The annotated Lady Gaga: A field guide to the wildest wardrobe in pop

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One woman has transformed the red carpet from a catwalk for bland frocks into a backdrop to the strangest outfits ever seen. Harriet Walker deciphers some of the singer's wildest wardrobe moments

Hair

To the untrained eye, Gaga's trapezoid haircut could be seen as a modern riff on that of a Playmobil person. Insiders will know, however, that Lady Gaga's angular crop is a pure homage to fashion's high priestess, Rei Kawakubo, the reclusive Japanese designer behind Comme des Garçons – and behind most major fashion trends of the past 20 years. Her pieces are edgy and often obscure, her name unknown to all but the most dedicated followers of fashion. Top marks for this.

Glasses

Could there be some cosmic correlation between round glasses and the route to musical superstardom? They've graced the phizzogs of John Lennon, Ozzy Osborne, Elton John and George Michael, to name but a few. Rather a melting pot of musical styles perhaps, but then Gaga is known for her eclectic sound and range of influences. Unless she's channelling the intellectual look and copying Gandhi, of course.

Baseball jacket

A woman in a sports jacket always sets male pulses racing – Madonna has tried it, and so has Sam Fox. Eschewing traditional sex appeal, Gaga's subversion of the all-American frat boy favourite is a little more complex: by covering her sportswear in silver spikes Lady Gaga is sending a message that she's not playing ball with the pin-up brigade.

Fishnets

There's only room for one platinum blonde in fishnet tights on the rock scene, and that space surely belongs to guitar queen Courtney Love. They have long been associated with rockers and rule-breakers, and we all know Gaga isn't afraid to shock. While Courtney peppered hers with holes, Gaga keeps hers pristine, playing down the sexiness with a grungy plaid shirt. But she appears to have strategically forgotten her trousers. The First Lady of Rock had better watch out.

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