To say that over-the-top costumes are Lady Gaga’s thing would be a massive understatement. But her new video for “Applause” is on a whole new level, and the web is abuzz. In keeping with her pet themes (fame, high- and low-brow pop culture), it’s a fitting tribute to the juxtaposition of her subversive aesthetic and hunger for commercial success.
No fewer than 10 separate looks are featured in the video, and there’s a raw, sinister beauty in these scenes: the unsettling hybrid of a CGI swan body with Gaga’s razor-cheekboned head (hello, contouring!); a deconstructed Marilyn clothed in a dress made of bones with a melting oil-paint face (complete with that famous beauty mark); the soon-to-be-iconic white-and-rainbow-paint face; the blonde Aphrodite redux; the Sharon Stone–in–Basic Instinct hairstyle paired with a gloved-hand-bra … we could go on.
But how about the real stars here? Gaga owes her impressively diverse assortment of looks to two talented beauty pros: high-fashion hair artist Shay Ashual, who created all of the wigs you see in the video, and makeup artist Yadim (no surname necessary).
The NYC-based Yadim began as a MAC artist and studied under makeup royalty Pat McGrath, and is quickly becoming the Next Big Thing. He was named International Makeup Designer for Dior last year and featured in the April 2012 issue of Vogue Paris. His aesthetic is a little dirty, a little undone, and, as he told Vogue, he likes to go beyond “simply pretty, to make it a bit strange,” which makes him the perfect choice for a Gaga collaboration.