Sunday, June 10, 2012

Lady Gaga

Often solo musicians are referred to as 'artists'. Some are more deserving of this title than others, and few really should be crowned with such a creative title. Lady Gaga seems to go above and beyond the call of art and expression of herself as far as music and her video clips are concerned; no hair colour will be left untouched in her career, no costume is too extravagant and difficult to wear and no dance routine will get the better of her. It seems so strange that I have discussed other strong, feminine artists, actresses and fashion bloggers without paying tribute to the most memorable singer of the last two or three years or so; but I am glad I wanted till a large score of her best images were easy to track down and share with my readers. As well as pushing the boundaries of contemporary music I think it's important that Gaga has put aside her fears of how society will perceive her and constantly thanks her fans for support.

A lot of her success can be attributed to the evolution of her monsters, the community of fans she has brought together and the way she basks in the limelight. She creates stunning visuals in her video clips when in costume or dancing wearing little at all; but gives hope to the ordinary many that make up the masses that being ostracised in high school will never hold you back from long-term success. It was too late for me to take home the stirring message when I went through tough times, but the fact that this woman has the courage to be such a strong role model and continually give back to her fans is really a revelation. What I aspire towards in terms of the Lady Gaga phenomenon that currently grips the world is the elaborate costumes, fearless change between stark dyes in her hair (as well as use of wigs) and bold makeup. Her killer body shaped from hours of dancing would also be something a little more materialistic and shallow to work towards; but I think I'll stick to my own regime of exercise and continue crafting outfits that capture attention.

Within her career there have been many renewals and revivals; when I first noted her on television I was appalled at the tan body, platinum blond hair and blatant sexuality. Like so many female artists before her, it seemed she was willing to objectify herself in order to popularise her music towards heterosexual men and I condemned the tactic. But as further albums were released with artistic video clips and true story lines behind them, I witnessed the world change around me in response to the popular culture sensation of Lady Gaga and could no longer think she was a passing fad. She is more than an artist, singer and role model to her fans; seeing her dressed in extravagant costumes she seems so much more like a demi-god in the midst of humans. She's a also truly talented woman with a sparkling personality and a wardrobe that one could only ever hope of seeing when they die and go to heaven- or at least that's what my version of heaven would be like. With kittens everywhere.

Her sexualised video clips and explicit images such as this are what initially turned me off from Lady Gaga; as well as the fact I am an alternative/indie kid at heart. Indulging in her music though is like having a dark secret that you can never tell your family about; but it eases the soul when you give in to the urges. I more than often secretly enjoy when she appears on the radio and there's no other contender left on the other stations. As much as sheer has been something I would love to have a little more of in my wardrobe, I'll leave the plastic body suits to the professionals and stick with loose mesh shirts from the 1990s. I will however revert back to my old ways to painting my nails, wearing stickers on them and buy some shocking shades of good quality lipstick (because I'm worth it and have been brainwashed by pop stars and television advertisements).

The most I have ever seen or heard from this musician would have been while drinking and celebrating the end of high school at the beach with my buddies; the Monster Ball concert was televised and we were all too tired to change the channel. I am trying to look for more pop music in playlist sets to program into my computer; a fast beat with catchy hook often does wonders for my typing speed and vocabulary when blogging. I loved her approach and explanation for her successive albums and the story she aimed to weave; it struck a chord with me so much so because there was depth about it and a multi-faceted idea. It seems so much like something a novelist strictly adheres to when writing a series of books. The performance, use of angler fish robots on stage and interactions with her back up-dancers did send shivers up my spine, as well as having our power turned off by complete strangers outside our house.

High powered cameras and optical zooms always have a knack of revealing thick and creamy foundations applied to celebrities which is still favourable against my horrible blemishes. Good lighting and a DSLR can show some shocking things, but all I see is the common face transformed into a canvas and smeared in dark foundation. Those purple hake nails and complementary lilac hair are enough to send shivers up my spine.

When watching a live performance for radio Gaga did entirely acoustic, I was struck by her raw talent and ability to master the piano and skillfully glide her hands up and down the keys. She is trained to such a high calibre and is a natural performer; sometimes rare to see in combination and with her own artistic flair added to the equation. Her live performance at the televised Monster Ball and constant hollers of 'Show me your Teeth' were all in order to shut the mouths of critics, claiming she lip synced in concerts. I was thoroughly convinced by her vocal theatrics and ad-libs throughout the concert, but did miss out on seeing her master the motorbike combination keyboard on stage. I'm sure there were others in the audience who appreciated the experience more than I ever could have.

