In the wake of the musician’s show-stealing appearance at last night’s Marc Jacobs show, we revisit five moments she partnered with the industry’s greats
If you’d missed the steady stream of backstage shots on social media, you would have been forgiven for failing to notice one very famous face on the runway at Marc Jacobs. Amongst model favourites Peyton Knight, Kendall Jenner and Molly Blair walked Lady Gaga, almost unrecognisable as an outsider – save from the fact that she stood around a foot smaller than her peers. Gaga wasn’t there because she had her own line to promote, or because she’d been booked for a high-profile guest performance. As she took to Twitter to explain, her role was simply as “artistic, creative muse” – an attitude which sets her apart from the majority of her celebrity counterparts.
Gaga’s affiliation with high fashion has been well-documented over the years, leading to campaigns for (and a close friendship with) Donatella Versace as well as a freaky fashion film for Mugler and a full-length documentary with Jean Paul Gaultier. The early years of her career were largely defined by a creative relationship with Dazed’s own old creative director Nicola Formichetti, who helped style some of her most iconic looks. Most recently, she starred in the role of Countess on the fifth season of American Horror Story, arriving armed with rails of archive Yohji Yamamoto and McQueen to cement the character’s fashion credentials. So, in celebration of her show-stealing role at Marc Jacobs, we look back at five of Gaga’s greatest designer collaborations.
BREAKING THE INTERNET AT ALEXANDER McQUEEN
When it was announced that Gaga would be returning after a year-long hiatus to release a new single, fans were desperate to find out where they could hear it first. Surprisingly, it wasn’t a radio station or website that got the exclusive – instead, it was late fashion icon Alexander McQueen.
Gaga’s “Bad Romance” premiered at the end of McQueen’s blockbuster “Plato’s Atlantis” show in 2009, creating a fashion spectacle that crashed the SHOWstudio website where it was being streamed – the first runway show ever to be broadcast live online. The collection would go on to become the designer’s last, spawning the iconic Armadillo boots that Gaga later featured in the accompanying “Bad Romance” video. Just a month after McQueen’s tragic death in 2010, the musician modified her BRIT Awards performance to pay tribute to the designer, also collecting her award in a red lace dress (complete with hat and veil) lifted from the flame-licked finale of his AW98 show.
STARRING IN VERSACE’S SS14 CAMPAIGN
Versace’s love affair with Gaga is enduring and well-documented. The friendship began back in 2011, when Donatella opened the archives to loan out a series of looks for the singer’s “Edge of Glory” video – the first time she had ever done so. Ever since, Gaga has been a regular fixture at Versace shows and a close friend of the Italian designer, often taking to Instagram to express her love and devotion to the brand.
Their relationship was cemented back in 2013, when Versace announced the musician as the face of its SS14 campaign alongside a statement crediting Gaga as a ‘true icon’. Wearing a waist-length blonde wig – an homage to Donatella’s own famous locks – the musician stunned in a series of imagery lensed by Mert & Marcus. High-fashion looks ranged from bondage-strap detail layered over a black mesh bodice to a lilac cut-out look adorned with the famous Medusa head, resulting in one of Versace’s most memorable campaigns to date.
WALKING THE RUNWAY AT MUGLER
Legendary couturier Thierry Mugler is responsible for some of fashion’s most avant-garde looks, including the ‘Cyborg’ bodysuit which was pulled to feature in Gaga’s 2009 “Paparazzi” video. So, when the musician’s then-stylist Nicola Formichetti was appointed as the brand’s creative director back in 2010, it made sense that Gaga would take to the runway for his first collection, AW11.
Transcending the traditional role of ‘model’, Gaga opened the show in a skin-tight latex dress complete with sheer bodice and floor-length pigtails. Far from a brief appearace, Gaga instead skulked around the red-lit runway, cigarette in mouth, as a cast of waif-life beauties showcased Formichetti’s sculptural latex designs. The musician also contributed the show’s soundtrack, a mash-up of hit single “Born This Way” and then-unheard album tracks “Government Hooker” and “Scheiße”.
FRONTING TOM FORD’S SS16 CLIP
Tom Ford has been making headlines lately for his refusal to align his collections with the fashion calendar. The designer eschewed a traditional runway entirely for his SS16 collection, instead tapping stars Lucky Blue Smith, Xiao Wen Ju and, of course, Lady Gaga for an audiovisual project shot by Nick Knight.
The results are gloriously camp, featuring Gaga and a cast of young models decked out in the collection made up of metallic leather and flashes of animal print. As the clip plays out, Gaga soon strips down to her underwear, flashing the camera and strutting down a makeshift runway with Ford’s cast of young models. Naturally, Gaga also contributed a cover of Chic’s disco classic “I Want Your Love” for the campaign clip, which debuted during Paris Fashion Week.
MAKING A LOW-KEY APPEARANCE AT MARC JACOBS
The existing creative relationship between Gaga and Marc Jacobs last night reached its climax with the singer’s under-the-radar runway appearance. Gaga stunned an audience of fashion editors in a chic oversized grey coat, complete with an enormous pussy-bow blouse and a pair of the towering platform boots that featured throughout.
Just days before, Marc Jacobs also played a pivotal role in Gaga’s Bowie tribute at the Grammy awards, acting as the driving force behind multiple costume changes. The singer took to Instagram to explain the details and inspirations behind key looks, including a spectacular cropped jacket lashed with sequins and teamed with a pale pink feather boa. The designer also created custom patches, each of which represented an era in Bowie’s career – a ginger rat for Ziggy, a shooting star for “Space Oddity”, a clown for “Ashes to Ashes”, a lightning bolt for “Aladdin Sane” and a clock for “Time”.