Underneath It All
Deconstructing Lady Gaga's 5 Bras in "Applause"
From glittering nipple covers to leather gloves grasping her breasts, a look at the crazy lingerie of Lady Gaga's "Applause" music video.
Lady Gaga loves to show some skin.
With the release Monday of the singer's music video for her single "Applause" comes, of course, a wildly artistic spectacle with an array of outrageous “costumes” -- read, a series of major statement bras -- sure to go down in Gaga style-history with pieces like the Alexander McQueen "Bad Romance" heels.
Directed by fashion photographers Inez & Vinoodh, the film features the many faces (and bras) of Mother Monster herself, from a mermaid-esque seashell bikini, to a leather glove bra that resembles hands grabbing at Gaga's breasts.
Although Gaga’s stylist Brandon Maxwell told WWD that the singer’s future look would be more “toned down and pulled back" than past outfits, the ensembles of "Applause" are just as extravagant, and just as Gaga, as ever. The singer dances provocatively on a white mattress in a black lace bra and boy shorts, and mystically walks through a purple haze in bejeweled nipple covers. But, as Maxwell told WWD, "She’s comfortable being naked and being who she is. The world has seen everything." Yes, the world has.
1) The Breast-Grabbing Leather Gloves: Is this an optical illusion, or is Gaga literally getting felt up by her bra? For a majority of the music video, Gaga rocks a leather-glove bandeau that at points moves and caresses her breasts. Plus, she has a matching glove-choker, and actual coordinating leather gloves.
2) The Glittering Duct-Tape Nipples: New York based fashion designer Mathieu Mirano was tapped by Maxwell to design six bras for the music video. “The bras are made of duct tape that has been burned with a blow torch,” Mirano told The Daily Beast. “We wanted to take the duct tape, which is already unconventional for clothing, and push it even further. Each [bra] had its own unique personality; some had crystals on them, some had safety pins stuck through them for a rougher feel.” The look was inspired by Dutch exotic dancer, courtesan, and the World War I spy Mata Hari. But Maxwell and Mirano aimed to invoke a more “distressed” and “broken down” version of Hari, who was recognized for wearing bedazzled undergarments.
3) The Classic Black Lace: The most simple of the lingerie ensembles, Lady Gaga rolls around on a white mattress in a black lace bra and boy short set. While the undies may not be so provocative, Gaga makes up for it with her seemingly erotic dance moves. Also, her hair looks as if her male alter-ego Jo Calderone decided to grow his locks long.
4) The Provocative Mermaid: Gaga self-admittedly channels Botticelli's The Birth of Venus in a clam shell bra and a seashell-covered pelvis. The singer tweeted a photo of her dancing in the scantily-clad mermaid outift with the hashtag #boticellibabe, because Venus too enjoyed being in the nude.
5) The Conservative Leotard: Remember when Lady Gaga caused major controversy when she dressed as a nun in her music video for "Alejandro?" Well, it seems like she hasn't kicked the habit, since the singer's semi-sheer turtleneck onesie has a matching nun-like headpice. Biblical or not, Gaga shows the least amount of skin in a more conservative strapless black leotard.
While other performers have taken to elaborate lingerie (think Beyoncé kicking off her Mrs. Carter tour with sparkling nipples) Gaga's wide array of undergarments -- the safety pinned, seemingly erotic bras, her skimpy sea-shell encrusted bikini, and the moving, 3-D leather hands grasping her breasts -- take the cake. Gaga may call ARTPOP her new look, but it seems that the singer's need for extravagance is part of her same old tricks.