Madonna's former costumer reveals the backstory for one of her most iconic looks

Marlene Stewart designed some infamous outfits for the music videos and live performances of Madonna, and she revealed the backstory for one of the pop star's most iconic looks ever.

"Well, when I started working with her, I mean, it was really an easy match because it was like playing dress up," Stewart told TODAY ahead of the 2020 Video Music Awards on Sunday night. "We had a great time. She's really easy to work with because she really loves clothes. She knows her body. and that's part of her look."

Stewart, who started her career in fashion by working in the garment industry, designed for the pop star from approximately 1984 to 1992 before later working more heavily in the film industry.

"She'll give you the time that you need for fittings," Stewart said of their working relationship. "So the most important thing for a costume designer is to have someone that participates and really wants to be there. And now many years later, we can look back and know that she understood the power of her look. So she gave it 100 percent or 1,000 percent of her attention."

Stewart ended up winning awards for the costumes she created in Madonna's video for "Material Girl," which was inspired by Marilyn Monroe's pink gown during her performance of “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend” in the 1953 film “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.” But Stewart also designed another key look in the history of Madonna's wardrobe: her costume for the 1990 VMAs performance of "Vogue."

"We know historically that the French were the biggest posers and it's the whole idea of voguing and posing," Stewart explained of her inspiration for the costume. "So it was the perfect transition. I suggested for this kind of French court situation with Marie Antoinette. It's really one of the origins, right? All they did was, 'Strike a pose.'"

When asked if it was her idea, she said it was, before adding, "I think one always has to say it's a collaboration. I would never say anything was completely mine. Every time you work with an artist, you work on something together."

"It's a team effort, You can't do anything by yourself"

"I think that she was in a super creative space at that time. That was really the origin story, if you will, and creating really special things ourselves. She didn't want designer works that she was an advertisement for. It was about her being an original."

Considering that some of her designs, including Madonna's black slip dress in "Like a Prayer," were deemed controversial at the time, Stewart explained she never gave the blowback much credence.

"I didn't take it super seriously. For some people, it was very jarring and jolting and provocative, but I kind of have a neutral feeling about it because some people maybe that were very religious, took it to heart and were insulted."

"I saw it as entertainment. You can say that she's making a political statement or that creating controversy is the thing that Madonna does, but she always just changed it up. She pushed the boundaries like any artist would do."

Stewart looks back and acknowledges that it was a great time to be working in music videos, because music videos really dictated so much of culture.

"It was a time when videos, even though it was the beginning, it was also sort of the peak time for MTV those few years," she said. "We really created trends all around the world and it really was the beginning of a movement. So it was an incredible opportunity to be there at that time and have those experiences."

"MTV was made for Madonna and Madonna was made for MTV."


Post Malone’s collaboration with Crocs sells out in hours and Madonna is absolutely fuming she missed out

Posty’s Dimitri Clog sold out in a matter of hours on Thursday and even fashion icon Madonna wanted a pair. The Vogue hitmaker seemed absolutely gutted that she’d missed out on the footwear collaboration as Posty announced that pairs had flown off the shelves in just a day. ‘My first collab with @crocs is SOLD OUT already!’ Post Malone announced on Instagram, sharing a picture of himself not only sporting said clogs, but breaking a cardinal style sin by wearing them with socks.

Madonna instantly slid into the comments section, writing: ‘Omg I love those. How can I get some?’ After while the rest of us schmucks will have to wait until December for more stock, queen Madonna will obviously not going to be kept waiting. ‘QUEEN, hi. DM us,’ came a reply from the official Crocs account, hinting that a pair will be in the post (Malone) before the weekend is up.


The (clearly) highly desirable, limited edition shoes - trademarked Posty Co. - feature a yellow devil face design. Modelled on the distinctive Crocs slip-on style, the clog also features ventilation ports on the toes for breathability, or a sneak preview of your socks, if you’re so inclined. Announcing the collaboration, Posty declared his love for the kind of comfy footwear that’s acceptable for any occasion.


