Review: Lady Gaga: Critical Mass Fashion — Lizzy Goodman

Read: 88
To Go: 12

Book List
81. The Next Always — Nora Roberts
82. The Single Girl’s To-Do List — Lindsey Kelk
83. The Heart of Devin MacKade — Nora Roberts
84. The Fall of Shane MacKade — Nora Roberts
85. One on One — Peter Mansbridge
86. Girls in White Dresses — Jennifer Close
87. American Born Chinese — Gene Luen Yang
88. Lady Gaga: Critical Mass Fashion — Lizzy Goodman

Lady Gaga has gone from cobbling together knockoff costumes to working with Alexander McQueen, Hedi Slimane of Christian Dior Homme, and Thierry Mugler, among others. Her top musical influences have always been performers like David Bowie, Madonna, and Freddie Mercury, who used fashion alongside music to create their own worlds. In thematic chapters like Bodily Fashions, Bondage Chic, Mad Hatter, and Revulsion as Fashion, Critical Mass Fashion examines her pop culture influences, using Lady Gaga’s own words to connect her fashion to her larger ideas about celebrity. Lady Gaga has gotten in touch with her own weirdest, darkest impulses, and she wants all her fans, her “little monsters,” to do the same. Watch and learn.

Evidently Brian loves me and wants me to finish this challenge. Two of the three books he’s given me were ones I was able to finish within an hour or two. And yes, to finish this challenge I have read a Lady Gaga themed book.

Anyway, I liked it. I liked it because it was short, uncomplicated, and an easy read, and I also liked it because of the way Goodman used Gaga’s fashion to make a larger statement about celebrity culture, and the way we as fans consume artists. It was an interesting use of metaphor, to say the least. Also, as it was a largely image-based book, I do have to say that the photos were lovely.

The only thing I didn’t like was how it came across as not a critical look at fashion as a metaphor for celebrity, but as a shrine to Gaga. I mean, obviously this was created for a certain audience, but sometimes it just seemed like Goodman was in love with her subject. It was, occasionally, a little nauseating to read. The rare critical moments were like a breath of fresh air.

In other news, I can’t decide whether I like “It Will Rain” by Bruno Mars or not. I’ve been playing it on repeat all night trying to figure out how I feel about it. Hmmm…

Next book: I think it’ll be A Tale of Two Cities, but if the bait-and-switch of Dickens to Goodman was any indication, I wouldn’t take this too seriously.

– Kelsey


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