With February just beginning, Lady Gaga is already blowing the fashion world away. Between her stripped-down Tiffany & Co. commercial, her Super Bowl performance in a show-stopping Atelier Versace and Swarovski jumpsuit, and now the “John Wayne” visuals, she’s killing it.
Directed by Jonas Akerlund of “Paparazzi” and “Telephone,” the fast-paced music video follows a lovesick Gaga as she smashes bottles and writhes on country bad boys in technicolored action. In line with her aesthetic evolution, stylist Brandon Maxwell included her signature Joanne pale-pink suits and Miliner Gladys Tamez to the rotation of sexy Americana looks. For “John Wayne,” she trades in the more traditional Manuel Couture jackets she’s worn on her 2016 Dive Bar Tour for more boundary-pushing pieces.
Nodding to fellow pop star Lana Del Rey’s love of American flags and over-the-top Sid and Nancy romances (which also end in fatal car crashes), Gaga’s Americana is less of a romanticized homage to the West and more of a theatrical, neon-tinged subgenre.
One of the most standout ensembles of the video is the black leather catsuit by London-based womenswear designer Christian Cowan-Sanluis. Cowan-Sanluis -- whose hot pink glitter suit made an appearance in Gaga’s wardrobe in 2014 when he was only a first-year student at the London College of Fashion -- brought the artist’s superstar-meets-country persona to life with the cutout leather silhouette outfit she wears while barreling down a dirt road on a motorcycle.
A sequence of hot pants, fringe and leather ensue. The singer dances in distressed denim shorts, a cropped red leather jacket, and a bejeweled bra with a matching “GAGA” choker.
The video climaxes with a tribute to classic Gaga sartorial absurdity. She dances on top of a beat-up car wearing machine-gun thigh-high platform boots -- which resemble the brand Pleaser Shoes she’s known to rock -- and a leather buckled bandeau.