shades and even images of “total beige”, in which it was previously impossible to imagine the singer.
After the release of Joanne’s latest album, Gaga’s manner became incredibly restrained and clearly inspired by the country style that underlies her new sound. Calling her latest album the most honest record of her entire career, the singer makes it clear that she has finally decided to be just herself — a talented girl with a beautiful voice Stephanie Joanne Angelina Germanotta. “This time my style remains as natural as in the studio while recording my music,” she explained in an interview.
The image that the singer chose for the Perfect Illusion video surprised everyone: her outfit was just short denim shorts and a cropped top. And it is in this form that you can now most often see a star walking around New York. Unless she forgets to bring her favorite pink cowboy hat.
At festive events, we have a more elegant Gaga with us. During the performance of the national anthem at the opening ceremony of the 2016 Super Bowl, the singer appears in front of millions of Americans in a relatively modest, but still solemn Gucci suit, which could well be called classic, if not for the bright accent on the eyes in the form of red glitter, emphasizing the texture of the suit. As she herself commented on such changes in her style: “To be honest, we’ve been watching my fucking crazy outfits for almost 10 years. It seems to me that no one is interested anymore. Now they seem pretty boring to me myself.”
At the same time, the star continues to put a certain message into each of his stylistic choices. Like, for example, the elegant and austere image in Brandon Maxwell’s white suit and wide-brimmed hat that the singer wore at the American Music Awards is actually charged with political mood and paid tribute to Hillary Clinton and the suffragettes. Or one of the now rare and bold experiments at the 2016 Grammy ceremony, when Gaga paid homage to another style icon — David Bowie, appearing with a red mop of hair and in a rebellious bright blue Marc Jacobs dress.
Lady Gaga performs the US national anthem at the Super Bowl, California on February 7, 2016
The following year, Gaga successfully practiced alternating “country” and “retro” styles, and sometimes a combination of them. A cowboy hat, vintage sunglasses and Hollywood curls remained faithful companions.
But at some point, the star scared us all when ultrashort shorts, fishnet tights and aggressive accessories returned to her wardrobe. With her “naked” outfit in the style of “bdsm”, which Gaga chose for the Grammy ceremony, the singer again caused discussion and condemnation. Such abrupt stylistic changes were explained by many unpleasant events in the personal life of the star: Gaga broke up with her fiance, actor Taylor Kinney. Or perhaps it was just a kind of female weakness – the desire to demonstrate their excellent physical shape. In any case, for a while, Gaga’s old-school style pleased nostalgic fans again.
Lady Gaga in downtown New York, May 14, 2017
Lady Gaga arrives at the 59th GRAMMY Awards, Los Angeles on February 12, 2017
“A Star is born”, 2018-2019
In 2018, all the most important events in Gaga’s life – experiences, failures and victories – are connected with her developing acting activities. Having played the main role in the musical drama “A Star is Born”, the singer received many positive reviews and began to be perceived as a serious dramatic actress. The film was predicted to win an Oscar, and Gaga took part in a large-scale promotional tour around the world, demonstrating memorable images in every city.
The latest exits of the actress give reason to think that 10-inch platforms, sophisticated hats and avant-garde makeup are now definitely gone forever. Gaga traded all this for a calm, cool color palette, simpler silhouettes, soft lines and natural makeup, while skillfully playing with all the current trends: feathers, neon and oversize cut.
Lady Gaga on the streets of Paris, August 30, 2018
Lady Gaga during a performance at the JAZZ & PIANO Residence, Las Vegas January 20, 2019
The personality of the star has not disappeared anywhere: in any outfit you will find a portion of muted outrage, and she will carry it with utmost confidence. Outside of the red carpets, the images of the star have a slight vintage touch in the style of Marilyn Monroe and Amy Winehouse and a certain nostalgic mood — Gaga still pays tribute and a generous share of admiration to these great women. According to the star, now she is just her. “I think it was too early for the world to see the real me, because I wasn’t ready for it myself,” she says of her past. – Now it’s just me, and nothing more.”
Gaga has repeatedly said in her interviews that she never felt beautiful, smart and talented enough to just sing and remain herself at the same time. Now, it seems, the singer has finally reached that inner harmony and the desired confidence to forget about theatrical costumes. “Now I don’t need to have a million wigs to make a statement,” the star shared.
Lady Gaga on the red carpet before the screening of the movie “A Star is Born” during the 75th Venice Film Festival in Sala Grande, Venice August 31, 2018
Chromatica and the Gucci House, 2020-2022
2020, of course, turned out to be extremely difficult for all celebrities, and Lady Gaga is no exception at all. In April, the star planned to release the sixth studio album Chromatica, but the release had to be postponed until May due to the pandemic. In August, Gaga performed at the MTV VMA 2020 awards, and here all the fans of the former – bright and eccentric – singer had a chance to see the pop star in her favorite shocking outfits. The diva changed nine outfits at once: from a futuristic Area dress with a spacesuit to a space silver Candice Cuoco image.
Lady Gaga’s performance at AT&T TV Super Saturday Night in Florida, February 1, 2020
Singer in an Area outfit at the MTV Video Music Awards, August 28, 2020
Lady Gaga in Candice Cuoco at the MTV Video Music Awards, August 28, 2020
Lady Gaga in Christopher John Rogers at the MTV Video Music Awards, August 28, 2020
But at the end of the year, the singer literally tore up the media space — at the end of 2020, it became known that Ridley Scott plans to make a film about the tragedy of the last heir of the Gucci dynasty and wants to see Lady Gaga in the role of a cold-blooded killer. And already at the beginning of 2021, she actively began filming in Italy. Fans of the singer never cease to wonder how organically the pop diva fits into the role of Patricia Reggiani.
Lady Gaga at the inauguration ceremony of the new US President Joe Biden, January 20, 2021
Is this the end of Lady Gaga’s outrageous and insane era? It’s too early to make predictions, but at the moment, it seems that the “little monsters” will have to get used to its more natural version.