Thanks to madonnaforinspiration.com & amberflynn for the video.
Thanks to madonnaforinspiration.com & amberflynn for the video.
Madonna is no stranger to edgy, forward-thinking looks, but the dress she wore for her “W.E.” premiere in New York City last night had some people wincing.
The 53-year-old singer-writer-director-producer’s tulle, lace and velvet Marchesa gown was more Morticia than Madge and clashed with her brassy blonde bob. But the outfit seemed like an homage to her iconic and oft mimicked “Like A Virgin” look that featured many-a full tulle skirts and tight lace bodices. Is Madonna’s style back to its old attention-grabbing ways?
Madonna on Yahoo! Music
While the fall 2011 Marchesa gown itself is nonetheless gorgeous (despite comparisons to a goth figure skating outfit), the way Madonna was styled did not make the gown really sizzle. The chunky bangles and huge diamond “W” and “E” letter rings drew away from the delicateness of the gown and the black lace slip underneath the sheer white fabric—which made an unfortunate gray color—washed the gown’s inherent boldness out. The superstar may have fared better with a nude slip—she is Madonna after all!
The tulle sleeves and shoulders were the defining part of the dress, but Madonna would’ve looked more elegant without them if she wanted to keep the hair, black slip and jewelry. Plus, with tulle the shape is everything because the structure is so hard to keep. The dramatic high collar and shoulders got mashed down as the night went on, looking more and more D.I.Y. than designer. Where were your interns with cans of starch spray, Madge?
In 1984, the school newspaper where I went to college ran an editorial called “It’s Time to Get Really Mad About Madonna.” Her message, as the male writer repeated, was “fuck me.” If there was an additional message behind the “banal” songs and videos for “Material Girl” and “Like a Virgin” it was “fuck me again.” The world’s biggest slut had been born, and the country needed to stop caring about the arms race or Reaganomics or the widening income disparity between rich and poor, and obliterate the cunt among us.
Something happened on the way to her circumcision, and Madonna, unlike most of her detractors, remained intact. More than 25 years later the vitriol mob remains, exhausted but as angry as ever, and they’ve added to her list of whore crimes, “fuck you.” Madonna is about as “over” as the Common Cold, and just as infuriating, and when you can’t stop someone you can only reduce them. Good luck with that.
Gearing up for a new album, a new movie, and a Super Bowl half-time appearance, the Queen of Pop Provocation did a couple of talk shows and, as effortlessly as the reactions were strained, marketed a maelstrom. Never mind Madonna’s take on mothering a 15-year-old girl or her penchant for dating young men or even her just announced 40 million dollar record deal, all anyone cared about was Madonna’s opinion of Lady GaGa, and both Graham Norton and Cynthia McFadden were determined (rightfully so) to satisfy the audience.
Madonna said lots of things about Lady GaGa; lots of good things. She called her “a very talented artist” and said, of her work, that “sometimes I think it’s amusing and fun.” None of that matters either. When she told McFadden that GaGa’s “Born This Way” tune “feels reductive,” the definition of the word was over before the search began. Madonna, the bitch, the shrew, the hag, the has-been, and, quite possibly the most critically reduced artist on the planet, had crossed a line. Ironically, she also invented the line.
Whatever one personally thinks of Lady GaGa or the song “Born This Way,” the fact is that for the past year both the artist and the tune have been put under the Madonna microscope. No sooner did the single hit the airwaves than the other bleach-blond Italian American gay-loving pop star got accused of copying Madonna’s “Express Yourself,” inciting a plethora of YouTube parodies and mash-ups and criticisms that would make “reductive” sound like high praise.
It probably didn’t help much that GaGa (who called any song similarities “retarded”) took a sudden liking to videos where she dances in her underwear and wears bullets for bras and throws in a lot of crosses and rosaries and pisses off the Catholic Church. It also probably didn’t help that, when GaGa won a Grammy for something other than “Born This Way,” she took to the stage in a Blond Ambition ponytail and cone-breast corset and thanked her “Born This Way” muse Whitney Houston—the woman who once said she’d kill her children if they turned out to be like Madonna. (I’m fairly certain that murdering your kids is a tad worse than calling a song “reductive,” yet that comment never put a dent in Houston’s, at the time, good Christian image.) And it also probably didn’t help that, when asked why people compare her with Madonna, Lady GaGa, wearing bright red lipstick and the “Express Yourself” platinum-blond locks, said it was because they “sort of” look alike. Yes, and I “sort of” look like Jake Gyllenhaal.
