Friday, March 14, 2008

pop-ology; the evolution of madonna

i must preface this post with the fact that i am a madonna fan...she's been around since 1983 and justin timberlake, pharrel williams, timbaland, and kanye west ALL still wanted to work with her on her 11th album. thats pretty impressive in my book. i've listened to a couple songs that have leaked from her latest album and they're pretty bangin.

i suppose one could argue that the preceding facts alone ''validate'' madonna's inescapable presence in pop music. so when asked about your favorite madonna phase, you shouldn't conjecture based on what you remember from watching mtv in 1993. that was 15 years ago now. even if you're not a fan, it is imperative that you be properly informed of this type of thing if you want to be cool. so lets look back....
(and please comment on your favorite phase)

Madonna's Phases

Boy Toy Beginnings
April 1, 1985

Armfuls of rubber bracelets, crucifixes, torn t-shirts, tights, lacy bras and more were the unofficial uniform of New York's dance students through the late 70s. After signing her first singles deal with Sire Records in 1982, the budding pop star took the tattered look mainstream. As Madonna mania began in the early 80s, the advent of the "Madonna wannabe" began. As teenage girls around the country got the Desperately Seeking Susan look down pat, Madonna morphed into a new look.

Blonde Ambition
April 20th, 1990

In 1990, French designer Jean-Paul Gaultier designed the costumes for the Blond Ambition World Tour. Some consider Gaultier’s reinvention of underwear as outerwear in the design of Madonna's iconic cone bustier which she flaunted onstage his most famous contribution to modern fashion. To this day it is Madonna’s most memorable look.
63rd Annual Academy Awards
March 25, 1991

For her 1991 Oscar appearance (performing the nominated song Sooner or Later from the film Dick Tracy) Madonna channeled Marilyn Monroe in a Bob Mackie beaded white strapless body-hugging dress complete with fur and formal length gloves. To top off her look, the ultimate fashionista was wearing $20 million worth of diamonds on her neck, ears, and wrists.
Viva Evita
December 14, 1996

In 1996, Madonna's most critically successful film, Evita, the movie adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber's stage musical of the same name, was released. For years Madonna had petitioned to play the role of the life of Argentina's Eva PerĂ³n, believing that this was the role she was born to play. After winning the coveted role she transformed herself into the equally controversial figure wearing glamorous Christian Dior suits complete with red lipstick and her hair bleached and pulled back into a knot.
Memoirs of a Geisha
February 24, 1999

For one of those most over-the-top Grammy performances of all time, Madonna re-invented herself as a geisha, inspired by Arthur Golden's book Memoirs of a Geisha. Madonna wanting to transform herself into one of the books characters, Hatsumomo wore a red kimono designed by Jean-Paul Gaultier, obscenely high platform boots and a jet black Cleopatra style wig for the performance. Considering very few artists can change their image on such a large scale, Madonna’s geisha-infused performance was a complete success.
Cowboy Fever
November 5, 2000

Madonna released her album Music in 2000, returning to the charts and the fashion world with a cowboy-inspired incarnation. But this clean and simple country look wasn’t cheap. Her beaded jeans where curtsey of superstar Canadian designers Dsquared. This was also the beginning of the pop icon’s t-shirt statements. Here she declared her admiration for fellow pop-star Britney Spears.
Momma Madonna
June 7, 2005

Over the years Madonna’s style has evolved and matured. In 2005, she celebrated the release of her fifth children's book, Lotsa de Casha, in style with a kid-friendly event at Bergdorf Goodman in New York. The Mother of two continued to show off a more sophisticated style with a stunning Dolce & Gabbana dress.
Confessions at the Disco
November 3, 2005

Madonna has transformed from pop icon to mother and back. The latest persona in her evolving image is that of a Disco queen. Only Madonna would dare revive Farrah Faccet’s 70s blonde flick hairdo and be able to pull it off. To mark her return to the dance floor the singer brings back her leotards and cut-off tights paying homage to the early disco days.

---Christopher Turner

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