Madonna at JPG Fashion Freak Show

While in Paris Madonna visited the Jean-Paul Gaultier Fashion Freak Show as she shared on her Instagram page and the designer himself shared online.

Jean-Paul Gaultier's Met Gala designs come to life

Madonna shared this video clip of Jean-Paul Gaultier's preparation for her two Met Gala dresses:


Madonna at NYFW

Madonna and Steven Klein attended the Philipp Plein runway presentation at NYFW held at the New York Pulic Library, she was spotted sitting FROW next to Kylie Jenner and Tyga.


More on Madonna's Coachella 'Big As Madonna' tshirt

Turns out the piece is made by L.A.-based Private Party, the brand known for comical graphic T-shirts, sweatshirts and bathing suits with sayings and song lyrics including, 'I Woke Up Like This,' 'Netflix, Nachos & Naps,' and 'Who The Fvck is Aubrey Graham?'. Ashley Tisdale, Emily Ratajowski and Tracee Ellis Ross are amog the many notable fans of the company's wink-and-nod gear.

So just how did Madonna's on-stage piece come to be?

'My dear friend works closely with her team so she put us in touch,' Private Party founder and designer Patrick Monahan told Pret-a-Reporter via text after the fest. 'After Drake released the 'Big as Madonna' track on his new album, we immediately knew it was something we wanted to make for her. We passed along the idea and her team loved it.'

The muscle tank is currently available on for $52 a pop (an 'Only Here for Drake' sweatshirt goes for $79).



Gaultier: 'She's a miracle because, well, she's Madonna.'

In an interview with Associated Press, fashion designer Jean-Paul Gaultier talks about why he is leaving fashion, and of course about his work with Madonna:

Looking back through his four decades of creations he recalls the surprising origin of the bustier that first made him a household name in the U.S. - when a certain pop star from Michigan wore it on her 'Blond Ambition' tour in 1990.

'It was not Madonna who wore my first conical bra, it was Nana my Teddy Bear. And when I was six, I wanted to have a doll, but my parents didn't find it politically correct for a boy,' he said.

Madonna is still very much in his heart - and he defended her against ageist criticism that her fall in this year's Brit Awards showed that, at 56 years old, she should be hanging up her pointy bra once and for all.

'Why do they attack her because of her age, and they don't do it to men?' he asked.

'She got up as if it was nothing and to fall must have hurt a lot. She could have killed herself,' he said. 'She's a miracle because, well, she's Madonna.'

To read the full interview visit:

Madonna named as the face of Versace Spring Summer 2015

Madonna has been unveiled as the face of the Versace Spring/Summer 2015 fashion campaign. The pictures were shot by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott.

This is the fourth time Madonna has been the face of Versace and she said: 'It's always exciting to be dressed head to toe in Versace and experience first-hand Donatella's vivid imagination and passion that she has created for this collection.'

Donatella commented: 'Madonna is one of the true icons of Versace. I am thrilled to have my friend and the most powerful and directional artist as the face of Versace for Spring 2015.'

Gaultier Pays Tribute to ’80s Pop Stars

Jean Paul Gaultier’s show tonight was an absolute hoot. Paying tribute to pop stars of the 1980s, the designer dressed his models to look like Grace Jones, Madonna, Michael Jackson, David Bowie and Annie Lennox, with hilarious accuracy.
Karlie Kloss was dressed as Boy George, with hair ringlets and a rainbow colored kimono coat. Joan Smalls, in a tight black lace dress, was Sade. Jessica Stam was Madonna, in her 'Desparately Seeking Susan' phase, and Lindsey Wixson, dressed in denim-colored sequins, channeled Jane Birkin and 'Je T’Aime...Moi Non Plus.' So what if Ms. Birkin was from the wrong decade? The show was still a trip worthy of a Vegas act. At the end, there was an appearance by that fascinatingly wacky French character Amanda Lear, wearing a pink bathing suit.
Speaking of the 1980s, Susanne Bartsch, the nightlife figure famous since her parties in the Copacabana in New York, was sitting in the front row, as was a KISS tribute band.
'Vogueing’s back, Madonna’s back,' Ms. Bartsch said. 'Who’s going forward?'

