Madonnas style has endured almost 40 years. Madonna is one of those iconic women who seems to have been around since the dawn of time but still manages to look fairly young.
Madonna's Fashion Style
The limits, to which she pushes her own body and art, are easily demonstrated in the live shows that she still does in her fifties.
Madonna's ability to stay current as the times rapidly change has made her a global star and a force of nature powering through generations all asking for something new and exciting.
But her singing talent, musical direction and incredible dance moves aren't the only thing that she manages to successfully update as the years go by. Madonna's look is in many ways, more recognized than her music.
Her powerful statements have paved the way for other artists like Gwen Stefanie, Lady Gaga and even Katy Perry (amongst many others).
Her undeniable passion and exceptional drive have led to one of the longest running showbiz careers in an industry that normally kills artists (and their supposedly unwavering popularity) in less than three years.
Let's look at some of the statements that Madonnas style has made and what fashion really means to her in terms of her stage look but also the messages that she sends to the world.
The World Loved The Material Girl
Madonna in the Eighties
Fashion in the Eighties wasn't only something worn by Madonna but rather something that she dictated. No woman in the history of music has ever has as much influence on popular fashion globally than Madonnas style.
Her wavy hair was copied by millions of young girls who also wanted streaks of blonde highlights at the tip. The bigger the better! There were two looks that were most popular around the time.
One was a black outfit that Madonna wore in her hit Desperately Seeking Susan. It involved a skirt that sat high up the knee-line and a black top with her hair tied up high and loose with wavy tendrils from the pony. The gold trimmings finished up the look with something uniquely Madonna.
Then of course, there were the unforgettable accessories. Madonna loved laced and religious symbolism. You would often see her wearing crosses on earrings or pendants in a way that not only provoked thought but added a touch of cool.
She had many different colored ribbons that she used to take up her messy hair and had a habit of adorning her wrists with a number of shiny bracelets.
Towards the end of the eighties, Madonnas style changed to outfits with pointy braziers, which cemented her as both a fashion icon and an iconic figure.
These outfits are still referenced today on some of the most famous and starlit catwalks.
These braziers rarely came with much else as Madonna would show off as much skin as possible and those amazing abdominal muscles that she has somehow managed to keep as the years go by.
Another one of her great tricks was mass layering. There were countless outfits that involved layering shirts, and small tops. There were short gloves worn over sleeves and bracelets worn over the short gloves.
So it wasn't surprising to see that she had outfits covered in beading, sequins, lace and silver throughout the course of the late Eighties.
Madonna in the Nineties
The nineties saw a changeover in Madonnas style. She seemed to be more sophisticated and less over the top when she acted in the film Argentina as Evita Peron.
The nineties also saw Madonna's Blonde Ambition tour which was used to promote her album, Like A Prayer. The tour went all the way through Germany and Europe as well as the States.
One of the biggest fashion ideas that became popular as a result of this early nineties tour, was the idea of taking your underwear and putting it on over your pants, leggings or top.
In the show, she wore a gold corset when she sang 'Like a Virgin' instantly drawing a parallel between religious rules and sexual stifling.
Corsets became and are still one of the hottest risqué items on any fashion scene. When she sang 'Vogue', she had on lycra shorts and a black sports bra only, offering a chic and provocative vision for the excited crowd.
Madonna's Own Fashion Line
As the years passed Madonna became a parent to Lourdes who is now well on her way to becoming a star in her right. Lourdes played a major part in her mom's fashion collection M, particularly in the Material Girl line.
It's been said by Madonna herself that Lourdes attended meetings and contributed to a greater extent in the designs themselves. Her mom affectionately refers to her as Lola and can't seem to explain enough about how much of a muse Lola has been for her.
As much as Lourdes has seemed to influence the line, Taylor Momsen was chosen as the face of the campaign and came out wearing Madonna's designs as a preview to the collection.
There were some great Madonna influenced leggings made of black lace that only go halfway down the thigh with army jackets and boots with attitude. There were also some basics in the form of black and white striped tops and black, short skirts.
All in All
Madonnas style may have quietened down a bit but as an icon, she has firmly cemented herself as a fashion and showbiz icon with a difference.
Nowadays she is sleeker (in keeping with the vogue era) but her live shows still boast incredible, unique and raunchy outfits unrivalled by anyone her age or with her stature.
Madonna has always been a fashion force to be reckoned with and managed to pave the way for new celebrities whilst still retaining her position as the queen of pop.
Despite the fame and popularity of some new artists like Lady Gaga and Rihanna, there are few people who can say that they have influenced day to day fashion for an entire generation of young women. Madonna is, and always will be, a dictator, an opinion leader and an influential super star.