From time to time this blog needs to consider serious subjects. Fortunately, today is not one of those days. This week the NYT style section gives us a thoughtful discussion of Lady Gaga’s significance to fashion culture, accompanied by a retrospective of sorts in slideshow-form. With so many examples and such a diverse array of looks to choose from, it’s hard not to have favorites. (See more looks here.) But which are the most joyful?
The overly burlesque looks are out of contention, as too much sex crosses the line from joy into some other sort of emotion. The fact that we’re going for inner child here, and not inner sex kitten, rules out a lot of looks. Most of her looks are evoking cool, or anti-cool, or just plain weird. While the ethos is playful, the aesthetics are by and large very adult.
But I found a few examples joyful aesthetics in the mix. The bubble-dress, below, has my vote for the most absurdly, childishly delightful look of the bunch. It’s almost as if she got swept away by a cluster of dishwashing suds and dropped onto the stage with no time to change. I love the way the colored lights reflect in the surfaces of the spheres, iridescent. The radiating hair-halo, above, also has a joyful quality to it — a costumey echo of a Medieval nimbus, or a warm, golden sun. I also like the reflective, light-scattering quality of the mirror ball look (bottom). The curves of the skirt have a joyful arc, but the sharp triangular panel earns demerits. Sharp things trigger a primal fear reaction deep in a part of the emotional brain called the amygdala. The heightened alertness and emotional intensity of sharp things is odds with joy, though it’s probably just right for the kind of reaction Gaga is typically going for.
Any other Lady Gaga styles that give you a sense of delight? Any joyful looks I overlooked?December 29th, 2009