Lady Gaga's Style Evolution

VOICE OVER: Lisa Yang WRITTEN BY: Matt Wende
Script written by Matt Wende

From humble beginning to pop music icon, and beyond, this is the fashion history of Lady Gaga! For this list we're going to look at Lady Gaga, and how her looks and style have evolved over her career. We're taking a look at her looks from her humble beginnings to “The Fame”, “Artpop” and activism stage to her most recent Super Bowl performance and acting career!

Lady Gaga Looks Through the Years

From humble beginning to pop music icon, and beyond, this is the fashion history of Lady Gaga. Welcome to MsMojo, and today we’re going to look at Lady Gaga, and how her looks and style have evolved over her career.

Early Beginnings

Born Stefani Germanotta, and deriving her stage name from Queen’s ‘80s hit “Radio Ga Ga,” after a false start to her career with Def Jam records, she began performing neo-burlesque shows, something that would have a clear impact on her style down the road. In this early photo of her, she can be seen performing at “The Slipper Room” in New York City. It was at this period that she met Colleen Martin, a performance artist who went by the name Lady Starlight. The two worked together to help forge Gaga’s onstage persona. From her earliest performances, Lady Gaga’s signature style was already present. Here, performing as “Lady Gaga and the Starlight Revue”, she made an appearance at Lollapalooza in 2007. It was after this period that she began to transition her music to include more pop and glam-rock influences, taking inspiration from David Bowie. As a result, she was hired to write music for artists such as the Pussycat Dolls and Britney Spears. This work would eventually lead her to make the contacts necessary to produce her first album.

“The Fame”

In 2008, Gaga released her debut album, “The Fame”. It was a massive success, with two number one hits, selling millions of copies and earning two Grammy awards. From here, Gaga’s style evolved, and while many were quick to dismiss it as out there, and in some cases, bizarre, hard-core Gaga fans see this period as the moment Gaga became an icon, rocking origami dresses, and hair bows. A year after the release of “The Fame,” Gaga released ‘The Fame Monster’, a reissue and expansion of her original album that once again took the world by storm. “The Fame Monster” proved to be an apt description of Gaga’s style from this point forward, as her outfits began to reflect not only glamour, but also the power and aggressiveness of fame and celebrity status.

“Artpop” and Activism

“Born This Way” was released in early 2011, becoming yet another smash success for Gaga, and her meteoric rise continued, as only two years later she would release “Artpop”. It was during this phase that her music, although still featuring the same infectiously addictive style, began to embrace darker tones: “Do What You Want” tackles themes such as the way celebrities sacrifice their physical bodies to the public for consumption. Around the same time, Gaga began to involve herself with activism. Lending her performances and public attention to relief funds and protests alike, Gaga is arguably most famous for her advocacy on behalf of the LGBTQ community. Identifying as a bisexual, Gaga has appeared at many LGBTQ events, and has staunchly criticized the United States Military’s policy of “don’t ask don’t tell,” and the proposed ban on trans service members.

Super Bowl and Acting Career

The largest stage any musical artist can ever hope to stand on is that of the Super Bowl Halftime show. Not only was Gaga expected to take the stage for Super Bowl LI and deliver a knockout performance, but she needed to deliver that performance in the wake of one of the most divisive elections in the history of the United States. But she delivered, bigly, with an incredible show that encapsulated the entirety of her career. At this point in her artistic arc, Gaga also began to explore work as an actor. A decade or so earlier, she had dabbled, but now she was ready to fully commit, eventually taking home a Golden Globe for her role in “American Horror Story.” At award shows such as the Academy Awards, she can be seen appearing almost out of character, as she dons outfits reminiscent of classic Hollywood