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StyleScrybe

Wow! I was just thinking the other day about how Lady Gaga is praised as if she's doing something new, when Grace Jones, Patti and Miss Josephine Baker did "over the top" and avant-garde forever ago. Glad you posted this!

tarra

this piece is so on point!!!!
i love your blog. you are so insightful and fashionable.

tarra

nexgrl

Thank you for this post Nichelle. The 20 somethings and below need to be educated.

SuncearRaye

Right on! thanks for posting this. the youngbloods should understand that nothing is really new these days.

Ally

Totally agree with this piece. People seriously act like Gaga is the all and all of avante-garde fashion. *sigh*

cece

Absolutely LOVE this post. You are spot on.

Elisa

*applause* oh, AMEN to that. I'm so sick of everyone celebrating Lady Gaga's weirdness and bad taste in all its forms, and then slamming everyone else for the same stuff.

traci

Well said, nothing is original anymore.

*I followed this post from a tweet of your post.

actsoffaithinloveandlife.blogspot.com

Yeah it is annoying for Gaga to get credit for being different but she is pretty much the only current US-based artist with a certain edginess. It also plays to her youth and thinness as well as her whiteness.

You can add Bjork to the list as well as early Missy Elliott.

Nichelle

Thanks everyone! As you may have noticed, I am not knocking Lady Gaga, I am just saying that she is not without SEVERAL predecessors.

@StyleScrybe: Indeed - we can never forget Miss Josephine Baker!

@actsoffaith: I can appreciate Missy and Bjork - but I was reaching into the "way back" machine for this one. Gaga's edginess is great but frankly, overrated in my opinion. She doesn't bother me nearly as much as her boosters who think she started everything.

DivaDebbi

Loved this post...is anything really shocking anymore? I think a lot of her fans are just too young to know there were many great predecessors. Call me old fashioned, I'm just as happy watching Beyonce perform.

j

While I'm all for educating the masses, two thinks must be taken into consideration:

1. Gaga herself has always given props to those that came before. It's lazy journalists and sycophantic fans who praise her as groundbreaking instead of as an original.

2. At this point, it's extremely difficult to do something different. So much foundation has been laid in the past, that all one can really do is interpret and expand upon what's already been done.

All of these Gaga haters who bitch about her being an attention-seeker and whatnot need to get some business. I don't understand why it's annoying for Gaga to get credit for being herself when there genuinely isn't anyone on her level doing the kind of thing she's doing. The reason that Kelis got slammed was because none of it made sense, it reaked of effort. The reason Gaga (and artists who came before her like Bjork, Bowie, Grace Jones, etc.) worked is because they created within context.

Nichelle

Nice try, but you might want to try and read the post first - and keep your facts straight. Sounds like you're just being a contrarian for the sake of being contrary. Yawn...

1. Gaga herself has always given props to those that came before.

Note that I mentioned (and linked) that she has mentioned Grace Jones as an example.

It's lazy journalists and sycophantic fans who praise her as groundbreaking instead of as an original.

That is exactly what I said in the first paragraph. This post was a response to a post at "The Cut" where the writer assumed that Kelis was copying off of Lady Gaga.

All of these Gaga haters who bitch about her being an attention-seeker and whatnot need to get some business.

First of all, labeling people who disagree with you as a "hater" is lazy and unreasonable. Everyone is not a hater! I read through every comment here and no one "bitched about her being an attention-seeker and whatnot." Reading is fundamental.

I don't understand why it's annoying for Gaga to get credit for being herself when there genuinely isn't anyone on her level doing the kind of thing she's doing.

Where do you see her being criticized for being herself? As I stated above, I am critical of "the obsession some in the media seem to have" with giving her undue credit - without acknowledging her influences.

My exact words:

However, I have been fascinated lately with the obsession some in the media seem to have for crediting Lady Gaga with just about any fashion trend that is even remotely "avant garde" since her debut - as if she were the first to do it!

The reason that Kelis got slammed was because none of it made sense, it reaked of effort.

Kelis was specifically slammed for trying to "be" Lady Gaga. The link is above.

April Brooks

I love this post! I think it is super fun to think of other artists who pushed the envelope too. One of my favorites is definitely Cee-Lo Green. I watched his video Closet Freak over & over when it came out!

j

@Nichelle, I wasn't addressing you so much as I was addressing many of the one-note "I H8 GAGA!1" comments to this post -- my "you" not being a "you, Nichelle" but a general you.

As far as Kelis, there have been several other blogs and articles about Kelis' "My Little Pony on Crack" outfit that weren't comparing her or accusing of trying to jack Gaga's swagger. I personally loved Kelis' styling towards the beginning around "Kaleidescope" but once she broke off with The Neptunes, he music AND look became more mainstream, so it was rather jarring to see her jumping back onto the "I'm so different" bandwagon with such...enthusiasm (?)

Nichelle

@J - Okay. Thanks for clarifying the "hater" thing. As for Kelis, wasn't she running around with blue hair when she was pregnant? I think she did get a little mainstream there, but it seems (to me) that she held on to her own "edge." That said, the main point I am making (some blogs knocked Kelis w/o the Gaga reference - but influential ones like "The Cut" did not) is that Lady Gaga did not "invent" the wheel when it comes to "avant garde" style. A lot of the "Kelis" critics apparently didn't know that.

Naima's Closet

Set them straight sistah! I have loved LaBelle and Grace Jones since I was a little girl. Pop culture has a short memory...

fansofcher

what about Cher!!!

Nichelle

Ha! I LOVE Cher! I even had a Cher doll as a kid! I thought the post was long enough, but maybe I'll dig up a picture and add her:)

Nichelle

@Naima - Yes, pop culture does have a short memory. I hate that!

Sabrina

Word. I love GaGa, she is amazing in all shapes and forms, but she isn't the first to fuse music with fashion, she just has her own slant on it.
Prince and Bowie are my homeboys. And how could you forget Marc Bolan!!??

Pioneer of the glam rock movement, Bowie and Jagger's inspirations...

Zach

I admire gaga.
Everyone is influenced by certain people.
It was she does with the influences that make her different.
Sure there was others before her
and As for someone saying the 20 something need to get educated I think that was horrible comment.
She's our generation of those past musicians.
You have yours and we have ours.
Lady gagas fashion seems to have more meaning and doesn't look as
randomly put together as kelis's.

Chamayne

Yes, Yes, and Yes. I like GaGa but really people.

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