Lady Gaga has been an influential style icon since she arrived in the spotlight back in 2008. Her elaborate, provocative looks have gained positive and negative feedback over the years, yet she has still been able to grow as a person and as an artist.
Story by Daniella Cortez | @DaniellaCorte11
Gaga’s style is the greatest reflection of her growth. From her debut album The Fame, to her more recent film debut in A Star is Born, Lady Gaga’s fashion presence deserves to be highlighted.
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Gaga released her first album, The Fame, in 2008. It’s fun party music and vibe were translated to her fashion with leotards and latex dresses. During this time in her career, she was wearing “unconventional” outfits with sharp edges and a costume feel. Gaga’s dark eye makeup and blunt platinum blonde hair added to her “party girl” aesthetic, which is how she was depicted in the media. She became a spectacle in the fashion world.
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In 2010, Gaga’s next album, The Fame Monster, had more musical depth and this tone definitely bled into her style choices. Gaga incorporated a sculpture-esque aspect into her looks and extravagant headpieces. This was also the era when the international pop star rocked the amazing and incredibly high heels that seemed almost impossible to walk in, but Gaga managed to pull it off. 2010 was the year that she wore the infamous meat dress at the MTV VMAS that shocked everyone.
2011 - 2012
Born This Way, which sold more than a million copies in its first week (BILLBOARD), was released in 2011. Gaga rocked plenty of leather, studs, and bold hairstyles. Most of her looks at this time were monochromatic, dark colors. However, in 2012, Gaga toned down her rockstar edge and transformed it into a more subdued style, but with a Gaga twist. Simple gowns with ornate accessories and headpieces added to the complexity that Gaga’s style encompasses.
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2013 was the year Gaga released Artpop, a colorful, fantastical trip of an album. Her looks were just as mystical and full of vibrancy. With an emphasis on neons and pastels, Gaga embraced prints, which were lacking in her previous eras. These looks were fun,playful and refreshing.
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2014 was a pivotal year in Gaga’s fashion evolution. She now took on an Old Hollywood vibe with long elegant gowns and fresh makeup. This style change was most likely due to, Cheek to Cheek, her jazz album collaboration with Tony Bennett. In this album, Gaga matured as an artist, but also as a person and this was reflected in her style. However, her unique personality was not completely changed and still had out of the box touches. One of which was a huge, dark-haired, curly wig, which she rocked.
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Gaga’s latest album, Joanne, has a completely new sound. It’s softer, but still has some edgeyness, like her fashion choices. Her Old Hollywood style continued into 2016, but a new Americana-Country aspect was added to her fashion. Neutral colors, blacks, and whites were worn, however the millennial pink displayed on the album art played a critical role in Gaga’s style. Her iconic pink cowboy-inspired hat gave her somewhat simple outfits the edge that Gaga embodies.
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2017 was a big year for Gaga. She performed at the Super Bowl Halftime show and her Netflix documentary, Gaga: Five Foot Two, premiered. This was an emotional time for her with a recent breakup, her struggle with chronic pain, and the pressure of the Halftime Show. In her documentary, she is quoted saying she wanted to “strip back” to the basics and show the world her real self. She also thought back on her past style choices and said she had a lot of insecurities, but now that she is 30, they all went away. She wanted to “become a woman.”
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Today, Lady Gaga is fully investing herself in her television and film career. Her recent project, A Star is Born premiered on October 5 of this year. The elaborate, stunning looks Gaga chose for the various movie premieres displayed the maturity and class that she has grown into.
Lady Gaga’s style is forever changing and seems like it changes with whatever project her heart is in. As an artist, her art changes as she grows and learns more about her identity, that includes her fashion. Fashion is an artform that Gaga had to explore at the relatively young age of 22. But now at 32, Gaga seems to have found her unique, and sometimes still shocking, style. Just Gaga.