No matter what your taste, there’s probably a Madonna for you.
The pop star, who is turning 50 Saturday, is one of fashion’s great chameleons. She’s been a punk princess and lady of the manor. She has channeled Marilyn Monroe, Eva Peron and a geisha.
The whole underwear-as-outerwear trend? That came from Madonna. Not to mention those ’80s blondes who proudly showed their roots while wearing lace gloves and lots of chains. And would Kabbalah and yoga as lifestyle trends be where they are today without her?
“She’s become an adjective. Friends will go shopping with each other and say, `It’s so Madonna.’ That’s what you want in fashion,” says stylist and TV commentator Robert Verdi.
Lately Madonna has mostly been spotted in workout gear, perhaps in preparation for her “Sticky & Sweet” world tour that will be partially outfitted by Givenchy. Designer Riccardo Tisci has worked up two outfits: a frock coat in black stretch satin and a long cape worn over a black dress embellished with colored ribbons — for a Gypsy-inspired outfit.
It’s hard to say if the Gypsy look will start another trend. The cone-front corset Jean Paul Gaultier created for her Blond Ambition tour in 1990 didn’t fully catch on with the masses.
But whether her looks are influential or merely memorable, Madonna always finds a way to connect with people and she never wears a look long enough for it to become stale, observes Verdi. If the disco revival look of her “Hung Up” era in 2005 clicked with him, her cowgirl-hat days in 2000 spoke to someone else.
“I don’t love all her looks but can appreciate them all,” he says. “She’s always operated from a position that’s a good hybrid of contemporary pop culture — the psyche of the nation — but also an artistic slant and art always pushes the envelope.”
Story & Photos by: Associated Press