Over the weekend, Madonna started her world-wide Celebration Tour in London, where she played a set list of her most famous songs. Fans were crazy about more than just the songs she played—they loved her clothes on stage too. Vogue talked to tour costume and creative designers Eyob Yohannes and Rita Melssen to get a better look at Madonna’s custom-made outfit. They were inspired by some of her most famous looks over the years, like that famous Jean Paul Gaultier cone bra.
Putting together a visual tour of Madonna 40 years
And because Madonna’s new tour is so big—78 shows in 15 countries—Yohannes and Melssen knew they had to look their best on stage. In order to do this, they chose to mirror the show’s theme, which was a journey through Madonna’s 40 years of music. “Fashion has always been part of her storytelling,” explains Yohannes, “so we drew from her past stylistically.”
Notable designers like Donatella Versace, Jean Paul Gaultier, and Dilara Findikoglu were also asked to make special pieces for the Queen of Pop. Yohannes and Melssen themselves created most of the costumes.
A Madonna Look At The Acts, From New York Clubs to Futuristic Picture
The show starts with a tribute to Madonna’s rise in the New York club scene of the 1980s. For “Burning Up” and “Everybody,” she wears a punk-style coat by Findikoglu that looks a lot like an old jacket she wore in Japan at the same time.
Songs like “Erotica” and “Vogue” from the 1990s are in the second part. Boxing-inspired clothes are used to explore sexuality themes here. For example, dancers wear boxing gear, and M shows her skin in a sexy slip dress under a boxing robe.
‘Vogue’ asked Gaultier to make a new version of his famous cone bra, this time as a black minidress covered in crystals.
Act three is all about hits from the 2010s, like “Die Another Day” and “Don’t Tell Me.” Leather corsets and custom Miu Miu cowboy boots take centre stage in western-style clothing.
In act four, Madonna sings futuristic songs like “Ray of Light” while wearing a unique Versace catsuit. It made of wrapped Mylar that meant to look like broken glass when light hits it.
When functionality meets beauty
When making these costumes, designers had to think carefully about both how they looked and how they would work, since the actors had to change outfits quickly during the show. “Most of her clothes have centre back zippers that let her change quickly,” says Yohannes.
At the end, when they were singing “Like a Virgin,” there was a moment that stood out. All of the dancers wear different outfits from her collection, such as red carpet or record cover outfits. Her son David even shows up wearing clothes from her 2000 music video for “Music.”
It was very important to work closely with Madonna on this project. “She looks at each fabric, sketch, and button.” “She cares about the characters and how their clothes tell a story,” says Yohannes.
Around the world, fans will be able to see this amazing show over the next year. Melssen hopes that these fans will see Madonna’s artistic idea come to life: Melssen says, “I hope people know what a great artist she is.” “I also hope they have fun and feel seen!”