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Sans Pants: A Recent History of Lady Gaga’s Bottomless Resurrection

A tour through the pop icon’s peek-a-boo looks

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Donna Ward/Getty Images; Jason Squires/WireImage; RV/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

When Lady Gaga first hit the peak of her fame, much was made of her tendency to wear leotards in public, in the streets and as formal attire. It caught on; a pantsless craze caught fire, and sidewalks and clubs in New York and L.A. were ablaze with the vision of avant-minded women donning hotpants and dancewear for the entire summer of 2010 (and 2011… and?). Gaga had generally retired her leotards in recent years following a turn towards more experimental and demure clothing. But with her recent stint at NYC's Roseland Ballroom, closing the storied venue before it is demolished for condos, she brought some of the spirit of old New York — including her burlesque past — and summoned, once again, the pantsless Gaga with whom we first fell in love. Let's take a peek at the history of Stefanie Germanotta's peek-a-boo style. By Julianne Escobedo Shepherd

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On April 6th, however, Gaga reprised an older style, joining the geometric shapes on her costume to a life-size one perched on her shoulder. It was Gaga giving 2009 Gaga realness, but with a modern addition: her giant hairstyle was most recently seen on RuPaul's Drag Race Season Six contestant Courtney Act, as channeled via RuPaul himself.

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Oh, it's cold and windy outside? Look who gives not a nan: Gaga, in bare fishnets and a moto jacket, stepping across 57th Street from Roseland to her gig on David Letterman, in old-school gianormo platforms, of course. The better to show off that tat, my dear. Not shown: not content with pantsless, she's also shirtless, as well, wearing only a studded bra top beneath her leather.

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In March, Gaga took to the iTunes Festival stage at SXSW wearing a look that was perfectly proportioned: no pants on the bottom, white fishnets, and a crown of matching white dreadlocks in wig form, because a person loses 95 percent of their body heat through their head. She shan't catch cold with this one!

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Who says the most outrageous Christmas style belongs at ugly-sweater parties? In December in London, Gaga spreads a bit of Christmas cheer via an abstract Santa costume, complete with festive green hair. If she herself is beneath the tree, does that make her the gift, too?

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Artpop's more conceptual and demure looks did not preclude her pantsless steez: even looking relatively normal at ArtRAVE feting her latest album in November 2013, she wore a dance-studio standard black leotard. Tres proper, Gagz.

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This photograph was snapped at 3:30 a.m. in London in September, and we are amazed and delighted at her ability to not sweat through this sheer and delicate one-armed maillot.

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Soccer fan unity don't need no bottom garment: in Brazil in November of 2012, Gaga waves at fans below her balcony and does not worry about upskirt shots because she's completely unbothered in general – and, having had experience with this type of thing, knows how to stand to cover up the cooch. Lady indeed.

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And finally, just for posterity (and to show that she's been doing this since jump), here's Gaga in the olden days performing at Lollapalooza 2007 in a look we'd still see today, skivvies and all.

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