Posts Tagged ‘lady gaga’

After Amy: The Changing Nature of Fame

Lady Gaga was quoted yesterday as issuing a warning to the public on the death of Amy Winehouse: ‘It’s a lesson to the world,’ she said: ‘Don’t kill the superstar, take care of her soul.’ it’s worth considering just who did kill Amy Winehouse? The drug dealers? The hungry media? Her zealous fans? Or could it simply be that fame itself is toxic – or has become so.
My book, The Fame Formula, dealt with the forgotten entertainment icons killed by a similar process back in the early Hollywood era. These lessons have been burried under tons of newsprint and few feel the lesson are relevant any more. However, it never pays to completely ignore the past.

Amy Winehouse’s contemporary iconography (part self-created, part media-inflicted) encompassed, all at the same time, a drive toward an idealised image which would grant her immortality in name and a constant reminder of her frailty, her mortality in body.

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Design an Outrageous Costume for a Star

Pop stars and celebrities all need to match the creative thrust of Lady GaGa and her outrageous, headline-grabbing costumes if they are to rise to the top of the heap, as I discussed in my previous post.

So I have produced a short list of suggestions for for awards ceremony costumes for any star who has run out of outrageous ideas. If anyone has any more suggestions, please post them below – the strangest but most plausible costume idea wins a signed copy of my book, The Fame Formula. Let me know which star the costume would be for and any symbolic relevance.

Here are my suggestions:

1)      A movable maggot farm. Using the idea of an ant farm, mould some plastic chambers to fit the contours of the star’s body and fill it with rotting meat and flies. Once the maggots have reached maturity, head for the nearest award ceremony. Symbolic possibilities: the decay of the music industry. Thematically, it follows on well from GaGa’s meat dress.

2)      A costume made out of hair and fingernails sent in by the star’s fans. The ultimate fan bonding exercise, it would take the idea of the star and their fans being a close knit community that much further.

3)      A plastic external venous system carrying real blood around the star’s body for all to see, feeding through a pump where the heart should be. Like Marc Quinn’s blood head, the blood should preferably all be the star’s, saved up over time. Otherwise, fan donations will do. Symbolically, this is far cleaner and safer than carving ‘4 Real’ in your arm, as Richey Edwards from the Manic Street Preachers did years ago, but still rock and roll.

Why Everyone’s Going GaGa at the Grammys

Stand by – the Lady GaGa Grammy show is heading to town! The awards season is upon us and the stars have been camping on the doorsteps of designers and rounding up the usual suspects when it comes to kitting themselves out. And they all have to up the ante to match GaGa.

No camping out on designers’ doorsteps for last year’s attention-grabber supreme, I’m betting – it is surely fair to say that GaGa is cooking up something spectacular this year, after 2010’s meaty extravaganza. And, given the hoo-ha, furoré and small cyclone of speculation and excitement about that outré outfit, and given Gaga’s tendency to want to outdo herself, it’ll be fascinating to see what she turns up in this year, especially for the Grammys.

Things are changing already – the Mail has just had a little huff of shock that Leona Lewis has ditched her wholesome image: “…she turned up at the Never Say Never premiere with dark brown hair, razor sharp fringe and new style clothes,” wrote the Mail. “The top had a pair of red padded lips to cover her chest but left her stomach bare. She wore a pencil skirt and high heels. She’s supposedly starting her own clothing line. What has brought about this change from wholesome to vamp?”

What else but GaGa?

According to reports, GaGa has been knocked off the ‘most talked about fashion icon’ top spot by Kate Middleton this year. She’s going to have to pull something spectacular out of the hat if she’s going to beat the ‘modern princess’ phenomenon into second place again. But she shouldn’t have to worry too much if Leona’s makeover away from the princess mode is anything to go by.

GaGa has an astonishing ability to mould the media narrative and is doing her level best to make everything she does newsworthy before her performance at the 53rd Grammy awards. She’s already brought forward the release of her single Born This Way.

However many awards she wins or costumes she wears this year, it is most likely she will clean up in the news stakes. GaGa is a clever woman – as sharp as Madonna. She has “it”; the “stuff”. Her audience and the media are at her mercy. Whatever costume she comes in, it’ll be something new – she knows how to keep people paying attention. The only thing she could do wrong now is to oversaturate the market with things that are less than worthy of her individualist brand.

All this suggests that pure talent is no longer enough for the stars. GaGa has changed all that. Now lesser lights like Leona have to look and act the part at award ceremonies as it is not enough to just win an award for the music – one has to win the headline awards too.

Lady Gaga: Offal or Wonderful?

The more I think about Lady Gaga’s meaty costume worn at her appearance at the MTV Awards, the less sure I am about the intentions behind it.

Is it 1) a controlled and thoughtful satire in meat couture about the plight of women in the pop industry, who are oiled up, lubed up, dressed in schoolgirl attire and presented in an assortment of cheesily provocative poses for the pleasure of older men all over the planet, MTV being the spiritual home of this meat market? Given that Gaga has come out on the side of the outsider in a number of interviews, this is perfectly possible.

Or is it 2), a huge, desperate mistake, concocted in the back rooms of her PR company by giggling rejects from a Chris Morris media satire determined to multiply the outrage Gaga generates every time she goes out?

Given Gaga’s wardrobe people have been vying to outdo their previous creations (cigarette sunglasses, playing a piano sat on a toilet for the X Factor etc) each time they come up with a new one, it would be forgivable to suspect the latter. Read the rest of this entry »

Britain’s Got Cliché

It strikes me that all is not well in Britain’s Got Talent, that something is falling apart. This year, the show opened on 10.6 million viewers (a 44% share). By May it was on a 43%. After four weeks in, it is currently running down 5% on last year, which opened with 11 million viewers. The year before it opened on 10 million viewers (a 42% share). There is a sense that it may have peaked in the wake of Susan Boyle – bear in mind that the 2008 season final was watched by 14 million whilst in 2009 16 million tuned in for the live show and an astonishing 17.3 million watched the final results show.

It doesn’t help that this latest series has seen all the same clichés spilling out onto our screens once again. Too many of the same old freaks are attempting to ‘live the dream’. There’s Janey Cutler, who is clearly is in line to be the next attempted SuBo; there’s a comeback kid in the shape of the drummer who was awful last time but in the running again because everybody loves an underdog; there’s the same old ‘outrageous’ acts that Simon can make a pretence of being turned on by.
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