Another day, another dozen reasons to be agog at Gaga. In Sweden last weekend, her ladyship more than made up for skipping the red carpet of the Costume Institute’s recent Met Ball in New York. My guess is that she’s bored of causing a frenzy with elaborate, uncomfortable costumery — at least this week.
That, and she needed time to regroup and come up with a new strategy. With Rihanna and Christina now aping her latex monster style, the trend cycle Gaga created has fully caught up with her. Remember 2009 and Gaga’s then-scandalous granny panties? These days even J.Crew shills versions of her smocked bloomers, there, among the chinos. “Think poolside parties and chic beach soirées,” the catalogue copy proclaims, as if frilly fleshtone panties in lieu of actual pants were as commonplace in Martha’s Vineyard as argyle sweaters. But when Joe Fresh starts selling your bloomers-with-clogs look in the grocery aisle and sixth-grader Greyson Chance’s version of Paparazzi becomes more of a YouTube sensation than you are this week, it’s time to up the ante. The empress has no clothes!
But it’s not sociological fashion theory — it’s just pap-snap baiting the tabloids until the next video, the North American tour kickoff in Montreal next month and Fame: Lady Gaga, the latest celebrity comic book bio from Bluewater Productions, come out.
Really, what’s left but to take it all off? So after performing yet another sold-out show in Stockholm, Gaga did. Her ensemble was saucier than all of Carrie Bradshaw’s many improbable get-ups for brunch with the girls; Gaga was snapped out and about, shopping last weekend, wearing nothing but a brassiere and skimpy, sheer lace panties with dancers’ fishnets. Under a boxy leather jacket (worn open, natch) and with vertiginous, heel-less leather hooves. The oversized sunglasses offered more coverage than the rest of her ensemble put together, yet she wore it with the enviable ease of a Juicy Couture chenille tracksuit. Just as Posh is never seen without her four-inch heels, even on the soccer pitch, skivvies are Gaga’s version of a hoodie and sweats. Later in the week, in Berlin, Gaga went out after her show in fancier-still skivvies under a billowing satin cloak and paired with Harlequin glitter eyes. Bra bra ah ah ah, indeed.
To this latest I can only offer up the wisdom that H.G. Wells distilled, more than 100 years ago (no time machine required). “The Highly Fashionable and the Absolutely Vulgar are but two faces of the common coin of humanity, struck millions at a time. Spin the thing in the light of wealth, and I defy you, as it whizzes from the illumination of riches to the shadow of poverty, to distinguish the one stamp from the other.”
P.S. Give the lady a guest spot on Glee already.