Norma Kamali Talks Dressing Lady Gaga

Mother Monster donned a custom version of the designer’s Sleeping Bag Coat for her Joanne world tour

Fans of eccentric fashion, rejoice! Last night in Vancouver, the inimitable Lady Gaga kicked off her Joanne world tour and, naturally, her performance was packed with megawatt looks. There was a custom Alexander Wang ensemble with leather fringe, a high-volume Viktor & Rolf tulle gown, a pearl-embellished bodysuit and jacket with amped-up ’80s shoulders, and a saucy white outfit piled high with bows. What really caught our eyes, however, was what she wore while singing “Bloody Mary”—a bright red Norma Kamali Sleeping Bag coat with a 10-foot train. In fact, Kamali outfitted Gaga and her dancers for the number in vivid rouge wares. “I was honored they asked,” Kamali told Fashion Unfiltered. “I have been fortunate in my career to do costumes for performers through the years. Everyone here agrees that the magnitude of the talent of someone like Lady Gaga makes it fun and inspiring.”

Gaga is a known fashion history fanatic, so it makes sense that she would lust after Kamali’s Sleeping Bag Coat, which, as the designer told us back in December, came to be after a camping trip. “I designed the Sleeping Bag Coat after camping in the ’70s. I found myself using my sleeping bag to keep me warm beyond sleep. The coat is still selling—timeless beyond 30 years.”

That’s not an exaggeration—Kamali’s cozy puffer was recently worn by Solange on the March cover of Elle, is being featured in the MoMA’s upcoming Are Clothes Modern? exhibition as well as in a show at the Museum at FIT, and it’s a star player in her Resort 2018 collection. 

In all honesty, Gaga couldn’t have picked a better designer to outfit her and her crew, particularly because Kamali’s clothes are all about movement. “I believe clothing should feel good in motion and should be enhanced when viewed in motion,” she told us in a previous interview. “…there is a thread of authenticity in each decade of my work that is about movement.”

Kamali has had her fair share of celebrity fans, from Farah Fawcett to Gigi Hadid, but the iconic designer is anything but jaded. When asked what it was like to see her designs on Lady Gaga’s stage, Kamali replied, “You are asking this of someone who still gets excited when I see someone walking down the street in one of my coats, so clearly I am honored!” 

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