Fashion has been just as much a part of live concerts as the singing ever was, with each new star competing to see if they can have the biggest, best, and often, the weirdest outfits on stage. Costumes are a way for musicians to brand themselves, expressing who they are beyond just the words that they sing. Costumes also help artists to appear bigger, brighter and bolder on stage, adding to that all-important stage presence.
Providing these elaborate costumes to pop stars has also helped many a designer shoot to fame, with the likes of Giorgio Armani, Manolo Blahnik and Calvin Klein all outfitting stars and their back-up singers and dancers for round the world tours. So what are some of the best, most memorable concert costumes of all time? Let’s take a closer look:
During Michael Jackson’s last solo world tour, he came out on stage in a gold, metallic military-inspired getup. The outfit included a fully metallic jacket and pants with buckles on his arms and legs. Something akin to a spacesuit, Jackson even complimented the outfit with a matching helmet and emerged from a space shuttle at the beginning of the performance.
Madonna is famous for her provocative looks, none more famous than the nude-pink coloured conical corset designed by Jean Paul Gaultier that was worn by the star during her Blond Ambition Tour.
No modern artist comes close to matching Lady Gaga’s eccentric getups on stage. Perhaps the most famous of all being the controversial meat dress that she actually premiered at the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards.
The dress was named as the top fashion statement of 2010 by Time magazine, and was preserved by taxidermists to join the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. As an ode to the dress that caused such a sensation, Lada Gaga was later seen in concert donning a fake meat dress during her Born This Way Ball tour.
While Janet Jackson has worn many fashion-history garments during her time on stage, the most remembered might just be the black leather costume with bustier that led to a nipple slip during the Superbowl half time show back in 2004, now coined the Nipplegate incident.
Her breast, with nipple adornment was exposed by Justin Timberlake and led to widespread debate on whether or not the incident was a planned publicity stunt. Janet Jackson became the most searched for person on the internet following the incident, with YouTube even crediting their own creation to the star.
When Britney Spears appeared on stage in a barely there green outfit, clutching a live snake, at the MTV Video Music Awards in 2001, she made history. We’re betting in the moment she had no idea how legendary she was about to become. Her belly-dancing moment is one of the most memorable all-time moments of the VMA’s with the albino Burmese python, named Banana, and Britney, being two of the best-loved stars of the year.