Since she stepped onto the scene over a decade ago, Lady Gaga has become a fashion icon in more ways than one. Always advocating for individuality, her extreme looks have inspired others to be uniquely themselves, and for that, we are forever grateful. In honor of Lady Gaga’s birthday on March 28th (she’s turning 33 this year), we’ve rounded up some of Mother Monster’s most iconic looks and catalogued her style evolution throughout her career.
Let’s take a look at how much Gaga has shape-shifted since 2008.
When Gaga splashed onto the scene in 2008, we didn’t know what hit us. In April of that year, she released her single “Just Dance” off her first album The Fame, and it was a bop. However, Gaga herself was a mystery. She was a little bit Bowie, a little bit Madonna, and no one could really say whether she was human or not (in the best way possible).
Gaga expertly played up her mystery factor, opting for wigs, sunglasses, and unexpected outfits that boggled the masses. Her first notable look was the red-hooded bodysuit she wore to MTV’s TRL just days before The Fame dropped.
With her blunt bangs and heavy makeup, Gaga went geometric during this period. After the release of her “Poker Face” music video, she sported dresses with large gemstone details at both Jingle Ball 2008 and the 2008 American Music Awards. She also became a walking disco ball with her shattered-glass sunnies and half-masks.
The shades and latex stuck around in 2009 and were paired with Gaga’s now-famous hair bow. This look became a Gaga staple for years.
Gaga began branching out from latex body suits around this time. She wore everything from a Kermit dress during a German television interview (later deemed an anti-fur statement), to head-to-face-to-toe red lace while accepting the Best New Artist award at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards.
When Gaga met Queen Elizabeth II in 2009, she sported a cherry red latex Edwardian number with matching red eye decals. Queen of Hearts, anyone?
Gaga was a cosmic goddess at the 2010 Grammys in a structured lavender Armani Privé gown. She then changed into a sequin-covered bodysuit, minidress, and graphic crown after accepting two awards—one for Best Electronic/Dance Album (The Fame) and the other for Best Dance Recording (“Poker Face”).
When Gaga’s music video for “Telephone” (on which she collaborated with Beyoncé) dropped in 2010, we got Coke-can hair rollers, a disassembled telephone headdress, and an all-American bikini set. It was absolute fashion fire.
The iconic meat dress. Gaga accepted the 2010 VMA’s Video of the Year award for “Bad Romance” in a dress made from raw beef, which she wore as a declaration that she was “not a piece of meat.” That Kermit dress statement was null and voided.
At the 53rd Annual Grammy Awards, Gaga was carried in an egg. She later emerged from said egg wearing a nude latex outfit to perform “Born This Way,” the titular single off her 2011 album.
Gaga switched over to her “You and I” alter ego, Jo Calderone, at the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards. She performed at the show with Queen’s Brian May and later posed with her two moon men.
With the release of Artpop in 2013 came mermaid Gaga. We got flowing locks, shell bras, and starfish everywhere.
Decked out in lilac, Gaga arrived on horseback to the 2013 American Music Awards. After the release of Artpop, Gaga began dressing more subtly (by Gaga standards, at least), keeping a fresh face with long, more natural-colored hair.
Except when she attended that 2013 Christmas party…
In 2014, Gaga joined forces with the legendary Tony Bennett and turned up the Old Hollywood glam. This royal blue velvet dress and turban combo is what dreams are made of.
Gaga kept the glitz and glamour coming at the 57th Grammy Awards, where she and Bennett won the award for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album for their collaborative album Cheek To Cheek.
Everything was coming up Gaga at the 87th Annual Academy Awards. She wore a sparkling custom Azzedine Alaïa gown paired with red leather gloves. Later in the evening, Gaga changed into an iridescent ballgown to perform a chills-inducing Sound of Music tribute.
Simplicity looks great on Gaga—as evidenced by her ensemble at the 67th Primetime Emmy Awards in 2015. The singer wore a straightforward yet striking black gown on the red carpet and then changed into a white strapless gown with a puffy-sleeved bolero for the FOX afterparty.
She slayed in a gorgeous red dress at the premiere of American Horror Story: Hotel. Gaga scored her first major acting role in the Ryan Murphy-produced television show playing a vampiric femme fatale.
With the release of her album Joanne, Gaga went country, sporting her now-iconic pink cowboy hat, fringe, and boots for a good portion of 2016.
Talk about Hollywood glam. Gaga arrived at the 88th Annual Academy Awards in a strapless white Brandon Maxwell pants creation complete with a gorgeous pleated train.
Gaga gave us glittery goodness when she performed at the Super Bowl LI Halftime Show in Houston, Texas. We are definitely getting some classic Gaga vibes from this lewk.
Taking a page from 2009 Gaga’s book, 2017 Gaga rocked latex thigh-high black boots and fishnets to the 52nd Grammy Awards. Her badass outfit was the prelude to an even more badass performance with Metallica during the show.
The “Shallow” singer rocked an oversized suit to ELLE’s 25th Annual Women In Hollywood Celebration. Upon accepting the honor of being one of Elle’s Women of the Year, Gaga opened up about her experiences with sexual assault and mental illness, asking women everywhere to support each other and take back their power.
Gaga kept it simple at the A Star Is Born photocall during the 75th Venice Film Festival, proving she can do understated just as well as she can do extravagant. With platinum hair to match her expertly tailored white dress, Gaga definitely turned heads.
Hand-in-hand with A Star Is Born costar Bradley Cooper, Gaga stunned at the 75th Venice Film Festival in a pink feathered Valentino gown. Perfectly outrageous, Gaga oozed glamour and class as she and Cooper walked the red carpet.
Donning a periwinkle Valentino gown and dusty blue hair to match, Gaga looked breathtaking at the 76th Annual Golden Globe Awards. The strapless gown and puffed-sleeve cape (a nod to Judy Garland’s 1954 A Star Is Born blue dress), stole the show.
Gaga was decked out in a silver metallic Celine dress and a Tiffany diamond necklace at the 61st Grammy Awards. She took home three Grammys—Best Solo Performance (“Joanne”), Best Pop Duo/Group Performance (“Shallow”), and Best Song Written For Visual Media (“Shallow”).
Before winning the Academy Award for Best Original Song, Gaga walked the red carpet in an Alexander McQueen mermaid gown with exaggerated hips. She also rocked the Tiffany Yellow Diamond—which weighs a whopping 128.54 carats, and was last seen on Audrey Hepburn during a Breakfast At Tiffany’s shoot.
Whether for her fashion, her inspirational speeches, or the lyrics she writes, Lady Gaga will never not be pinned to our inspiration boards. Happy birthday, Lady Gaga!