With “Shallow” cemented in the psyche of the cinema-going population, we’ve all thrown the big question out there – will Lady Gaga take home the 2019 Best Actress Oscar? Spare a thought, then, for Gaga’s stylists, Sandra Amador and Tom Eerebout. As awards season creeps ever closer, the duo must start mapping out potential red carpet and acceptance speech-worthy ensembles, despite no nominations having been announced.
“It’s on our radar,” Amador told Vogue tentatively after the A Star is Born press tour had wrapped up in October. “It will be amazing if [awards season] does end up happening because, aside from her talent, what really makes her an icon is the fact that she uses her platform for important issues. She doesn’t shy away from it.”
And therein lies the complexity of constructing a look for Gaga. As we have seen throughout her career, she will push the envelope as far as is physically possible – remember 2010’s meat dress? – for her progressive art-meets-fashion, but her looks are rooted in concepts, be they abstract, political or in support of a designer she is close to. And that requires plenty of time for brainstorming, research and construction.
“We typically start with ideas and dreams,” Amador explained. “[We] can put anything on the table because she wants to tell a story… Then we [Amador, Eerebout, hair stylist Frederic Aspiras and make-up artist Sarah Tanno] bring our individual research together and evolve the idea into something bigger than ourselves.”
From the pink feathered Valentino in Venice to the statuesque metallic Givenchy gown in LA and the mass of ornate McQueen in London, everything on the promo trail was “100% a collaboration between all of the creative individuals,” Amador shared.
Team Gaga were out in force this weekend for the Governors Awards. The event, which is now in its 10th year, might not have the same status as the SAG Awards, Golden Globes et al, but it can be considered a warm-up act for the coming months.
So, what can we read into her red-carpet look – a sweeping, off-the-shoulder black Valentino dress from the Spring 2019 collection? Pierpaolo Piccioli’s voluminous designs have been a previous favorite of Frances McDormand, who used her time on the stage during the 2018 awards season to promote equal pay. A second outing in the label, which has resolutely become a fashion editors’ favorite under Piccioli’s solo reign, in recent months could signify a friendship budding between popstar and fashion house.
But, there’s another designer in Gaga’s life: Hedi Slimane. After sitting front row at his debut show for Celine in September, having carried his first bag for the brand a few weeks earlier, will Gaga continue her allegiance to his vision in the months ahead? We haven’t seen her in Slimane’s glitzy, short-hemmed eveningwear yet.
Of course, a black oversized Valentino dress, penchant for Celine’s top handle bags and diverse press tour wardrobe are scant details to go on, leaving the sartorial path Gaga will tread towards the Dolby Theatre ambiguous. Rightly so – her career trajectory has been built on tapping into the unexpected. And the brands, which Amador said came calling after Gaga’s cinema debut, have plenty of ideas from her style CV to consult for their bespoke commissions (meat perhaps excluded). Expect one mood to be present in each brand’s design and Team Gaga’s execution of a look, however, and that is “fearless”.
This article first appeared on Vogue.co.uk