Lady Gaga costume designer
Lady Gaga costume designer, Nicola Formichetti, is known for blurring the lines of fashion. Long before his work with the pop star, the fashion guru was well known in the world of fashion and design. Formichetti is renowned as fashion director of Vogue Hommes Japan, the magazine that featured Gaga dressed with only raw meat. He also works as creative director for MUGLER, a prominent French fashion line. The son of Japanese and Italian parents, the young Formichetti was raised in both Rome and Tokyo. Both cities have long been central to the fashion world, and have provided endless visual inspiration for several of the world’s top designers. In his Gaga collection, we can often see the impact of both cities, where angular, Japanese pop design occasionally partners with traditional Italian fabrics. Nicola himself cites his own personal style as “a mix of East meets West.” A man of opposites, the designer was also known for disliking the celebrity aspect of fashion. Now, he has become a celebrity in his own right, as well as a member (perhaps the most important member) of the art production team, Haus of Gaga.
Alongside the pop star herself, Formichetti works as primary designer of Gaga’s clothing. Formichetti has designed several iconic Gaga costumes, from the famed Monster Ball tour orb to her basic bra and undies look in the Alejandro music video. His role in the production team is particularly important because much of what we love and admire (or even hate) about Gaga is visual. (Let’s face it. While you love hearing Gaga sing, you also can’t wait to see what she’ll be wearing next.) Though Formichetti does design most of what we’ve seen Gaga wear, much of the Gaga look can also be credited to the designs of Alexander McQueen. McQueen was responsible for several costumes and high points in Gaga’s career, including the premier of her Bad Romance video and the frighteningly sexy red lace dress and spiked halo ring she wore to the MTV Video Music Awards. Until his death in 2010, Gaga was even named an “unofficial muse” by McQueen’s publicist. In the recent limited edition book paying tribute to the designer, Visionaire, you can read Gaga’s touching words on the designer. Formichetti himself cites McQueen as an early influence and even took photos for the late stylist’s design house. In fact, many of Formichetti’s own Gaga creations were created via McQueen’s influence. But McQueen’s genius and influence aside, it is Formichetti’s own unique and visionary style that has ushered in a new fashion era for the pop star.
For Lady Gaga, costume design is just as important as her music. And while previous artists like Madonna or Gwen Stefani have certainly encouraged our sense of fashion, few have challenged our notion of art the way the Formichetti and Lady Gaga partnership has.
For many of Gaga’s “little monsters,” fashion is no longer a luxury, but a necessity. It implies a superstar status that can be extended to everyone– because the cost of her designs is not a barrier. They’re cheap. You can even design them yourself. If you’re a fan of Gaga’s fashion, it may be worthwhile to look into Formichetti’s work with MUGLER. You can also see Formichetti’s newest designs in the music videos for Gaga’s latest album, Born this Way. Videos for the title song feature bold new images and designs from the Haus of Gaga team. Perhaps this is a sign that the best is yet to come.