Her multiple transformations to hair colour, slight change to body-size and fearless nature in front of the camera make her a force of nature as far as photo shoots go and also a candidate well suited to magazine covers. Whether she is rocking long gossamer locks in sumptuous shades of blond or lilac, or showing off her neckline in prim turquoise blue bob, I think she looks utterly stupendous, but could easily look dowdy even in the outfits. It is her confidence and self-belief that puts her head and shoulders above other singers within her genre and an outrageous personality that continuously gives back to her fans. I would look clumsy taking such a pose even with fully clothed or in a sheer shirt, but she looks like a surreal mermaid ready to grant wishes at the ready. Just sometimes I wish people thought I was some mystical, higher being capable of miracles or making thousands of people happy.

Styling outfits with red lipstick should be one of the easiest tasks a young woman faces when coordinating her wardrobe and makeup, but I still seem to make a hash of it on every attempt and don't know when to wipe off the blessed colour because it simply does not suit my attire. I think I'll be taking another leaf from the Gaga gospel of fashion and matching tough, grungy biker clothes with red lipstick and a happy perspective on life; surely there can be nothing more terrifying than a well dressed/ untamed and wild woman that constantly smiles without fail. Large spherical sunglasses are another item on the hit list to help me achieve such a look- hiding your eye colour is a good way to stave off the police when they search for the wild child that handed out lolly pops to minors and other strange crimes.

I found this image as jaw-dropping and celestial as I found it funny- somehow Gaga remains demure and resembles a being from another time or planet... while eating a hot dog. The editing and airbrushing of this photo blends the two colours of woman and snack very well I think and it's always comforting to see someone who you admire physically actually feeding them self something unhealthy. I am very accustomed to working with dead-straight hair and have no concept of volume; but with heroines such as Lady Gaga and Tavi Gevinson working the 1960s up dos and beehives I can't help but feel left out and that I am missing something extraordinary. The next holidays will be spent busily braiding and styling my hair as instructed by Youtube videos and listening to simple pop tunes with synthesised beats at this rate. If not I'm sure with all this new inspiration second hand shops will hold a valuable resource like never before and send me spinning into frenzies of shopping and upcycling dresses with sequins and studs.

I cannot state this enough, but I adore the shape, colour and sculptural nature of Lady Gaga's hair in this photograph, but the rubber adhesive shapes added to her shoulders and face did concern me for a split second, I thought it was a horrible abnormality or someone's idea of a joke by altering the image. Instead it's Gaga doing as she likes; being wild and free but still looking stunning. The shape of her eyebrows look impeccable here and the shade of red lipstick goes so well with her purple hair and the strange regrowth in mauve. Bleaching my hair and dyeing it lilac has never been a more extreme but difficult temptation that it is right now; I'll probably compromised and buy some purple or black lipstick instead but still have an empty and hollow feeling after the ordeal is over.

Artistic talent seems to breed and grow as much as a disease festers and consumes everything around it; as well as touching the lives of her fans and giving them something to aspire towards, they in turn thank her with fan art and gorgeous editing of photographs. I have used some of their works in this post to highlight the beauty and individual soul of Gaga, but if you haven't heard her music you seriously have been hiding under a rock for a good few years. I'm not addicted to pop music with synthesised beats and dark lyrics, but I just admire the way this singer worked for years in order to popularise her music, the many transformations she has undergone and fashion she wears and how determined she is to stay current and in vogue. There's something to be said about someone who loves what they do and works to be the best in their field, no matter what that is.

When asked what her influences towards style are, answers have been God, the Gays, David Bowie and vintage style. When photographed wearing vintage Versace as well as bright blue hair in contrast with bright red lipstick, my attitude of the singer and songwriter sky rocketed. I love vintage Versace and the most stunning pair of jeans I have ever clapped eyes on were designed by them with the design of butterflies. I suppose what makes me happiest of all of Lady Gaga showing her true colours, as wild and exuberant as they are is that she makes being weird and wacky cool as well as popular and accessible to young and old. As a fashion blogger observing Tavi Gevinson as well as Brooke Kao I have learnt the lesson well that to dress weird and show it with others can often receive the most praise and attention. The bar has been set, I must now rise to the challenge of balancing weird and cool.

