On this day, March 28th, in 1986, a girl named Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta was born. That little girl would grow up to become music superstar and alternative fashion icon Lady Gaga.
From the best wig collection in existence, to the infamous meat dress, and her stint as male alter-ego Joe Calderone, Gaga’s fashion choices have been provocative, controversial, and visionary.
Her satirical and colorful hairstyles alone grew to inspire stylists across all aspects of fashion from street, to runway, print ads, and full scale multimedia campaigns.
Recognizing the influential nature of body modification in fashion, tattooed, pierced, and otherwise modified models and dancers are often cast in her opulently styled stage shows and music videos. Even Rick Genest, the face of Thierry Mugler’s 2011 menswear campaign, saw major exposure first as a star in Gaga’s video for the tune “Born This Way.”
The songstress’s unique and fashion forward style even inspired visual merchandising for major fashion houses in 2010 and 2011, with whole sets of mannequins at Bershka and Harrods in London sporting Gaga style and a recent holiday overhaul at Barney’s New York.
Along with facial prosthetics that mimic sub dermal implants and her adoption of a male persona, her ever-changing wardrobe has become a statement in and of itself, particularly those aspects related to body modification. The superstar herself has nine recognizable tattoos including a peace sign reportedly inspired by John Lennon and a German quote from one of her favorite poets.
Masterminding countless trends and fostering acceptance of less conventional choices concerning physical appearance, even her accessory and beauty style is of great notice, as makeup and costume tutorials based on her different looks are constantly popping on YouTube from influential beauty bloggers like Michelle Phan.
But more than outstanding music and provocative performance art, Gaga is also known as an impassioned philanthropist, supporting LGBT rights, contributing to MAC Cosmetics’ Viva Glam campaign to help fight HIV and AIDS, and raising millions of dollars to aid victims of natural disasters. She also recently launched her own non-profit organization called the Born This Way Foundation to assist in youth empowerment and stop discrimination and bullying.
So happy birthday Lady Gaga. Your fashionably fierce style is ageless.