From The New York Times

Madonna's brother takes rubber-soled step into spotlight

Christopher Ciccone, the younger brother of pop star Madonna, took a rubber-soled step outside of his famous sibling's shadow on Friday as he launched his first shoe collection at the start of London Fashion Week.
Ciccone, 51, spun a modern twist on functional footwear, using rubber, leather and canvas to reinvent riding boots, Wellington boots, boat shoes, brogues and sandals, using a mixture of bold block hues, geometric prints and strap details. The prices of the collection range from 39 pounds to just under 300 pounds.
'It's the art that follows the form (that) follows the function. I'm an artist, so everything that I create comes from that world,' Ciccone told Reuters, adding that he was inspired by the work of Georgia O'Keeffe, Mondrian and Delacroix.
Madonna did not attend the launch, but she was there in spirit as her latest hit song, 'Girl Gone Wild,' played alongside other pop hits during Ciccone's presentation at London's trendy Strand Gallery.
The collection itself was designed for 'anybody who likes to wear shoes, and where God made weather,' but Ciccone did have something picked out for Madonna - a pair of black leather cowboy-inspired boots with bold cutout details that he said 'just say her name louder.'
'We haven't spoken specifically about the collection itself. We have a strictly brother-sister relationship right now,' Ciccone said about Madonna. He added: 'Obviously, I'm sure I'll send her some shoes.'
Ciccone's collection for men, women and children will be showcased in New York, Paris and Vienna, as part of a worldwide travelling trunk show. But he said he was keen to debut the shoes in London.
'I've always had a real connection to this city, I just love it here. I think the footwear connects to the city itself from the design point of view and from the functional point of view. I just couldn't see doing it in Paris or Milan. London has an edgier side to it,' he said.
Ciccone's sales agent, John Alston, said the collection hoped to cater to a gap in the crowded footwear market, bringing high quality to affordable, functional shoes.
'It's a very crowded market, but we believe it's different enough,' Alston said.

From Reuters Via Yahoo! News

Madonna's Custom MDNA Tour Lipstick To Hit Sephora In August

Okay, so on one hand, Madonna's one-off Jean Paul Gaultier cage corset will probably never be available for wide public consumption. Nor will virtually ANY of her MDNA tour costumes. If you're anything like us, you've spent more than one sleepless night mourning this sad fact, clutching framed pictures of the JPG sketches in your bedroom with 'Frozen' on constant repeat. Well, dry your eyes, chipmunks. According to our friends at InStyle, Madge's makeup artist Gina Brooke has teamed up with the cosmetics brand Make Up For Ever for a collaboration that will bring you that much closer to your MDNA dreams.
Thanks to the Brooke x Make Up For Ever match-up, Madonna custom MDNA tour pout can be all YOURS starting August 9th! The bright red Aqua Rouge #8 lip color with extra staying power (duhhhh, this is made for wear on STAGE where there's no room for reapplication) is scheduled to hit early next month and will be available for just $24 - a small price to pay for beauty proximity to Her Madgesty.
'I wanted to come up with a perfect, pure red lip color that would exude confidence and beauty,' Brooke said of the specially made lipstick, 'To me, the shade looks iconic, which is the perfect word to define Madonna and her career.' What do you think? Will you buy Madonna's custom lip color?


