Confronting football fans with the most fashionable media encounter they are likely to experience, Madonna‘s extravagant half-time performance pulled out all the stops on every imaginable front, raising the style stakes extra high. After all, this is the cultural beacon that delivered us “Vogue,” the iconic Nineties dance hit that arguably registers with more people than the magazine of the same name.
Vogue was all too eager to bend their own advertising rules for the Queen of Pop, projecting their logo onto the stage while Her Madge-esty opened her 12 minute set with the number. And some of the world’s most imminent designers rushed to the singer’s aid. For her dramatic opening sequence, Madonna donned a gilded gladiator look from Givenchy couture, a spectacular hat from Phillip Treacy, and jewelry from Bulgari.
“People say everything has a limit, but limits do not exist with Madonna,” said Riccardo Tisci, Givenchy’s creative director, who also designed the singer’s look for 2008’s Sticky & Sweet tour. The singer made three costume switches mid-performance: she kicked things off with a hand-embroidered gold cape before paring down to a black minidress with a hand-studded belt, finishing, alongside a matching Cee Lo Green, in an shimmering black coat.
Tisci, a man who celebrates the virtues of decadence with a Gothic panache, recently presented a pivotal collection in Paris for Givenchy’s Spring 2012 Couture collection. Featuring exquisitely rendered art deco meeting Nineties creations in white, gold, and black, the mood was one of a dark, ritualistic rave, a scene that wouldn’t feel out of place in a music video tribute to The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. Unconventional styling touches furthered the mood: models were festooned with Nubian nose rings, their lips were painted black, and they were positioned on a basketball court. It was a uniquely modern collision of tech, athletic and cultural symbols, the same intersection of ideals Tisci explored with his art direction for Kanye West and Jay-Z’s Watch The Throne collaboration.