Thirty years ago, on July 27, , a woman named Madonna Louise Ciccone released her self-titled debut album, and it soon launched not just a music revolution, but a fashion revolution as well. The disc's stark black-and-white artwork — Madonna clasping her unforgettable face between bracelet-stacked hands on the front, wrapping a thick dog-chain necklace around her throat on the back — comprised some of the most striking pop imagery of the '80s. It wasn't long before every little girl in the world wanted to be Madonna or a "Madonnabe" , bedecking themselves with oversized lace hair-bows, crucifixes, stacks of rubber bangles, and, much to their parents' chagrin, Boy Toy belts and visible bras. But Madonna didn't come up with her early, iconic look on her own.
No pop diva has reinvented her fashion image with the consistency and creativity of Madonna. Madge, who is this year's Woman of the Year thanks to an outstanding year of touring, emerged on the scene in the early '80s as a street-smart "Boy Toy". Over the course of her plus year career, she evolved into a fashion-forward icon whose sense of style became as influential as her chart-topping tunes. Madonna struck a pose in New York City, rocking the '80s thrift-shop, club-kid look -- complete with an endless amount of rubber bracelets and her trademark hair ribbon -- that would inspire the army of Madonna wannabes who followed the emerging star's every move. No one had to ask who's that girl when Madonna hit the red carpet of the American Music Awards in a sultry Jean-Paul Gaultier corset dress and her signature strands of beads, crucifixes and pearls.
Since the s, the Queen of Pop has been pushing the envelope with her style. When she burst onto the scene, she was all about teased hair and lace, which she often paired with rosaries and crosses a nod to her Catholic upbringing. Then came the Blond Ambition era, followed by a slew of other reinventions. It was , not
Material girl, queen of pop and mother of reinvention, Madonna is an indisputable icon who has been delivering striking fashion moments for more than three decades. With each new record, comes a new artistic incarnation — and a new Madonna. Unforgettable outfits, records and roles ensued, with even her on-screen wardrobe in Desperately Seeking Susan emulated around the world. On stage, Madonna began to evolve her style early on and has continued to do so, recalibrating her look from top-to-toe according to her musical direction. The raven-haired Madonna wearing a simple slip dress in the "Like a Prayer" video is very different from the corseted femme fatale she and Jean Paul Gaultier created for her Blond Ambition World Tour.