Lady Gaga’s ‘Alejandro’ Video Credits and Controversy

After lots of “leaks” Lady Gaga finally released the full version of her video for the song Alejandro on Tuesday. Musically, the song is catchy enough, but if you remember Ace of Base and Madonna’s La Isla Bonita, you won’t find anything groundbreaking. While the video also has its references to her predecessors – think Like a Prayer for the Catholic imagery or Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation for the dancing military men, the cinematography is arresting and Lady Gaga pushes the envelope further than Jackson or Madonna. Plus, most of her fans probably missed the others the first time around (not having been born and all) so it will still be something new for at least one generation.

Not everyone is a fan though. Katy Perry, who prefers crazy wigs and controversial outfits of a less religious variety tweeted “using blasphemy as entertainment is as cheap as a comedian telling a fart joke.” And like much of Madonna’s early work, we’re pretty sure a condemnation from the Catholic church isn’t too far around the corner.

For her part, Lady Gaga’s explanation of the video is simply “a celebration of my love and appreciation for the gay community, my admiration of their bravery, their love for one another and their courage in their relationships.”

Director Steven Klein defends the use of religious imagery: “The religious symbolism is not meant to denote anything negative, but represents the character’s battle between the dark forces of this world and the spiritual salvation of the Soul. Thus at the end of the film, she chooses to be a nun, and the reason her mouth and eyes disappear is because she is withdrawing her senses from the world of evil and going inward towards prayer and contemplation.” {MTV}

If your religion is fashion, Nicola Formichetti (Gaga’s stylist and a fashion editor for several publications) gives a thorough explanation there as well. He covers the video scene by scene, but here are a few of the most prominent players:

Alexander McQueen

The first scenes are dominated by custom made creations from the late designer. The binocular headdress is by Nasir Mazhar, the rose headpiece in the second screencap is by Philip Tracy for Alexander McQueen, but the cape and rest of the lace outfit is custom Alexander McQueen.

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