Lady Gaga in her introductory Steampunk gear in her new video Alejandro.
Honestly, at first we were so torn and gasping when we first saw Lady Gaga’s release of ‘Alejandro’ not because of the mix of cultures and military X religion X sex iconography, but because we thought she completely ripped-off Madonna. And we LOVE Madonna.
But on further thought, Madonna may completely love this mash-up (which it is), including the longer version cone-bras with machine guns attached. If ever an artist could channel Madonna’s Eva Peron from Evita and Don’t Cry for Me Argentina, or Isle Bonita, and Like a Prayer and Vogue, among many others, it would be Lady Gaga. This version, at 8-minutes plus, is the 2011-ness of dance music circa retro throwbacks with new-age technology in music recording and street dance (bits of Tecktonik). Actually, it’s brill.
There of course is the controversy of the iconography, but as fashionistas, who else could pull off a rubber latex red nun habit and be serious with her message? It’s no joke. Lyrics like ‘hot like Mexico?’ yes, that works. And very Vogue-ish men in fashionable (among a certain sect) high-waisted black shorts will give sartorialists something to contemplate.
Her Gaganess’ white robe and red cross reflections were not lost on us: it’s a female version of the religious message here. Bloody, and not easy. Then, just when you get used to one set, Lady Gaga switches to a ’70′s pantsuit in black with a Dorothy Hamil haircut. She could have skated in the mens/women’s World Champion Ice Skating program in that outfit!
Back to seriousness is the black and white imagery from World War II and who, I assume, is the legendary ‘Alejandro.’ It’s beautiful. The military dancing number is beautiful. And precise, as all military men are. But, unfortunately you’ve got people like the Huffington Post claiming it to be ‘homoerotic military fantasy.’ And??
Finally, the steampunk aspects, which we’ve profiled often here, are exceptional. Reflects on our intuition that the look is back, especially brass goggles (Oakley, beware).