Saturday, May 8, 2010

Madonna: Part 1- In the beginning

My fascination with Madonna started at fairly young age.  I still have a very clear memory of seeing her Borderline video on MTV as a young girl (which my father taped on our VCR and played on my request). She burst onto the scene in 1983, which happened to be the year I was born in, and it somehow feels like my life has forever since been intertwined with her career.

I'll come out and say it:  Madonna is my quintessential goddess of style.  Of course, I love her music first and foremost. In fact, her songs have gotten me through some of the toughest periods in my life. I think anyone who has a favorite rock band or pop star can relate to that sentiment. We look to music for various forms of inspiration-- including style.
Madonna's style was amongst the most copied and admired looks of the 1980's, thanks in large part to her perpetual appearance in music videos (as well as the big-screen). She had many looks in the 80's, just as she had in the 90's and ensuing years. Known as a "style chameleon", her hallmark has been her ability to constantly re-invent her style (and music)  in interesting and creative ways. It is hard to think of any artist over the past 25 years who has undergone a perpetual metamorphosis with the same level of success as Madonna. 

What made Madonna different in the beginning of her career was the fact that she was her own creation. She alone mixed, matched, cut, and layered.  As a result, she was able to establish some of the most memorable looks of the 80's.

Upon reflecting on  her wardrobe, I was able to come up with the following items (in no particular order) that contributed to her look:
  • neon brights
  • denim pencil skirts
  • pink, dyed hair
  • torn stockings
  • multiple bangles, studded jewellery, chunky jewellery and over sized crucifix
  • string vest
  • Ra Ra skirt 
  • lace tops with skirts pulled over Capri pants or fishnets,
  • t-shirts with bold writing,
  • bleached hair and heavy makeup 
  • head scarves.


Not surprisingly, many of the these elements have re-appeared, with a twist, in current fashion. While people are quick to label these as retro 80's looks, I think what they really mean is that they are retro 80's Madonna looks.


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