Arianne Phillips On Working With Madonna

Last night, Persol fêted their annual ‘Magnificent Obsessions’ exhibit at the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens with costume designer Arianne Phillips as one of its honorees.
Mention Phillips’s name to anyone in the music or film industries and you’ll immediately notice a twinkle in their eye - the woman is legendary.
She’s worked as Madonna’s personal costumer for 15 years on top of an additionally long list of film credits. Most recently, she did the costumes for Madge’s current MDNA Tour which marks their fifth touring collaboration.
At the exhibit, which opens today through August 14th, you’ll find an entire section devoted to Phillips’s costumes for the Madonna-directed film, W.E, which focuses on the Duchess of Windsor’s controversial life.
Dutifully holding court beside her exhibited creations, we chatted with Phillips about what it’s been like to work with the queen of pop for over a decade.

You just designed the costumes for Madonna’s MDNA tour - is there a different process in designing those costumes compared with the ones on display here today?
In a way the conversation is very similar. I’ve worked with [Madonna] for 15 years and this is my fifth tour. Working on the film was unique because she was behind the camera with me and that was really great. She is a really aesthetically rigorous and curious person, really forward-thinking and always pushing herself.
I feel like I’m so grateful for the opportunity to have been with her on this journey for the past 15 years and to get to do so many diverse things. She’s such a prolific artist and to be able to collaborate with her in all of these different disciplines is an incredible opportunity that isn’t lost on me. I don’t take it for granted; it’s really been an exceptional experience.

To read the rest of the interview with Arianne visit

Madonna overwhelmed Givenchy designer

Madonna impressed Riccardo Tisci so much his hands shook when he was measuring her.
The Givenchy designer created all the looks for the American icon’s Sticky & Sweet world tour. They first met three years ago and he was totally overcome when he realised she wanted to work with him.
'She asked me to do the costumes for her Sticky & Sweet tour. We met in the middle of nowhere. She was rehearsing in a basketball stadium somewhere outside of New York. I watched the show and she was so beautiful, like a goddess,' he recalled to the British edition of Grazia magazine. 'They she stepped off stage, came up to me and asked, ‘Do you want to take my measurements?’ So I’m taking her measurements and my hands are shaking!'
The pair’s relationship has continued, with Riccardo creating the looks for Madonna’s recent Super Bowl show.
He came up with 28 suggestions for Madonna to wear during her half-time appearance at the prestigious American football event. She chose a cloak which was gold and handmade over several weeks.
'It was like a museum piece; the mix of palettes with the fabric, crystals and discs,' he explained. 'Even Madonna was like, ‘Wow!’ - and it takes a lot to impress Madonna.'
Riccardo and his team also made a shorter cape which they worked on a lot. It had to be re-done because the initial version wasn’t quite right when the star tested it.
Madonna even had underwear stitched by the designer and his team.
'I did all the outfits - the clothes, gloves, belt, hat – even the underwear,’' he laughed. 'Oh yes! When she was dancing, you could see her underwear. So I made her an embroidered pair. I call it couture chic.'

From Yahoo! News

Markus Lupfer: 'It's a star for a star!'

Markus Lupfer has a new fan in Madonna no less. The singer and style icon chose to wear his spring/summer 2012 intarsia star jumper for the cover of her new single, Give Me All Your Luvin'.
'It's a star for a star!' he joked. 'I think she looks amazing! I was so excited to see it.'
The British designer sent the star's stylist a selection of items from his latest collection, before the singer eventually singled the knit out. Although Lupfer sadly didn't get to meet Madonna, she couldn't have given her endorsement to a more appreciative recipient.
'Yes, I am a fan - I grew up listening to her music and we have it on in the Studio a lot,' he told us. 'Lucky Star is my favourite - I love that one!'


Stars Honour Alexander McQueen At Met Gala

An impressive collection of A-list stars have attended the Costume Institute Benefit Gala in New York, which honoured the life of the late designer Alexander McQueen.
The annual event marked the opening of the Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty exhibition and Sir Paul McCartney, Beyonce and Gwyneth Paltrow were among the guests.
Madonna spoke emotionally on the red carpet about McQueen, who committed suicide in February 2010 aged 40.
'I miss him terribly,' the singer said.
'Not only as a person but as a designer. I think the fashion business is a little bit dull without him and I loved his provocative punk rock attitude.'
'I think his designs were brilliant. I think he was brilliant. And I hope he's having fun wherever he is right now.'

