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21 Applause-Worthy Facts About Lady Gaga's Eye-Popping Fashion

From Hello Kitty to rotten dentures and everything in between

Lady Gaga in Paris, France.
Marc Piasecki/FilmMagic
November 15, 2013 3:30 PM ET

Since showing the world her poker face and hair bow in 2008, Lady Gaga's outfits have been talked about as much as her music. Often times, they've even overshadowed it: Recall the 2010 VMAs, whose biggest star of the evening was The Meat Dress. This past weekend, Gaga made sartorial history once again with a dress that flies dubbed VOLANTIS.

Attention-baiting or not, Lady Gaga's wardrobe changed the landscape of pop culture. The singer has brought high-fashion to mainstream consciousness, fostered a deeper respect for it as an artform, and propelled the careers of formerly cult designers, like her long-time stylist, Nicola Formichetti — now artistic director of Diesel.

Throughout her career, Gaga has become a beacon of fantasy in pop and fashion. She's not only pushed the sartorial envelope with outlandish creations like that famous meat dress, she's also challenged ideals of beauty in both realms. As zany as her costumes might be, they're rarely trivial; hours of thought goes into each from her design team, Haus of Gaga.

1. Her iconic hair bow was created to resemble Hello Kitty’s bow.
Gaga’s hair stylist, Patricia Morales, designed the look for her "Poker Face" video but the singer liked it so much, she ended up making it her signature after the shoot.

2. Gaga honored Hello Kitty again a year later by donning a dress made out of the brand's toys.

For the cuddly cat's 35th birthday, Gaga starred in a campaign where she was styled in a Sanrio stuffed animal gown, Hello Kitty heels, and the floppy bow. It marked the second time in 2009 that Gaga wore a plush toy ensemble. The first was her Kermit the Frog coat.

 

Gary Moyes/Bravo/NBCUPB

3. Gaga's Kermit the Frog coat was a commentary on not wearing fur. 
She earned a compliment from PETA on it, who blogged about the Jean-Charles de Castelbajac runway creation along with Gaga’s statement: "I really loved this one in particular because I thought it was commentary on not wearing fur, 'cause I hate fur and I don't wear fur. We were all laughing in the house about how it looks like a pile of dead Kermits."

4. Lady Gaga's "Paparazzi" brace outfit resembles a 1995 Helmet Newton shoot for Vogue.
Newton's editorial spread considered the unattainable, dangerous ideals of fashion (like skyscraper stilettos) and Gaga's video, similarly, pondered the dark side and demands of celebritydom.

5. Years later, when Lady Gaga was forced to use a wheelchair, it was 24-karat gold. 
The $2,600 chair was conceived by jewelry designer Ken Borochov, had quilted leather seats and padding, as well as a hood, and was completed with a mere week’s notice. While Gaga was recovering from hip surgery, after canceling the rest of her "Born This Way Ball Tour," Gaga also appeared in a custom Louis Vuitton wheelchair — one of the few times she’s sported brand logos.

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Song Stories

“Try a Little Tenderness”

Otis Redding | 1966

This pop standard had been previously recorded by dozens of artists, including by Bing Crosby 33 years before Otis Redding, who usually wrote his own songs, cut it. It was actually Sam Cooke’s 1964 take, which Redding’s manager played for Otis, that inspired the initially reluctant singer to take on the song. Isaac Hayes, then working as Stax Records’ in-house producer, handled the arrangement, and Booker T. and the MG’s were the backing band. Redding’s soulful version begins quite slowly and tenderly itself before mounting into a rousing, almost religious “You’ve gotta hold her, squeeze her …” climax. “I did that damn song you told me to do,” Redding told his manager. “It’s a brand new song now.”

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