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Madonna Fashion Icon: How does her style change in these years?

Whether she is wearing navel-baring miniskirts, cone bras, or Gap jeans, Madonna has been a fashion leader since she became famous in the mid-1980s.

As an icon of popular culture, she has set fashion trends and boosted the careers of established as well as up-and-coming designers.

She has appeared on numerous fashion-magazine covers and has been a fixture at runway shows around the world.

Her chameleonlike ability to regularly transform her look reflects both the ephemeral nature of fashion and Madonna’s redefinition of femininity; her styles have encompassed everything from punk to androgynous, s-m, hip-hop, geisha, western, and military looks.


Above all else to me Madonna has earned the title of Fashion Icon. Arguably, Madonna is a legendary entertainer both vocally and visually. In fact it goes without saying that Madonna has the talent to create and recreate herself like no other.

While the superstar does not design, her own clothes she is in control of every element that makes up her visual style.

Hence her stage costumes are works of art . Since designing is often a solitary endeavor , it is fabulous to see such great collaborations. For example Madonna’s wardrobe has been created through partnerships with the greatest of the design world.

Ultimately it is a list of the who’s who of fashion designers , Thierry Mugler, Jean Paul Gauthier, Christian Dior, Dolce & Gabbana, Versace, Louis Vuitton, Gucci ,Marchesa , and Givenchy .

Therefore I apologize for any names I missed but I make my point.

Furthermore let’ s explore explore these iconic looks by decade.

How does her style change in these years?

Madonna Fashion Icon -1980’s

When you think about clothes worn in the 80s, what is the most popular style that comes to mind? Madonna.

The pop icon was discovered and elevated to her most popular days in the 1980’s. Her style was the most copied and sought after look. After all, Madonna was omnipresent in 80s culture, appearing on TV in many music videos, on the big screen in movies, on cassettes in every home and car, and in concert.

Madonna had many looks during the 80s. Her ability to perpetually re-style herself has certainly contributed to the longevity of her career. One was her most iconic looks from the 80s was the wavy hair with highlights. Girls went to the salons in droves to get the “poodle” looking perms so their hair was wavy too. They pulled it up in bows like she did to copy her look in the Borderline video and movie, “Desperately Seeking Susan.” A black tank top, skirt, dirty bleached blonde hair and an attitude.

In my opinion seeing Madonna as Marilyn Monroe in Material Girl was one of her best looks of the 80s. She ended the decade with her first looks of exposed lingerie that changed fashion forever.

Madonna Fashion Icon – 1990’S

While looking at the fashion of Madonna I look to the 1990’s. Into the 90s Madonna continued to push cultural boundaries. In 1990 the pope called for a ban on her sexually charged performances. This was the time that her most iconic look was seen, the cone-shaped bra designed by Jean-Paul Gauthier . In 1993 with the release of her album Erotica and her book Sex Madonna wore military uniforms , s&m bondage clothing and many outlandish costumes.

Throughout the 90s , fans continued to look to Madonna for edgy fashion. Her appearance on the MTV Awards for her performance of Vogue in a extravagant Marie Antoinette costume. While onstage Madonna pushed the envelope and off stage she relished wearing the best looks of all the biggest designers .

Madonna Fashion Icon 2000 to the Present

Since the fashion world changes and evolves every season so does Madonna. No doubt I am not the first or the last to the call the pop star a chameleon. For me to call someone a fashion icon they need to have style and longevity Madonna has both . Accordingly style is that elusive thing that we can’t describe . However we can recognize it and pay homage to it’s awesomeness.

Use of Past Fashion Icons

Madonna has looked to fashion icons of the past to create a persona. In her 1985 video for “Material Girl,” she copied Marilyn Monroe’s look from the film Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, in which Monroe wears a strapless, pink evening gown with matching long gloves, adorned with a lavish diamond necklace and earrings.