Even snapped as a simplistic ballerina, Lady Gaga still shows off that gorgeous body shaped by hours of dancing and choreography for video clips and seems like a prima Ballerina in black and white and without eyeliner. I have all the necessary pieces to create a little dancer magic of my own with platform satin shoes and cropped pink singlet, but it will be a tough challenge trying to top the pop. Leaving strands of hair from buns makes me look tired and out of sorts, but there's an aching finesse and artistic quality when pulled off professionally. Why can't I have just gone to beauty/ fashion school/ university in the arts faculty and trained myself to be the ultimate fashion blogging machine?

As much as I was brainwashed into hating Disney villain Cruella De Ville, there was something stylish about her half white and half black hair. During high school I decided on a whim to dye half my front fringe blond and pinned it up for sport so I had a unique skunk stripe down the middle of my head. If only Cruella had had the conscience of an animal lover and had simply chosen faux for her Dalmatian printed jacket... is it ironic that my favourite faux jackets and Alexander Wang bag are in spotty black against a white background? The answer is so obviously yes. As well as having sick-ass half black and white hair, both Lady Gaga and Cruella Deville have released limited edition make up with American cosmetic label MAC, but I doubt I am in anyway qualified to join this exclusive and premium club.

Gaga looks iconic while striking a pose and wearing what looks to be a Givenchy jumper for men from the 2011 collection with Chanel bag and chain strap intertwined with wine red strap across her chest. Those sharpened nails accentuate the point that Lady Gaga simply loves to put her paws up but I was surprised by the choice of nude for her plastic protrusions. I can even tolerate the pouting 'duckface', knowing full well that she is not a repeat offender when it comes to the pretencions guise for photographs. The deadly nails and well defined lipstick more than make up for the facial offence as well as the mountains of perfectly curled rolls of blond hair tumbling down her shoulders. I can't wait for my own hair to grow long and voluminous again and to try to curl it. A more immediate solution would be to add extensions or a wig and there have been some sick-ass pastel dyed tresses on Etsy, but I think adding dye to my own hair would be useful to fully blend the colours.

As far as style icons go, Lady Gaga may be one of the biggest stars, if not the biggest and brightest of this coming decade. I'm just glad that Brittany Spears and other fallen angels Lindsay Lohan will remain out of the spotlight and not poison any more teeny boppers than they already have with their unacceptable behaviour and horrible red carpet appearances. A gorgeous, shiny gold Grammy award seems the perfect complement to trailing tresses of blond hair and those elbow length leather gloves. She may have the killer style and eccentricism of a badly behaved pop star, but Gaga is dedicated and loyal to her fans; I can't imagine her doing anything to disappoint them or dishonour herself.

One of my favourite video clips from Lady Gaga has been 'Born this Way' for its celestial back story of higher beings dressed fantastically, inspiring lyrics and killer moves. I never did aspire towards becoming a dancer and instead played basketball as a kid, but it appears I chose the wrong pastime to really carve a chiseled physique and tone my muscles to perfection. I've made up for the lapse in judgement by applying thick streaming comet tails of liquid eyeliner to my lids, but never did I consume it in eyeshadow or attempt a second thinner layer underneath my eye. I was already told I wore my make up like an Egyptian in high school by peers and teachers; surely taking the trend further would remain the glorious tradition and still, in some small way be keeping true to myself.

Cradling long, obelisk like awards with pointed nails and contrasting red lipstick against blue hair and electric blue power suit- Gaga: this is why I find you fashionably heroic and can not get enough of your on stage antics. My father strictly prohibited me in high school from streaking my hair blue as he associated it with a druggie at his work who also had blue hair... I have never had to endure a lecture and chastised speech from my father for so long and with such passionate words, but in my defence, how on Earth would I have known about this illicit substance user? It would be great if my mother didn't work for the department of immigration and my father wasn't a professional pencil pusher all their lives; I wish I belonged to a family or artists or musicians who gave me a stranger middle name and allowed me to dress as I see fit when going out for lunch.

Gone are the blond bomb shell days of Lady Gaga, but I am sure we will see them soon again and be reunited with her soft complexion against hair of spun gold. Although the use of black lace and hour glass figure does seem reminiscent of a poster girl from the 1950s, make no mistake. Lady Gaga is only dependent on herself for her success and doesn't show any signs of slowing down with her music and settling down to start a family. That suits me just fine; I enjoy seeing the performances and tabloid headlines related to her performances and the performance that is her life.

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