questioning lady g’s fashion reign
(lady g & christina in similar outfits)
i was reading an article recently about christina aguilera allegedly “copying” lady g in her latest video due to the fact of her wearing a getup similar to one the later had sported on the street sometime last summer as well as “pink streaks in her hair — hello, Gaga! — bright red lips, and outrageous yellow eye shadow.”
this was news more than one fashion site reported on and seem to consider a serious offense, because apparently, though she may just be minding her own business unawares of what lady g is doing, christina is expected to know. (i’d like to point out right now that rachel mcadams in the past had pink-streaked hair & sean yseult the yellow-popsicle hair look, and lady g is hardly accused of having cribbed their styles.)
this has become a growing point of irritation for me. though for disclosure purposes i ought to mention i am no fan of lady g (likely for reasons such as the ones discussed here). quite often of late when a female celebrity attempts an art-fashion look, she must instantly be taken to the g-meter, in which she is compared in ability to pull it off with lady g (recently this happened with kelis).
furthermore, experimental designers and haute couture, both of which have existed some years longer than the lady herself, are now often pointed to as being inspired by her. (gianfranco reni, a mexican designer i wrote about recently was described by a blog as “gaga-worthy”) in effect, anything remotely crazy is in danger of having a “gaga” stamped to it.
as enthusiastic as i am of all art-fashion, there is a part of me that wishes i could appreciate lady g. and yet, i cannot, because i think she is actually more detrimental to the cause than encouraging others to develop their own looks. celebrities usually help to promote an item, with things like celebrity beauty buzz or people style watch showing us examples of how to find the stars’ spring shoes (or whatever the item might be), and articles in which they encourage us to take the celebs’ fashion or beauty ideas. no look is generally attributed to any single person, and we often see several women wearing the same type of item.
however, with lady g, there is a sense of “it belongs to her”, as if she’s the only one allowed to sport quirky looks while the rest of us must sit back in awe & learn something. although many celebrities, each of them shopping from top designers, (those same designers we as fashion people appreciate & get ideas from) may sport similar looks (hence all those “fashion faceoffs" in a number of blogs), they’re not accused of copying one another or expected to leave that interesting idea to someone else! and yet…lady g is considered to be in a class by herself. should any look she has worn be brought out by someone else, it must instantaneously draw loud comparisons.
interestingly, people like grace jones who have talents beyond singing forgettable disco-pop ditties and hawking wonderbread don’t particularly care for her contributions. perhaps this is due to the fact that aside from those outlandish costumes (designed by someone else) & of-the-moment music, g has relatively little to keep her in the race. (in fact, as i’ve noted before, she’s not even the sole creator of her looks, but relies on nicola formichetti to do her styling.)
meanwhile, some designers prefer she & her overwhelming personality abstain from sporting their work. both mark fast and antonio berardi declined to dress lady g, the latter calling her music “meaningless”. they both gave the overall impression in their statements accompanying the decisions that their clothing was artwork meant to be of greater significance than something serving as a prop to get g a little more attention.
i’m simply pointing all of this out because the fantastical outfits seem to be all she really has going for her. artists of more significant standing tend to scoff at her, and in the end she seems little more than a wolf with sheep’s ears on—or pop tart with fake blood instead of a plaid miniskirt. it feels gimmicky. it is gimmicky. and she needs to watch out. if other singers begin to eclipse her, or even draw near, she’ll lose the edge she has. and…what then?
it’s also frustrating because the community at large gives her more credit than is her due. not only do many seem to believe she’s the only one with a handle on outrageous dressing, but that she’s the one who invented it, who inspires it. nevermind that one can see crazy-ass fashions from the likes of alexander mcqueen years before she was in the public eye gaining acclaim for sporting his lobster shoes. i mean, geez. we had madonna in the jean paul gaultier cone bras, boy george, and leigh bowery all bringing the eccentric glam to music before g was out of her abercrombie & fitch years.
but what i really hate, as i stated above, is the way people seem to believe she has exclusive rights to looks. simply because christina wore a shiny black top & skirt, she’s branded a copycat (and i’m no fan of christina, either. anyone who bitches about a peon coughing during her interview finds herself a little too important for my liking) needing to find her own style (hello!? “bright red lips” are now a g-copyright? pretty sure this is a major trend). and let’s remember, it’s not like christina just covered herself completely in red lace. she just put on one of the most basic offerings any bondage shop stocks. it’s practically a staple. you probably have a similar outfit yourself in the back of your closet. but watch out, cause next time you’re busting out the handcuffs after bringing some dude home from the bar, he may scream, “gaga!” at you.