The counter-argument most people give when the GaGa/Madonna imitations arise is that Madonna has copied everyone under the sun, and therefore has no right to criticize her predecessor. It’s a valid point, even if those same people don’t generally acknowledge that Madonna never did criticize GaGa until the McFadden interview, nor has she ever denied taking on the personas of other image makers.
What Madonna accomplished is unprecedented genius. Colliding with the 1980s MTV Generation, and her spoof of Marilyn’s “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend,” the singer grabbed the 20thcentury’s most iconic ladies and photographs and films and fashions and trends, and spun them into three-minute movie musicals, complete with the catchiest soundtracks on tap, and all the while keeping her signature wink intact. She resembled a lot of women, but none of them more so than the one calling the shots. In her crass sentiment, Madonna did something utterly original. To sum it up as clever marketing, the one area where people begrudgingly give her credit, is reduction in the most demeaning sense.
Madonna forever changed the way female pop artists are marketed and sold, and every girl with a material dream has studied or has been instructed by someone who’s studied Madonna. Whereas “re-invention” used to be frowned upon as too dangerous, it’s now de rigueur for longevity. Whereas “Bad Girls” used to be the victims of a Donna Summer song, they’re now the envy of innocent fools. From Katy Perry’s “I Kissed a Girl” to Britney Spears’ “Oops!… I Did It Again” to every song by Ke$ha, if you want to prove yourself as a commodity, you have to light a fuse.
If Madonna made a major mistake in her professional life, it wasn’t her acting career or her Sex book. It was getting older. We’re a country of ageists, especially in regards to women, and if there’s anything we hate more than a woman getting older it’s a woman who doesn’t apologize for her disgrace. Had Madonna any dignity, she’d have offed herself years ago. At 53, she may be the biggest selling female artist of all time and she may have more hits than Elvis Presley (a one-time looker/singer/provocateur who was smart enough to overdose), and she may still be one of the most famous women on earth, but none of that matters when she spits in god’s eye by deciding for herself what’s attractive.
Last week, on the heels of the “reductive” comment, Madonna won a Golden Globe award for her song “Masterpiece.” If there’s another way to stop the unworthy, it’s to deny them praise, and Madonna’s career has been peppered with everything but legitimacy. Her critics dove right in, and, not surprisingly, the biggest offenders were women and gay men. The New York Times’ Alessandra Stanley became psychic and said they only gave her the award because “everybody wants to see her,” that few will hear the song (it’s that rare thing when people listen to a Madonna track), and that they were forced to start the music to cut short her ego-laden speech. Stanley, apparently, missed the rest of the show, as pretty much everyone was cut off by the music, including that self-involved, talentless egomaniac Meryl Streep.
The Huffington Post ran an “Onion”-worthy piece called “A Letter to Madonna from a Concerned Gay,” in which the writer, Domenick Scudera, whines over how disappointed he is in his former hero for calling wise-ass straight comedian Ricky Gervais a “girl” (yes, you read that correctly), and then goes on to pretty much fault Madonna for everything but Global Warming. He writes, at the end, “I am desperately seeking the Madonna of yesteryear: daring, a ray of light, in a league of her own. That girl is still inside you somewhere, I bet. Please bring her back. Open you heart, express yourself like you used to do, so that I can justify my love for you again.” I’m not sure what’s more offensive, that Scudera penned this piece of tripe or that Arianna Huffington allowed it to go to print.
Elton John and his husband, David Furnish, expressed themselves in a way that set back gay men about 50 years. John started the Bitch Brunch on the red carpet, saying Madonna couldn’t win with her “fucking” song, then sat stone-faced when she did. His charming spouse took to facebook afterward, decrying Madonna’s win—“Madonna. Best song???? F**k off!!!”—defaming the Golden Globes as being without merit (an awards show that doesn’t always give to the most deserving? No!), and ending his tantrum by saying Madonna’s “criticism of GaGa shows how desperate she really is.”
It’s always the work of the truly desperate to use the “D” word when describing Madonna. She must be desperate because she cannot be good. She’s not allowed to be attractive because she’s a whore. She certainly can’t be happy, because that will make us miserable. And she’s not allowed to criticize Lady GaGa because she never earned her place on top.
Lady GaGa’s second chapter of fame has played out like a bad sequel to a great first flick. She started out wonderfully, with a strong voice and savvy song-writing skills. If there was a message behind her work it was to embrace your oddity and celebrate unconvention. In that regard, she resembled Cyndi Lauper or Bette Midler more than Madonna. Last year, on the heels of “Born This Way,” she set herself up for failure by repeatedly telling everyone how wonderful her new album would be, then started hammering out weak singles and ridiculous stunts to stay topical. Showing up to an awards show in an egg carries no message other than that you are showing up to an awards show in an egg.
