Lady Gaga has worn so many shocking outfits since she showed up on our playlists with her song "Just Dance" back in 2008 that it can definitely be hard to keep track of all her looks. The star definitely sets herself apart from her pop singer peers by painting lightning bolts on her face in tribute to David Bowie and focusing on quirky, out-there styles that always have her Little Monsters talking for days. As her career blew up overnight, her costumes transformed from the edgy, different bubble dresses and orbit headdresses, to the completely bizarre, never-seen-before pieces that landed Mother Monster on the front page of every newspaper on this planet. She is a self-proclaimed martyr for art, so there’s probably an interesting thought process behind every single costume, but that’s not why we’re looking, of course. Here are 15 insane Lady Gaga costumes you probably forgot about.
15 Kermit The Frog Outfit
Lady Gaga wore this Kermit the Frog piece on a German television show back in 2009, which was just as she was establishing herself as a pop sensation and carving her own lane on the fashion side of things. The outfit was simply made of numerous Kermit puppets, which almost completely covered her torso. One Kermit head even made his way into her blonde and pink hair! This wasn’t the first time she’d worn a Muppets-inspired outfit either, as she’d previously been spotted in a skirt inspired by the character Animal. Designed by Jean-Charles de Castelbajac, the Kermit coat impressed Gaga so much because she thought it said a lot about the importance of not wearing fur, given that it literally looked like she was wearing a bunch of dead Muppets. She did have PETA’s approval on this one, but some of her other outrageous fashion choices had the organization calling for her head!
14 Coke Cans Hair
Among a million other record-breaking achievements, the pint-sized Lady Gaga paired up with Queen Bey for her infamous Telephone video, released in 2010. In the video, aside from eating a Honey Bun out of Beyoncé’s hand and poisoning her deadbeat man through his honey-soaked bacon, Gaga took a phone call from prison with empty soda cans pinned into her hair. She is wearing Diet Coke cans, to be exact, in her hair since they look pretty much like regular hair rollers. The outfit itself here is pretty outrageous for the average joe, as she wears studded underwear beneath a studded leather jacket, not to mention the seriously extensive eyeliner. But it’s all about the cans, which liken the singer to something out of an art collection. She wore cans when she arrived in Australia for The Monster Ball in 2010, so the outrageous look might be one of her favorites!
13 Red Lace Dress
2009 was undoubtedly Gaga’s year, and the pop star made sure everyone knew it by wearing six (yes, that would be six!) unforgettable outfits to the MTV Video Music Awards. While a few of them made this list, her eye-catching lace dress and mask comes in at number 13. The dress itself isn’t the most insane thing we’ve seen. The blood red is a standout and the lace is transparent so the world was in shock that Gaga neglected her bra for the evening, but otherwise, the dress part of the ensemble was relatively normal. It’s the matching lace mask and headdress that make this outfit worthy of the Poker Face (2008) singer. Her face being completely covered in red lace makes her seem distant, to say the least, and the pointy crown-ish headdress is something you can picture the Queen of Hearts wearing before she orders the decapitation of her most loyal subject.
12 Bubble Outfit
Gaga’s been through so many outfits during her explosive career that you’ve probably forgotten about one of her earliest costumes ever. She wore this bubble piece whilst singing and playing a transparent, bubble-filled piano on her Fame Ball Tour and as the opening act for the Pussycat Dolls’ Doll Domination Tour in 2009. The singer was criticized after much speculation that her Haus of Gaga had stolen the costume from a very similar piece in Hussein Chalayan's 2007 Spring line. The bubbles are relatively tame in hindsight, considering we now know how far the superstar will go for fashion and art, and plastic bubbles aren’t even the tip of the iceberg. But at the time she was touring with this costume, few Little Monsters had seen anything like it before. Gaga has upped her bubble game since then too, wearing a dress with working bubble-blowing machines on it in 2013.