Francois-Henri Pinault and his wife Salma Hayek served as the event's honorary chairmen, with Colin Firth, Stella McCartney and Anna Wintour as vice chairmen.
Other stars who walked the red carpet included Jennifer Lopez, Penelope Cruz, Jessica Alba and Taylor Swift.

From Sky News Via Yahoo! News UK

Dolce & Gabbana / MDG Billboards in Milan

madonnalicious reader Giel visited Milan's Malpensa airport earlier this month and took some pictures of the huge Madonna advertising billboards on display there:

At the entrance there are giant pictures of Madonna displayed from the latest D&G campaign - to get a feeling of how big they are you can see the information monitors above the photo display.
At the end of the hall is another giant Madonna photo from the MDG sunglasses campaign. Truly stunning to see, worth a visit to the airport.
Maybe they should rename the airport in Milan Madonna airport!

Madonna in a clean exclusive fashion story

Dolce&Gabbana's official website have published a previously unseen shot from the fall-winter campaign shot by Steven Klein:

You thought you saw and read the full Madonna for Dolce&Gabbana fall-winter story, thanks to Swide check out a very special episode. Beautifully dressed and following the Italian family theme of the campaign, la Donna is giving her lowdown on how to wear unique tailored clothing at all occasions even the most unexpected ones. Indeed, you never know who will ring at the door while you are tidying up the house. Always prepared, always glamorous, as shown by Madonna, femininity and sensuality do not belong to specific time slots: it is a permanent state of dressing.

Photo credits: Steven Klein for Dolce&Gabbana.

Thanks to Jauregui

Madonna shot Miu Miu's A/W'10 Campaign Video

According to model Gina Lapina, she was booked, alongside fellow Miu Miu 'faces' Lindsey Wixson, Siri Tollerød, and Daphne Groeneveld to front the label's A/W'10 campaign with legendary fashion photography team Mert Atlas and Marcus Pigott. So far, so normal fashion industry bizznizz.
The next part is not normal. The next part is likely a slightly bizarre cheese-induced dream sequence. Here's what happened: MADONNA strolls into the studio to say Hi to her BFFs Mert 'n' Marc, who are in the process of filming a behind-the-scenes video of the photoshoot. Madge, as you will recall, is a erm, extraordinary film director, and VOLUNTEERS TO FILM THE VIDEO HERSELF.
'We were supposed to shoot a video, so Madonna said she wanted to direct it' recalls Lapina, who says the photographers told the billionairess superstar that 'she could do it but they weren't going to pay her and she started laughing. She put on her iPod and taught us moves and we shot the video for two hours.'


Behind-the-scenes at Dolce & Gabbana

The official Dolce & Gabbana website has published all the behind-the-scenes pictures from the shooting of the AW10-11 campaign:

Look at the amazing shots of Steven Klein at work for the AW 10-11 campaign with an exceptional Madonna captured while striking a pose or just naturally making one that fits perfectly in the story.
Beauty can be captured in many different ways, the only difference resides in the angle with which we want to tell it. The movements of the backstage give us the full tale of how Steven Klein created the AW 10-11 adv campaign and not only.
What we see is what surrounded them while in the process of putting together perfect images, the atmosphere, the mood, Madonna, are preciously framed out of 'the' picture.

Dolce & Gabbana AW10/11 Campaign Images

Dolce & Gabbana have revealed the seven images that comprise the AW10/11 advertising campaign that was shot by Steven Klein.

