30 November 2009

THE MONSTER BALL: a fashionable perspective

Last night me and a close friend trekked out to Ottawa to see Lady Gaga in her latest "electro-pop opera" musical performance shindig, The Monster Ball. The performance was incredible... the art direction! the choreography! the live singing! the art films! the stage! the message! My mind was completely blown, and walking away from the stadium, my resolve had never been stronger... Gaga is truly an artist capable at once of entertaining and sending a powerful message.

But, loyal blog readers, this is at the end of the day a style blog. So let's stay on point.

The theme of the show, according to Gaga interviews from the past several weeks, is evolution. "How we start off as one thing.... and become another." The show could be taken as a sort of post-apocalyptic view of humanity. Gaga begins the show in a nude spandex suit with built in sparkling lights, very basic and simple, almost elemental in the way she stands out against the dark background. Her dancers are in similar plain catsuits with bone-like headgear and arm-piece-covering-things.

I think my favorite moment as far as costuming  was during her performance of "Monster" and was going for a sort of Red-Riding Hood theme (without the red riding hood, actually?) Gaga appears in a sort of dark forest wearing what appears to be a large fur capelet which covers her entire torso. Dancers slowly accumulate on the stage in equally as frightening black fur ensembles, resembling monsters. They pose this way and that way and terrorize poor Lady Gaga, until the end when Gaga drops off her fur and is in a teeny leather bustier and panties. Oh, how we evolve from natural, furry little monsters into fetishized oversexed monsters. The ensemble changes, bu tthe monster is always within....

Another important moment which I really enjoyed was during her rendition of "Paparazzi" while wearing the leather coat featured on the album cover:

Gaga is crouching on some scaffolding like the big things that lights in a theater are mounted on, and the scaffolding is lifted about 10 feet in the air to simulate this image of Gaga sneaking around in the rafters, and a projection of a silhouette dancing against a wall of lights is played in the background, like Gaga is a stalker, a monster, the phantom of the opera? She sings the song which addresses the themes of obsession with celebrity, blah blah blah, all the while with the leather coat covering her face as in the picture. I loved how Gaga used the fashion to literally obscure her face and become an anonymous little fame-whoring-celebrity-chasing monster. Delicious.

In keeping with the theme of evolution, the last ensemble of the evening was a pantsuit. I thought it was ironic, actually, starting out with this raw, elemental, primordial look evoking skin and bones, and ending up in a bright white pantsuit with massive Quasimodo-style shoulders constructed into the jacket. We start out as one thing and become another....

SO I can't really due justice to the entire art/fashion direction and styling of the show, but just walk away form this blog post knowing that missing out on the Monster Ball is missing out on a powerful, emotional, moving, compelling, fashion and music show/performance.

No comments:

Post a Comment