Madonna Vs. Lady Gaga

On one of the usual weekend nights, my cousin and me were driving down the town (in my father’s car), in search for caffeine fix at a Starbucks outlet that opens until near-dawn — a quasi-impossible feat since most Starbucks are closed at either 12 in the midnight or earlier. 

Along the way to Berjaya Times Square from my house in Cheras, we bantered on several topics and somehow, earlier in the evening, he had just discovered Madonna’s viral apology video on Youtube, which the Diva had conjured right after the widely publicised Hydrangea scandal. Well, if you were chained in the cave for so long — as quoted by MTV legend Kurt Loder in his liner note for Cher’s Greatest Hits album — the ever-controversial diva got the world media and Hydrangea fans wagging their tongues. 

After receiving a bushel of hydrangea from perhaps a fan during a press conference in Venice, Madonna, without noticing that the microphone was on, whispered to a friend that she loathed hydrangeas. Of course, someone caught the ‘ungrateful gesture’ on the camera and the posted the video on Youtube, hence sparking great attention from her fans and media outlets alike. 

Now, rolling back to the in the car scene. As we talked about it, as well as the possibilities of listening new materials from her in the near future, my cousin popped me a question: “Do you think Madonna’s comeback will create the same impact as what Lady Gaga is doing now?” 

Oh my God, I guess that was a tough question. Perhaps, it is tougher than any math equation questions one can find inside the SPM Modern Maths paper. You see, Madonna and Lady Gaga have many things in common, aside from both being Italian Americans performers. They started from the bottom (deeper than the Bikini Bottom, where Spongebob Squarepants lives), worked their way up to be where they are— indomitable excellent performers and highly revered pop musicians, and fashion icons. 

Yet, there is one thing that sets them apart is how they carry themselves. Lady Gaga is true to herself with that pure New Yorker accent while Madonna, on the other hand, has morphed herself from a streetwise all-American girl into a prim and proper English lady-wannabe whose conversations are peppered with cut glass transatlantic drawl. 

While Lady Gaga is currently enjoying her moment and fame, so famous that her ex-boyfriend could not order a cuppa from the diner without seeing her on the TV and prints, or listening to her hit songs blaring on the radios, I don’t think her impact on the pop scene will be as evergreen as Madonna. 

Furthermore, with the exception of “Born This Way”, I am sure that within the next 100 years, after (perhaps) the world has been taken over by the aliens, notable Madonna singles like “Vogue” and “Express Yourself” are likely to be played simultaneously by radio stations worldwide compared to Gaga’s edgy and ear thumping beats like “Poker Face” and “Judas”. Well, this is just a mere prediction so Gaga fans, do not take it seriously as I am a fan of her too. 

In terms of impact, for nearly three decades, it is undeniable that Madonna has created a great impact — or craters larger than the ones on the moon — in the hearts of music lovers everywhere. Discount her oftentimes explicit and sexually charged lyrics; almost everyone can get along with the beats and sounds of her songs, whether they are catchy or mellow ballads. 

In Gaga’s case, most of the time, her music is meant for the young listeners or those who are young at heart. I do know some old people who love listening to her music but oftentimes, I can hear more unrepentant complaints than praises from the golden aged citizens. Well, there is no one to be blamed literally, since no one told them that Lady Gaga — music wise or fashion wise — is not meant for the faint-hearted. 

In fashion, Madonna and Lady Gaga are certainly competitors on the skin of their teeth. Designers would die to dress them and fashion magazines would do anything to feature them on the covers. Yet, there is only one term that obviously would put Madonna as an uncontested challenger in this category – consumer friendly. 

Since her official debut in early 1980s, Madonna’s fashion sense has been accessible for her fans (also known as Madonna wannabes), who, at the time were made of teens to early 20s. The sheer wedding dress with Toy Boy buckled belt, cropped sweater tops, oversized headbands, plastic bracelets — all can be obtained hassle-free at normal department stores (Macy’s set up a special section called Madonnaland when the Madonna style craze swept the United States). She even “designed” a line of sophisticated yet affordable to the masses — a direct reflection of her fashion sense — clothes and accessories with H&M called M by Madonna.  

On the other hand, Lady Gaga’s sense of style, though it may have inspired old and new designers everywhere, does not create much impact to the mass consumers. Yes, it is undeniable that in the past few years, fashionistas had been seduced by the artistic side of dressing with designers reviving de rigueur looks from the 80s such as shoulder pads, towering pagoda shoulders, bodysuits and other exaggerating silhouettes, as if they were directly culled from Gaga’s closet in her Manhattan apartment.

Wardrobe aside, I even had heard rumours about Gaga wanting to run her own fashion line with Versace, which was later denied by Donatella Versace herself. Nevertheless, the scene has changed today. Walk into any designer stores or high street stores and what you will find is a selection of clothes that are less frivolous and practical to wear. Maybe there is still a little hint of kookiness in terms of prints or colours, but never on the styles. 

After all, not everyone is keen in grabbing the attention of others and obviously, wearing a meat dress to work is certainly God forbid. Now, some did ask me, are there any possibilities for Gaga to tone down her style? Hmm, all I can say is, when that day comes, she is no longer Lady Gaga, but rather Stefani Germanotta, the wunderkind of the music world. 

Thus, to answer my cousin’s question in regards to the impact of Madonna’s comeback, I would say, “Yes, her comeback will create a large impact. Be it in music or in fashion, no one can stop this diva from robbing the hearts — and (metaphorically) bank accounts — of her admirers until the days she says ‘stop’.” 

However, Madonna (or Madge, or M, whatever they call you), if you happen to read this shit, this is what I want to say, right from the bottom of my heart — I hate your transatlantic accent! 

*All photos are courtesy of various online sources. 


Popular Posts