11 Bird’s Nest
If there’s one thing Gaga appears to appreciate, it’s a good old heavy head piece. She’s done it all from head-orbiting pieces and feathered hats to black veils and crowns. This accessory, which honestly looks like a mangled bird’s nest, was another show-stealer that the singer wore during the 2009 Video Music Awards. The feathered wreath which hid her short blonde and pink-streaked bob, was an accompaniment to a simple (though revealing) white dress Gaga had changed into after her performance. The camera only caught her wearing it as it panned to her during the whole Beyoncé-Taylor-Kanye mess, so it’s unclear how long she was in the nest, though you’d assume that she wasn’t in it too long—it definitely seems like one of her more unbearably-itchy pieces! Having said that, nothing the pop star wears ever looks truly comfortable, so she probably coped with it more than most would have!
10 Giorgio Armani Prive Gown
Of her more outrageous outfits, this dress is one of the prettiest. It’s daringly short at the front, has with its own futuristic looking star and solar system, and was one of the more memorable pieces on the 2010 Grammy Awards red carpet. The dress had Gaga written all over it, with its innovative stiff structure and shape. As with many Lady Gaga pieces, it is not the gown alone that makes it insane, but have you seen the shoes!? The Paparazzi (2009) singer was one of the first to embed pony wedges and heelless high shoes as staple fashion pieces of 2010 and 2011 and was clearly never afraid of tumbling on the red carpet in them either. The sparkly purple of this dress actually complements Gaga’s yellow-blonde hair and intense makeup, and from afar, she kind of seems like a risqué Glinda from The Wizard of Oz (1939).
9 Tentacle Costume
One of the more insane costumes Gaga treated fans to on her artRave: The ARTPOP Ball Tour in 2014, was this outfit that looks like an octopus. Most artists would have opted for the white and blue polka-dotted leotard on its own, because really, singing and dancing on stage would be hard enough without giant tentacles growing from your head and body. But of course, Gaga stayed true to her outrageous self and pushed the boundaries of art and fashion once more by including the extra pieces on her latex costume. She managed to execute her show pretty flawlessly in the outfit during the tour too, and effortlessly sang some of her most popular songs while wearing these tentacles. This is one of the more complex outfits that Gaga has worn to date, but it definitely didn't get in the way of her performance since, of course, she's a total pro.
8 Hello Kitty Dress
This next eccentric outfit comes from a photoshoot the singer featured in back in 2009, and is kind of like a creepier, more intense version of her Kermit the Frog coat! In one of the shots, Gaga wears a gown made entirely of Hello Kitty plush toys, which begin at the bust and then drape down all the way past her throne to the ground. If that is not strange enough, Gaga has huge, cartoonish pupils drawn onto her closed eyelids. That, plus her bony frame and her inflexible posture make her seem like a mannequin. We’re not so sure that the dress was actually capable of supporting a walking human anyway because the bottom of it is made from big soft toys that you’d bring to bed with you! It’s a good thing this dress was for a shoot and not a choreography-intense video or a live performance.
7 Silver Lightning Costume
Once she’d changed out of her Glinda-like dress at the 2010 Grammy Awards, Gaga changed into a number of other Armani Prive pieces, including this silver, lightning-inspired bodysuit, with a matching headpiece designed by Phillip Treacy. Rumor has it that the lightning bolt points on the headpiece and the shoulders of the bodysuit were so sharp that the pop star had to avoid piercing anybody in the star-studded crowd. When you look at how sharp the edges are and consider how close she was sitting to other guests, it’s amazing that nobody lost an eye! The outfit was certainly striking, to say the least, and fit in with the space-age theme she was rolling with on the night. In true Gaga fashion, the singer mixed the unconventional with the conservative, and sipped tea from a china cup complete with a saucer, while she watched her fellow musicians take to the stage.
6 White Gory Two-Piece
We definitely can’t look past the 2009 Video Music Awards for some of Gaga’s most insane outfits. Lady Gaga definitely wore the most bizarre and interesting costume of the evening when she performed her hit song "Paparazzi" in a white tummy-bearing top and panties with white knee-high boots, but that’s not why the world's eyes were on the American-born pop star. At one point during the song, Gaga appeared bloody, with a red substance smeared on her stomach, chest and face, until the white top had become soaked in the color. It didn’t help the intensity of it all that Gaga kneeled and sang dramatically, moaned and screamed into the microphone and then, as part of the performance, died while hanging by one hand above the stage, with her eyes open. Pretty creepy stuff! You can say what you want about Gaga, but she is definitely a walking work of art.
