Leave it to Lady Gaga to wear a statement-making outfit. The pop singer was spotted at Narita International Airport in Tokyo on Sunday morning wearing a white-gray-and-blush-colored ensemble featuring plenty of tulle, a discarded corset (more on that later), and a feathered white cap. Oh, let’s not forget the oversize “vote” pin atop said hat. The message? Well, quite a few, it seems. In a single election-themed look, Lady Gaga weaved together multiple, subtle messages about women’s rights, gender equality, and voting history.
As noted in Elle, Gaga’s dramatic wearing of white, on the eve of the 2016 presidential election, references images from the women’s suffrage movement (just look at those sleeves!). While the dramatic hat and feather are in line with Gaga’s current country-ish Joanne persona, the vote pin makes it clear that the singer has the election at the top of her mind. (She did, after all, tweet at Melania Trump later in the day, calling her out for her “hypocrisy” in claiming to be against bullying while campaigning for Donald Trump, who’s arguably bullied many of his critics.)
Gaga’s dramatic outfit is reminiscent of her older red-carpet looks, but it’s also notable for its more subtle feminist statement on gender. Viewed from the front, Gaga’s look appeared to consist of a cropped, ruffled top and a floor-grazing, sheer skirt. But viewed from the back, Gaga’s outfit had what appears to be the corresponding corset loosely dangling from the skirt. An image of her wearing the outfit on Snapchat has the caption:“Corsets off ladies!!!!”
As blogger-model Julia Frakes points out, it’s almost as if Gaga’s making a reference to noted writer and feminist Charlotte Perkins Gilman, who wrote about gender roles and the restrictive nature of the corset at the turn of the century. With the election in less than 48 hours and a woman at the top of a major party ticket less than 100 years after the 19th amendment, it’s hard not to see how Gaga is pushing forward a message in favor of Hillary Clinton. Perhaps, she seems to suggest, via her outfit, that just like women did away with corsets years ago, it’s time to for women to vote to shatter the glass ceiling once and for all. Or, forget reading into the clothes, we can just take her word for it: