As far as I can remember, I have always loved Madonna. An unreserved love. Almost blind actually. I can remember dancing to her songs as a very young boy. La Isla Bonita. True Blue. Papa Don't Preach. I could dance all day long. Of course, I don't remember how she came into my life one day. Perhaps, because my parents owned a disco and she was at the time the most popular female artist. As I grew older, she was still somewhere in my mind and each time, a new album came out, the world needed to stop, nothing else mattered. The beginning of the 90s was not, at the time, my favorite period so I let her down a bit but still listened to her old tunes. Holiday. Like A Virgin. Vogue. Her songs always fitted perfectly my feelings. Whenever I felt sad or happy, there was a Madonna's song that could speak to me. My second phase of absolute love for her started at the beginning of the new millennium with Music and American Life, her masterpiece according to me. Each and every song of this album was and still is a punch in my face, in my stomach, in my heart. I could listen to this album several times a day, I was obsessed. It is still one of my all time's favorite albums. After these two perfections, it has been harder. Confessions on a Dancefloor is very good if you feel like dancing but it doesn't have the power of its predecessors and I'd rather not mention her latest works. Lack of inspiration. Wrong collabs. Boring. You know it breaks my heart to associate the Queen of Pop with this word but I have to face the truth, Madonna is no longer the artist she used to be. Yet, I can't help crossing my fingers for her next album hoping an artistic and creative burst. When you have loved someone for so long, it's hard to admit that something is wrong. After all, acknowledging it could be seen as a complete questioning of my whole childhood and teenage years. I just can't say that the Madonna era is over: first, because I don't think so and secondly because, I know that she will always be the Queen no matter what Beyoncé, Rihanna or Lady Gaga could imagine. Madonna is my Madeleine de Proust. Something that inevitably makes me remember the sweet years, the happy days. From time to time, I love listening to her songs because they make me smile. Not in a stupid or silly way but gratefully. I am grateful for my encounter with her songs. I am not blind anymore. I can see when she is going too far or when she is desperately looking for attention but at the same time, there is always a little voice somewhere inside me saying "She's perfect. She's perfect. She's perfect". Loving someone is forgetting about his/her flaws only to keep the best parts. That's how I see my love for Madonna.
|Madonna by Mert & Marcus for Interview Magazine|
Nowadays, it seems that Madonna is more famous and acclaimed for her connections with the Fashion sphere than for her musical talents. She has always been a pioneer in terms of style. Her look in Desperately Seeking Susan are iconic and influenced thousands of 80s girls who adopted the tutu as a way of life. No need to mention the iconic conical Jean Paul Gaultier bra that shocked but at the same time entered the Fashion Pantheon. Madonna is a chameleon that has always known how to renew herself: Gothic in Frozen, Bling Bling in Music, Country Girl in Don't Tell Me, Disco Queen in Hung Up and so on and so forth... This special link with Fashion goes beyond her looks as Madonna seems to entertain a very powerful relationship with some of the most legendary designers. Of course, Jean Paul Gaultier but also Marc Jacobs for whom she starred in the Louis Vuitton ad campaigns [for SS09 & AW09], Riccardo Tisci who dressed her up in Givenchy for the Superbowl and for the Met Ball two years ago, Dolce & Gabbana that she represented in the 2010 ad campaigns or Donatella Versace who picked her up again to star in the latest campaign of the brand for Spring Summer 2015 [for the 4th time in 20 years!]. As I was doing some research for this post, the only word that kept coming again and again on Google was Photoshop. Of course, she is photoshopped in these brand new pictures but can you please tell me who isn't nowadays? Even Gisele, Daria or Lara are photoshopped in the campaigns so why is that such a problem when it comes to Madonna? Is that a conspiracy orchestrated by Lady Gaga's Little Monsters? Just kidding... I don't mean to enter the pointless battle between the Madonna fans and the Lady Gaga ones but she was also digitally retouched in the Versace SS14 pics! Wasn't she? So why is photoshopping Madonna such a scandal? I know there's a desire for more nature and less photoshop in Fashion but I'm not sure that Madonna is at the core of the issue. I guess that's the particularity of superstars: exacerbating passions and multiplying hatred/love.
|Madonna by Mert & Marcus for Versace SS15|
At the beginning of the week, even before the Versace news, Madonna was a burning topic on the internet for her editorial in the latest Interview Magazine. In this Special Art Issue, she is once again not afraid to show the bottom of her soul and some skin too... Madonna and scandalous behaviours have gone hand in hand for a long time now. From her concerts banned by the Vatican to her kiss with Britney Spears at the MTV VMAs, she loves kindling the fire of controversy and that's also a reason why I love her. She is daring but in my opinion, not in a Miley Cyrus's way. She adds context and concept to controversy. Of course, she could be my mum and it could be disturbing to see a 56 year-old woman showing her tits or more in a fashion magazine but that's the way she is! I am sure that if she decided to become well-behaved it would throw us as well. We need a Madonna in our sterilized world to prove that women are free to do what they want to do no matter what people may think. Just for that and because it's been a while since the last time I said it: "Long Live the Queen!"
|Pics by Mert & Marcus for Interview Magazine|