5 Brit Awards Dress
Gaga was among the first to arrive at the Brit Awards red carpet in 2010, but she left a long-lasting impression. Her white Francesco Scognamiglio dress was definitely stunning, but it was the pompadour wig and lace face cover that had critics and fans whispering all night and for days afterward. Gaga removed the dress to take to the stage, and stripped down to a revealing lace bodysuit with one leg cut out, though she kept her hair and mask intact! While she wore it, the dress bore a resemblance to an incredibly chic wedding cake, and as usual seemed like more of an artistic costume and statement than a mere fashion choice based on aesthetic factors alone. The wig drew comparisons between Gaga and legendary figures like Marie Antoinette, Pierrot, and even the late Amy Winehouse. One thing’s for sure, the wig added definitely added few inches to Gaga’s shorter frame.
4 Hairy Costume
Lady Gaga might have gone through a bit of a hair phase between 2010 and 2011 and maybe that’s what inspired her song "Hair" from her album Born This Way in 2011. For a while there she was rocking up all over the place in costumes made from what appeared to be human hair. She performed a couple of times in full-blown hairy ensembles, but this outfit comes from candid photos taken outside the pop star’s hotel in London. It mustn’t have been too cold that night because Gaga was barely covered in a plunging black leotard, made nearly completely out of the hair! She also doted a matching black hat of heavy hair, as well as black leather gloves and fishnet stockings. On top of that, she sported her teal-green hair, fake mole, and sunglasses to finish the look. Whether the hair was real or not, the outfits sure looked insane.
3 Alexander McQueen Dress
The 2010 Video Music Awards were even more eventful for Gaga than the 2009 ones. Though she later changed into an outfit that is perhaps the craziest and most unforgettable dress of all time, Gaga arrived at the red carpet in an interesting Alexander McQueen gown, which was not that bizarre by itself. But add in the accessories and one-of-a-kind shoes, and you have a typical Gaga situation. The vibrant, diverse colors of the gown made it look like she’d ripped it straight from the roof of the Sistine Chapel. The Armadillo shoes were quite possibly the most eccentric, hard-to-walk-in shoes that have ever existed, topping even her famous pony wedges, and her golden feather Mohawk-inspired headpiece topped the whole thing off. The singer must have loved the dress a lot, because it was actually the second time she’d worn it, after posing in it for her Vanity Fair Editorial.
2 Lobster Hat
Phillip Treacy did it for Lady Gaga again with this crazy and amazing look. After one of her sell-out shows at London’s O2 arena back in 2010, the pop star headed to her after party at restaurant Mr. Chows in this unique lobster-inspired hat. Gaga must have been feeling one with nature that night because her wrist also appeared to be adorned with a yellow chicken’s claw. The fashion on her toned body, which is never nearly as interesting as the fashion on her feet or on her head, was another version of one of her on-stage costumes of the time. The latex skin-tight dress did nothing to cover up her lady bits, so it was a good thing Gaga had organized some tape to help her survive the frenzy of flashes! She also wore a similar latex dress in her iconic "Telephone" video, but the lobster head piece was definitely a new one.
1 Meat Dress
You just knew this meat dress had to be number one on the list, there are just no two ways about it. The dress made of raw beef that Gaga changed into at the 2010 Video Music Awards has since gone down in history as being the most insane and unbelievable dress of our time. The singer received a lot of backlash from animal rights parties (who usually love her and her fashion choices), for using animal meat for the sake of fashion. Gaga was quick to defend her decision to wear the outfit, pointing out its significance to the rights of gay soldiers. She told Ellen DeGeneres during a pre-show interview that for her, the dress was saying that "If we don't stand up for what we believe in, if we don't fight for our rights, pretty soon we're going to have as much rights as the meat on our bones.” Whatever it was saying, the meat dress entrenched Gaga in insane fashion history.