Monday, 5 December 2011

Lovely Gaga

As I go about this week thinking of lovely things and not being so grumpy, let me start by extolling the virtues of Lady Gaga.

Of course your hat doubles as a telephone. Of course.
The video for Marry The Night was released this week. And boy, do I have a strange fascination with her videos. I can lose hours working my way through them, providing someone is on hand to hold the baby. Only Gaga has the nerve to produce a video for a 4 minute song that lasts 13 minutes. At least the video for Alejandro pretended it was about the music with a strung out, extended version of the song (while at the same time providing some form of fetish- based checklist. Uniforms! Smoking! Boys in heels! Leashes! Rubber! Nuns! Rubber nuns!). But Marry The Night takes it onto a whole new level. It's a 13 minute video for a pop song in which the song doesn't start until you're 9 minutes in. You've gotta love the chutzpah of that.

Still from 10.46
But the thing I love about Lady Gaga is that she is, quite simply, terrifying. Look at other popstars - Beyonce, Pink, Katy Perry, Rihanna- they all churn out catchy pop, but their whole thing is to be sexy. It's like the videos aren't aimed at women, they're aimed at the 16-24 year old male. Britney used to get described as the 'Princess of Pop'; Gaga gets described as 'the high priestess' (this month's Marie Claire, I think). Ok, so take the Marry the Night video- there she is in rubber crop tops and skirts hanging out of cars, or in glittery boob tubes writhing around in a dance studio. But sexy? I don't think it is. Frankly, this is a woman who can prance around in a thong and fishnets in the video for Telephone, and you get the sense that she is doing it to wilfully market herself as the object of the gays rather than be sold as the object of the gaze. She's not in Nuts magazine. Somehow, she has crossed the line to a place where wearing your bra and pants is about power. Maybe it's got something to do with the 6 inch heels the dancing boys also have to wear in Alejandro.

The ChapDad asserts that it has something to do with creative control. When Pink made Stupid Girl a few years back, while the message was valid (What happened to the dream of a girl President/she's dancing in a video next to 50 Cent) you get a sense that someone else pitched the video to her and she agreed to it. Gaga appears to insist on having creative control of her brand (hence the Haus of Gaga), so everything she does has a really strong theme that can be linked back to her - the big hats, the big hair, the rubber, the crucifixes, the shoes. My God, the shoes. Her work is incredibly distinctive. I've said it before and I'll say it again - it's like Bjork done right.

So yes, hurrah for Gaga, for the fairies that fly out from under her skirt, for her pretentious use of French, for the self-indulgence of the stab wound in her back ina song about being dropped by her record label, for doing dance routines in fabulous Louboutins while everyone else is wearing trainers, for makingus all wonder if wearing the contents of a packet of Cheerios could really be a good look. Hurrah for you.

And, of course, we all now know that mint will be very big in fashion next spring.

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