She again resembled Monroe at the 1991 Academy Awards in her strapless, white, sequined Bob Mackie dress and Harry Winston diamonds. In the early 1990s Madonna imitated the androgynous look of the 1930s screen siren Marlene Dietrich, wearing menswear-inspired suits both in her videos, such as “Express Yourself,” and while promoting her book Sex and her film Truth or Dare. For her 1990 video “Vogue,” she mimicked the famous 1939 Horst P. Horst photo of the back of a woman in a loosely laced corset.

The corset became a dominant fashion theme in Madonna’s look of the early 1990s. Madonna collaborated with the controversial couturier Jean Paul Gaultier for her 1990 Blonde Ambition world tour. Known for his fetishistic fashions, Gaultier designed Madonna’s memorable pink corset with cone bra for her 1990 tour. Not only did Madonna’s wearing of exaggerated foundation garments (sometimes worn under menswear-inspired fashions as in the “Vogue” video) toy with accepted notions of femininity, it also launched the trend of underwear as outerwear still prevalent today, seen on celebrities and in street fashions alike.

Collaborations with Designers

Madonna is known for befriending designers and for wearing and promoting the fashions of established as well as lesser-known designers. In addition to her collaboration with Gaultier, who also designed the neo-punk fashions she wore for her 2001 Drowned World tour, Madonna has worked with the Italian designers Dolce & Gabbana, who designed her clothing for the 1993 Girlie Show tour; she also wore their western styles in the videos and performances for her 2000 album Music.

She was a friend to the late Gianni Versace, in whose 1995 advertising campaign she appeared, and she has often been seen in the front row of his sister Donatella’s runway shows. Another close friend, the designer Stella McCartney, created a wedding ensemble for Madonna’s 2000 marriage to the film director Guy Ritchie.

Madonna has worn Azzedine Alaïa, Gucci, Givenchy, Alberta Ferretti, and Badgley Mischka, among others.

She has also worn the fashions of designers before they were well known, such as Olivier Theyskens and Rick Owens, helping to boost their careers. In the fall of 2003 Madonna went from haute couture to mainstream, appearing in an advertising campaign for the Gap with the rapper Missy Elliot and wearing a white men’s tank top, a newsboy cap, and Gap corduroy jean capris and a large amount of diamond jewelry.

Madonna’s influence as a fashion leader has been consistent from the beginning of her career. Her style has been watched and followed from the moment she first appeared on MTV. She has launched style trends such as wearing navel-baring fashions and underwear as outerwear, affecting the clothing choices both of other celebrities and the public at large. Her continual repackaging of herself has reflected her evolution as a woman and a performer.

She has worn haute couture, supporting both known and unknown designers, and marketed mainstream fashions, with her looks encompassing different personas. The ubiquity of her unique and highly individual style makes Madonna an icon of modern fashion.

Why is Madonna a fashion icon?

Whether she is wearing navel-baring miniskirts, cone bras, or Gap jeans, Madonna has been a fashion leader since she became famous in the mid-1980s. As an icon of popular culture, she has set fashion trends and boosted the careers of established as well as up-and-coming designers.

How did Madonna influence the fashion styles of the 1980s?

In the 1980s, rising pop star Madonna proved to be very influential to female fashions. … In her Like a Virgin phase, millions of young girls around the world emulated her fashion example that included brassieres worn as outerwear, huge crucifix jewelry, lace gloves, tulle skirts, and boytoy belts.

Who is the fashion designer for Madonna?

Fashion Meets Music: Francesco Scognamiglio Designs for Madonna’s New Tour. With her provocative stage outfits Madonna became a style icon – for her new tour “Madame X” the Queen of Pop relies on Italian designer Francesco Scognamiglio.

How did Madonna dress in the 1980s?

The style of the 1980’s were inspired by celebs like Madonna with tulle skirts over leggings, bustier tops, beaded necklaces, giant hair bows, fishnet gloves and many bangles, as well as giant earrings. No matter what she was wearing she was a fashion leader.

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