See All of Madonna’s
Most Iconic Looks
originally published in New York Magazine’s THE CUT, July 13, 2015
But Daddy, I’m having a good time, Madonna would plead with the man’s voice over the loudspeaker reprimanding her to come down from the stage. The recording played before she launched into “Material Girl” on each stop of the Virgin Tour in 1985, her first major tour in America. Though she’d only released two albums at that point, the singer had already amassed such a following that hundreds of fans showed up dressed so convincingly as her look-alikes that she could mingle in the crowd unnoticed before taking the stage.
In the three decades since, Madonna has sold over 300 million records and played hundreds of more shows, making her the top-selling female recording artist of all time and the so-called “Queen of Pop.” The Queen of Reinvention has been another well-earned moniker: Her image has seen plenty of overhauls in that time, too. There’s covered-in-rubber-bracelets Madonna, Marilyn Monroe Madonna, crucified Madonna, spiritual-kabbalist Madonna, and wearing-grills-with–Miley Cyrus Madonna. With all her incarnations, she’s wielded almost immeasurable influence on style across stages, runways, and movie sets around the world. (Could there even be a Lady Gaga if Madge’s fishnets, crucifixes, and cone bras hadn’t come first?)
Like a true devotee, Michelle Morgan mined through the queen of pop’s expansive career and created The Mammoth Book of Madonna: Celebrating 30 Years of the Queen of Pop, published by Running Press Books last month. Click through the slideshow to see some of the most noteworthy highlights, from her turns on the catwalk for Jean Paul Gaultier to the infamous onstage kiss at the Grammys in 2003.