Is Paris Haute Couture Copying Lady Gaga?

A model in Alexandre Vauthier during the Fall/Winter 2011-2012 Haute Couture Collection show on July 5, 2011, and Lady Gaga at MTV’s Total Request Live in New York City on Aug. 12, 2008.
Photo: Francois Guillot/AFP/Scott Gries/Getty Images

We all know Lady Gaga is the fash-master at paying homage to those who paved her sartorial way before her. Her Michael Jackson/Madonna in “Born This Way.” The high-shouldered David Bowie shoulders. Even her genuine love affair with Alexander McQueen. Her ability to pick and borrow and revamp the style that inspires her has made her who she is…so what happens when fashion starts taking a cue from her.

The wild club-kid street style she purports was absent on spring’s neutral, structured runways, but out of the official venues, her vampy neon and thick eyeliner reigned. So, obviously, during Couture Week—the time that the most imaginative (and un-cash-strapped) designers show off their one-of-a-kind-pieces—anyone worth their cloth turned to Mother Monster for inspiration, culling her brief (but majorly rich) three-year career for inspiration. As you can see, the draped hood on Alexandre Vauthier’s runway directly references (red lips and gold chain withstanding!) the Gaga that dropped by TRL in a late ’08 appearance. But Vauthier certainly isn’t the only designer with Gags on the brain.

A model in Iris Van Herpen during the Fall/Winter 2011/2012 Haute Couture Collection show on July 4, 2011, and Lady Gaga at the American Music Awards in Los Angeles on Nov. 22, 2009.
Photo: Antonio de Moraes Barros Filho/WireImage/Getty Images

Here is a totally anatomic look from Dutch drape-master Iris van Herpen, who has made a name for herself with layered knits and almost unwearable shapes. Gaga has worn van Herpen before, but since ’09, van Herpen has continued her futuristic, organic-inspired collection. The circling headpieces, cutout rib cages, and prickle-y, structured shoulders would be unfathomable without Lady Gaga, who is the only person who’d be able to wear and blackened intestinal tube dress. (Which would be pretty incredible.)

A model in Armani Privé during the Fall/Winter 2011-2012 Haute Couture Collection show on July 5, 2011, and Lady Gaga at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on Jan. 7, 2010.
Photo: Pierre Verdy/AFP/Getty Images/Steven Lawton/FilmMagic

A fan-hat you say? Well, we’ve seen this before. This ’do has become so iconic Gaga that is actually has been rendered in wax. Aside from a couple of the burnt-orange numbers shown by Armani, the Eastern/floral looks may be a little femme for Gaga (even if they are massively structured), but the head wear is Treacy/Gaga to the max.

A model in Stephane Rolland during the Fall/Winter 2011-2012 Haute Couture Collection show on July 5, 2011 and Lady Gaga in Viktor and Rolf, shot by Tom Munro.
Photo: Pierre Verdy/AFP/Getty Images/Courtesy of Tom Munro

While this Stephane Rolland is the exact inverse of this Viktor & Rolf dress, the flare and extremism of this gown is right similar. And while Rolland has more sophisticated folds than the V&R fluff, please not the half-finger gloves on the models hand—a consistent staple Mother Monster has rocked numerous times before.