The pictures and story can be viewed at and

The much expected advertising campaign starring Madonna and shot by Steven Klein for AW10/11 is revealed in full.
Steven Klein captured frames of life, entered the home of a proud family, and put Madonna at the heart of it, breathing dignity and poise.
Scenes that evoke tenderness, at times true happiness found in moments we capture in an impromptu, or a profound sense of pride and solidarity between family members.
Madonna is the light at the centre of the family axis, she is the story, the point of gravity to which all other members attract.
She is cajoled, protected, glorified, her sun-touched hair piercing through the black and white background.
An incredible way to swift through a tale and start thinking of winter with a sense of warmth.

Pictures: Dolce & Gabbana / Steven Klein

MDG in Venice

Here are some more pictures of the huge MDG billboard that is in St Mark's Square, Venice. The first two pictures were taken by madonnalicious reader Andrew.

And these two pictures below were taken by madonnalicious reader Ruslan.

Meet Madonna's 17 year-old Dolce & Gabbana co-star

The 17 year-old model Max Schneider who features in the Autumn/Winter campaign with Madonna for Dolce & Gabbana has spoken out about what it was like to meet and work with Madonna on the photoshoot:

It was very comfortable. She walked in the room, and I’m a big Madonna fan so I was expecting it to be nervewracking but she walked in and it was totally fine. I felt like her son for the day, I was supposed to be her son in the ad campaign actually.
She was just so nice to me, it wasn’t like I was some random kid, she really treated me with respect and I truly respected her for that. She’s such a superstar but she treats you as though you’re on the same level. It was really incredible and she’s just a very nice, sweet person. I was pleasantly surprised.

Thanks to Rodrigo

Madonna: 'I Am A Typical Mother'

Madonna is adamant she is a 'typical mother' when it comes to dealing with her daughter Lourdes - she's constantly telling the teenager to wear longer skirts and less make-up.
The Material Girl admits she liked to shock with her fashion choices in her youth, but she will never let her 13 year old attend school wearing high-heeled shoes or revealing outfits.
She says, 'I usually tell her to take off her three-inch or six-inch platforms and pull her skirt down just a little bit and take off some of the black eye make-up around her eyes.'
'She does have amazing style, but I am the typical mother where I say, 'Oh my God, you can't go to school dressed like that'.'
'I always have two reactions when Lola comes into my room with an outfit on. One is, 'Oh my God, she looks amazing, what incredible style.' And then my second reaction is, 'She's dressed completely inappropriately for school'. So I have to, like, think with two brains.'


Madonna and Macy's Ready Material Girl Launch today have offered more information about the Material Girl collection that is launched in August:

The biggest presentations of Material Girl will be at the Macy's stores in Herald Square, State Street in Chicago, Union Square in San Francisco, South Coast Plaza in Orange County and Dadeland in Miami. Another 75 stores will have significantly sized shops, with the remaining 120 showcasing a more moderate assortment.

Madonna is not the centerpiece of the marketing campaign supporting the launch. Rather, the most visible face of the brand in advertising and marketing materials will be the for-now-anonymous young television actress and singer. She appears mostly hidden from view in teaser ads that break this week in celebrity weeklies, cinema, outdoors in New York and San Francisco and on the Macy's Herald Square JumboTron. Her identity will be revealed in the coming weeks closer to the launch date.

'Madonna handpicked this girl,' said Dari Marder, chief marketing officer at Iconix. 'She really embodies who the Material Girl is.'

New advertising with the unveiled actress will break at the end of July in celebrity weeklies and the September issues of fashion titles such as Teen Vogue, Seventeen, Cosmopolitan, Glamour, InStyle, Nylon and Paper. The campaign also will include cinema spots, outdoor, radio and online components.

All the campaign images were photographed last month in a studio and on the streets of Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Lola helped style the shoot and Madonna stepped in and photographed some of the pictures herself.

The celebrity face of Material Girl will attend the national retail launch of the line at Herald Square on Tuesday 03 August, standing in for Madonna and Lourdes, who will not be present.

The winner of the competition to meet Madonna and Lourdes will do so at an event at Macy's Herald Square in New York on Wednesday 22 September.

Thanks to Brian