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Futuristic follower of fashionUTURISTIC FOLLOWER OF FASHION

>>> Italian stalwart Giorgio Armani is best known for his subtle tailoring and timelessly classic pared-down workwear. So when it emerged earlier this year that Lady Gaga had persuaded him to design her outfits for the Grammys, the fashion world wondered how she would manage to pull off a mannish blazer or trouser suit with her usual, er, aplomb.

Then came the pictures. Hot on the heels of his lunar-inspired couture collection shown in Paris in January, Armani created a space-age cocktail dress, fitting for any pop-chart pioneer.

The lightning bolt headdress was created by our own milliner Philip Treacy, who also crafts headgear for the inimitable Grace Jones.

Presumably it is for hurling at any mortals standing in the way of Gaga's Olympian ambitions.

>>> In a time of financial crisis, plumping for a pompadour is quite a hefty political move. Hairdos like this are usually reserved for the Bastille, or for relaxing at home with Elton John.

The vertiginous style takes its name from the fashion-forward Madame de Pompadour, Louis XV's most famous mistress, who was widely despised.

By sporting hers atop a spotless white floor-length dress though, Lady Gaga is sending quite a message: she clearly has no plans to do any heavy lifting or go near any dirt.

But Gaga actually showed a bit of restraint in this outfit for the Brit Awards. Bewigged ladies of the 18th century were often followed by a man with a stick, tasked with propping up their mistress's teetering pile of hair.

No doubt there is a reality-TV show in the pipeline to determine who gets that job.

One can only wonder which z-list celebs would be willing to sign up for the job!

>>> When Gaga burst onto the scene, two very prominent assets caught the attention of the fashion pack: her shoulders. They may be ubiquitous now, but time was when extreme shoulders had been seen only in the most rarefied of catwalk shows.

Gaga was the first to embrace the trend, which was originally cooked up by Belgian designer and fashion demigod Martin Margiela in 2005. It gave her instant -- not to mention, highly sought-after -- credibility amongst the style cognoscenti.

Believe it or not, outfits like this, worn last November to a CD signing in California, were what prompted the fashion set -- an important demographic among her fans -- to take her seriously. It's a world away from corporate dressing, eh? But Gaga is ever-practical too: this highly structured blazer would also double as a travel pillow, handy for all those hours spent on the road.

Fact is though, you certainly need to have a sense of panache to carry off any of the above Gaga trends.

At the end of the day most of us will be simply happy to enjoy the unique floor show she creates.


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