Nicola Formichetti presented his first women’s collection under the company’s new name just “Mugler” at Paris fashion week. The main piece of news on the show was that Lady Gaga walked in it. Overall the collection seemed all over the place. I enjoyed the use of pvc and latex in the collection and the 80s nightlife feel, but I’ve loved Thierry Mugler pieces I’ve seen in person at the Met’s costume institute and such, and in comparison this just didn’t blow me away.
While normally a big proponent of Lady Gaga’s style and music, I find that her new video for “Alejandro” in an almost insulting attempt at tribute that just comes across as poor pastiche. Like a bad, local theatre troupe remake of “Vogue”, “Express Yourself”, and “Erotic” by Madonna, mixed with elements from Janet Jackson’s “Rhythm Nation”. It looks like the so called “queen of originality” has tread into the murky waters of the faux-homage, an area best left to sitcom clip episodes and Simpson’s Halloween specials. I far more enjoy her stylized take on the music video as short film, her unorthodox choreography. Though she started to delve into over-borrowing with her video for “Telephone”, at least those references to Tarantino films and the girls in prison genre were either inserted with subtlety and intelligence, or placed in the video with such over the top abandon that it worked more as clever parody and witty stylization than the disappointing “Allejandro”, which just reeks of ripoff.
It’s ironic that the release of Christina Aguilera’s new video for “Not Myself Tonight” should coincide so closely with the release of “Allejandro”. In one video flat Aguilera is able to both out Madonna and out GaGa Lady Gaga herself. While one could make the argument that Aguilera is also referencing several elements that Madonna used regularly in her videos: The religious imagery of “Like A Prayer” and the fetish fashions, start white backgrounds, and similar interaction of “Human Nature”, And the direct reference to “Express Yourself” that presents itself in the monocle scenes its at least seems more well done, genuine, and energetic than GaGa’s near narcoleptic attempt. Aguilera did have some help crafting such an exciting piece though, in the form of Hype Williams, one of the most celebrated music video directors… ever.
I was much more impressed by the new Aguilera video. Several factors are superior, the music, the fashion, and the choreography. all of which is ironic considering it was the original feud between Aguilera and GaGa that started GaGa’s meteoric rise to the top, perhaps this is the beginning of Christina’s comeback, Aguilera was once considered to be one of the edgier pop stars before being unseated by the extravagant and more intelligently promoted Gaga, though in many ways it appears the Aguilera is still the stronger vocalist. I hope that Lady GaGa continues her rise to the top and inspires an epochal change in video styling, fashion, and the branding of pop-stars. GaGa may indeed go on to win the war, but as for this battle, chalk on up for Miss Aguilera.
I guess you get two music videos today! A new video from Lady Gaga just went live and it’s filled with more imagery I love. Perhaps you could argue that Lady Gaga isn’t doing anything artists before her haven’t done, but the fact that she is mainstream, gets played on easy listening/variety radio, and the masses are eating it up with all the controversial material included is a feat in its self. Anything that may sway trends in the direction of aesthetics I enjoy is fine by me!
Lady Gaga has become an undisputed master of the long form video, much like the epic and legendary “Thriller” by Michael Jackson, Gaga’s videos has become self contained mini movies whose plot is almost as integral to the overall effect of the production as is the music. Her latest video, “Telephone“; featuring Beyonce, continues to prove this point, as well as elevate it above the level of her previous outings. “Telephone” is a mish-mash of pop culture imagery crafted to the highest order of quality. Elements of prison exploitation films like Caged Heat, Quentin Tarantino, Japanese inspired graphics, and the usual quirky and informed styling that has become an integral part of Gaga’s videos. The fashionable Gaga takes it to a new level with the looks in this film, elements of punk, hip-hip, fetish, and found fashion abound. There are just so many nods and tributes thrown in here that it would seem likely to come of as a pastiche of the worst kind, however its handled with a style and sense of care that does make it come together as a whole and complete work, about the only moment in the video that may come off a little forced is Gaga’s Michael Jackson-esque dance moves as she is freed from prison at the end of the first act.
The 2010 Winter Olympics opened this weekend in Vancouver. I personally am not a huge sports fan, but I don’t hold that angsty teenage “I hate sports” mentality anymore. I have however, always enjoyed the Olympics, especially the winter ones. After watching trials and build up on Universal Sports (one of the few stations I get without cable) and the opening events this weekend, I know for the 2010 Olympics, I’m following Johnny Weir.
While I don’t know if he’s the best male figure skater based on talent, he is my favorite 2010 Olympian based on style. The outfits he wears while performing are awesome glitzed, glittered, feathered, shiney, and bold. His costumes embrace the horrible figure skating ensemble and make it amazing through a glam rock look and attitude. The outfits are topped with glammed-out black hair and creative makeup. For his exhibition program this season he chose Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face”, nodding at another star people love or hate, and who also draws on alternative fashion.
Catch Johnny Weir in men’s short program figure skating today, in the United States it will be on NBC.