More Than Just a Pokerface: Lady Gaga as Architectural Cipher


“I don’t feel like I look like the other perfect little pop singers. I think I’m changing what people think is sexy.” Immortal words from Lady Gaga, 2009’s poster child for avant-garde pop and the Ambassador of No Pants Land. Surrounded by a latex-clad coterie nicknamed Haus of Gaga (loosely modeled after Warhol’s Factory), Gaga’s remarkable wardrobe is like architecture from outer space. So what cutting-edge designers and architects might the Lady be referencing? Our speculations after the jump.

The artist formerly known as Stefani Germanotta adopted a bubble-wrapped leotard during her first solo tour in March 2009. She was likely following the lead of Buckminster Fuller (stage name: Bucky) and this outré version of his signature geodesic dome.

At first glance, this coiled silver tube dress reads Zaha Hadid, but there’s no escaping the comparison to Renzo Piano‘s Parco della Musica auditorium in Rome.

Nice facets! Angular forms and a white palette reference Konstantin Gricic‘s Bench One for Magis. See also: “aesthetically controversial, technically demanding.”

Laser-cut lace is both old school and modern thanks to new production techniques, as both Lady Gaga and designer Marcel Wanders know well.

A structured, geometric frock with a freewheeling swoop of skirt reminds us of the controlled exuberance and architectural daring of Santiago Calatrava, as seen in his design for an airport railway station in Lyon.

Dressed like a demented Delft figurine, Gaga is clearly going for Tord Boontje‘s contemporary china pattern as seen in his old school Rough and Ready series from 1998.

The priest of industrial design himself, Monsieur Philippe Starck, should be a major point of reference for the Lady. Check out the Prive Caprice‘s sexy black leather and sleek stems. Hot.

Only the most conceptual attire is appropriate for an appearance on Ellen. Suitably, we’re thinking about the sublime architecture of Etienne Boullée, such as the 1784 cenotaph in honor of Isaac Newton.

Okay, this is getting too easy. A Kermit suit may seem like a nutjob getup, until you realize the Campana brothers started producing their stuffed animal seating in 2003 when Stef was probably still working at Def Jam. Or stripping.

And we like to think Gaga’s tipping her teacup to the biggest design lothario of them all, master swordsman Frank Lloyd Wright, when she explains in this clip that a little lovin’ shouldn’t damage one’s creative output:

So tell us; what Gaga design inspirations did we miss?

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