Last year, it was Lady Gaga, the year before, Taylor Swift, and this year, Madonna has earned Billboard’s top honor at its annual Women in Music awards, Woman of the Year. The awards have been held for a decade, so it’s a banner year for Madonna to win the prize. (Still, it’s stunning it’s taken this long for the Queen of Pop, when Swift has won twice over already. Better late than never?) In her acceptance speech, she acknowledged that she’s come under fire for her overtly sexual public persona — “Camille Paglia, the famous feminist writer, said I set women back by objectifying myself sexually,” she said in her acceptance speech. “So I said, ‘F–k it, I’m a different kind of feminist. I’m a bad feminist.'”
Good or bad, she’s molded herself as an icon for women everywhere. Accepting her award, she wore a custom suit by Gucci’s Alessandro Michele, with “Euterpe” emblazoned in Greek across the back. Euterpe was the muse of music in ancient Greek mythology — and Madonna has certainly been considered a muse of designers like Michele, Riccardo Tisci at Givenchy, and Marc Jacobs. But she’s also a totally self-styled woman, in control of her own image and her own music. That’s the real feminist statement.
When: Friday, December 9.
Where: The Billboard Women in Music Awards, where Madonna was named Woman of the Year, in New York, New York.
What: A custom silk jacquard suit patterned with tigers, flowers embroidered on the lapels, an anchor embroidered in sequins on the back and a panel reading “Euterpe,” one of the Greek muses, on the back, with black heels and a crystal bow tie.
Why: Her jacket might read the name of one of the muses, but as Woman of the Year, Madonna is her own myth. Her suit is drenched in embroidery and embellishments, details that might overwhelm a lesser starlet, but not Madonna. She knows its her show, and she’s living her moment.
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