Like countless other female stars, GaGa then read the Clift Notes for Madonna’s career and decided to re-invent herself as Madonna 2.0. That never works, especially when the first one is still in stores. Whereas Madonna hiccuped and the world reacted, GaGa tells us she’s about to cough and then informs us of its importance. Call her videos and outfits what you want; imitation, homage, copies—ultimately, they look like poorly designed remakes of Madonna’s material. Bigger budget, more pyrotechnics, but forced and lacking vision. The only rule of re-creation is to do it well, and she’s failed. If Lady GaGa is as smart as she is talented, she’ll pay attention to the woman who wanted “to rule the world” and carve out her own path to universal domination. Madonna’s message isn’t “fuck me” or “fuck you”; it’s “Fuck It!” And she does it better than anyone.
David Toussaint is the Senior Editor for GuySpy.
Article by Liz Smith.
Even better, when McFadden, who certainly knows what the word means, asked Madonna to define it, M coyly said, “Look it up!”
Apparently, a lot of people have. Now, I keep hearing the word, generally accompanied with a laugh and a reference to the pop icon. Madonna has taught us much over the years, now she’s revived a word rarely used. (Well, I’ve always said if Madonna hadn’t gone into music, she would have stayed in Michigan and become Miss Ciccone, the stern English teacher.)
It was this benign answer about Gaga that became part of the Elton John/ David Furnish’s attack on Madonna, after she won a Golden Globe for best original song on Sunday night. The song is titled “Masterpiece” from her coming film, “W.E.” (Elton’s effort was “Hello, Hello” from the flop animated movie “Gnomeo and Juliet.”) Aside from ripping Madonna’s song, the pair declared — on Twitter and Facebook — that Madonna’s “attack” on Gaga “shows how desperate she is.”
Goodness, I didn’t get that at all. Madonna has no inclination to trash Gaga. But she is certainly within her rights to imply, gently, that Lady G. has appropriated some aspects of her image, sound and message. Music critics were the first, in fact, to point out the similarities between Gaga’s “Born This Way” and M’s “Express Yourself.”
Elton John, who has been a star since 1970, feels he has earned the right to be perennially cranky and opinionated. Fine. And he does wonderful charity work.
But I think Madonna, who has been a star since 1983, has earned the right to answer a question honestly, from her point of view. Or to accept an award, if she wins one.
Elton has had a bee in his bonnet about Madonna for years. At various times he has criticized her singing, dancing, her right to be a star, even. She has rarely responded.
In this case, however, it is Elton who appears to be “desperate.” Back in the day, Madonna could be ungracious and careless in her remarks, but I never recall her attacking another performer in this manner, or publicly declaring she should have won an award instead of somebody else. (Perhaps she learned her lesson when, in the midst of a wave of positive reviews and publicity for “Evita” — and a Golden Globe win — she said she thought she deserved to be nominated for an Oscar, too. The Academy was not amused.)
The truth is, most of the public has never heard either Elton or Madonna’s song. Why carry on so?
Oh, “reductive?” It means something is the same, only less.Source: http://www.wowowow.com/liz-smith/
Them’s fightin’ words!
Elton John lost to Madonna at Sunday’s Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills, where the Material Girl won for Best Original Song (Motion Picture) for “Masterpiece,” which she wrote for W.E., which she also directed.
And John’s husband, David Furnish, was unhappy about the loss. (Madonna beat out John’s “Hello Hello” from the film Gnomeo & Juliet plus three other contenders, including Mary J. Blige’s “Living Proof” from The Help.)
Shortly after the 53-year-old pop singer’s name was called, Furnish wrote on his Facebook page: “Madonna. Best song???? F**k off!!!”
After Madonna’s acceptance speech — the orchestra even started playing in an attempt to cut her off — Furnish’s rant continued.
“Madonna winning Best Original Song truly shows how these awards have nothing to do with merit. Her acceptance speech was embarrassing in its narcissism,” he wrote. “And her criticism of Gaga shows how desperate she really is.”
Last week, Madonna gave several interviews in the press accusing her pop queen successor Lady Gaga of ripping off her classic “Express Yourself” in “Born This Way,” calling the latter track “reductive.”
But, backstage at the Globes, Madonna was hopeful that her win wouldn’t irk John, 64. “I hope he speaks to me for the next couple of years,” she quipped. “He’s been known to get mad at me so I don’t know. He’s brilliant and I adore him so he’ll win another award. I don’t feel bad!”