She was wearing crucifixes, leotards, ripped fishnets, and underwear-as-outerwear before Lady Gaga was even born. There's no doubting Madonna is a fashion pioneer. Yet the woman who created a global sensation with her Jean Paul Gaultier cone-shaped bra has launched a rather more conservative take on style for her first full-scale clothing line. Last night a sketch of one outfit from the new "Material Girl" range was released, and while the figure depicted in the illustration is unmistakably Madonna (circa mid-80's Like A Virgin/Dress You Up era), twenty years on, the clothes themselves seem somewhat less than cutting edge; cropped bleachy skinny jeans with zip pockets, pink gingham basque, and a spotty-lined black blazer, with very 80's rolled up sleeves, all accessorised with those ubiquitous Madonna motifs - a hair-bow and a crucifix necklace.
Of course, Madonna, who is reputedly worth £300m, is an incredibly savvy business woman who has made only a few mistakes during her three decades at the top (*cough* Hollywood *cough*).
And so this line is a carefully-planned assault on a mainstream market - this is a 'junior' line; ie for teens, not adults, supposedly co-master-minded by Madge's mini-me daughter, Lourdes, whose style is practically identical to her mother's in the early years of her music career. A smart move on the part of the superstar, who is well-known for her ability to hook up with the Next Big Thing in order to use their talents to enhance and update her own. And there is no doubt that, amongst the Teen Vogue set, it's Lourdes, not Madonna who is inspiring their style (which begs the question, is the 52 year old star now using Lourdes as her latest, ultimate reinvention?).
This is not Madonna's first foray into clothing. Her first fashion line was a collaboration with H&M, a range of sporty streetwear supposedly inspired by what her backing dancers of her tour wore while rehearsing/off duty. Back then it was thought that this niche take on style was leaving her the option of still being able to launch a more comprehensive trend-led, and possibly high-end, fashion range. This season Madonna has also collaborated on a limited edition range of sunglasses, called MDG Sunglasses, with her designer friends Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana.
Material Girl will be sold exclusively in the US at Macy's department store. But whether the low-priced line can find any young customers in a marketplace already dominated by giants like Topshop, H&M and American Apparel remains to be seen.... [latimes]