power suits

Lady Gaga Explains Her Oversize Suit: ‘I Wanted to Take the Power Back’

Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for ELLE Magazine

Lady Gaga knows how to make a fashion statement, and the look she wore to be honored at Elle magazine’s Women in Hollywood event on Monday spoke volumes.

Dressed in an oversize Marc Jacobs “power suit” from the designer’s recent spring 2019 collection, Gaga took the stage to deliver a highly personal speech. In addition to confirming her engagement to Christian Carino, she spoke about her own experiences with sexual assault at the age of 19, her struggles with chronic pain and mental health, and how she’s finding her voice as a woman in Hollywood today.

“We are not members of a giant beauty pageant meant to be pitted against one another for the pleasure of the public,” Gaga said. In an effort to “take the power back,” and “resist the standards of dressing to impress,” she chose to wear pants instead of a dress. Below, an extended excerpt from her speech that explains it all.

I tried on dress after dress today getting ready for this event, one tight corset after another, one heel after another, a diamond, a feather, thousands of beaded fabrics and the most beautiful silks in the world. To be honest, I felt sick to my stomach. And I asked myself: What does it really mean to be a woman in Hollywood? We are not just objects to entertain the world. We are not simply images to bring smiles or grimaces to people’s faces. We are not members of a giant beauty pageant meant to be pitted against one another for the pleasure of the public. We women in Hollywood, we are voices. We have deep thoughts and ideas and beliefs and values about the world and we have the power to speak and be heard and fight back when we are silenced.

So, after trying 10 or so dresses, with a sad feeling in my heart, that all that would matter was what I wore to this red carpet, I saw an oversized Marc Jacobs suit buried quietly in the corner. I put it on to a resounding view of eyes glaring at me in confusion. But the Rodarte was so beautiful! one said. But the Raf Simons for Calvin Klein was so stunning on you! said another. But what about the Brandon Maxwell? What about the Dior? Lots of questions. They were all dresses. This was an oversized men’s suit made for a woman. Not a gown. And then I began to cry. In this suit, I felt like me today. In this suit, I felt the truth of who I am well up in my gut. And then wondering what I wanted to say tonight become very clear to me.

As a sexual assault survivor by someone in the entertainment industry, as a woman who is still not brave enough to say his name, as a woman who lives with chronic pain, as a woman who was conditioned at a very young age to listen to what men told me to do, I decided today I wanted to take the power back. Today I wear the pants.

In an age where I can barely watch the news, I gasped at the unjust men, and some women quite frankly, that I see running this country. I had a revelation that I had to be empowered to be myself today more than ever. To resist the standards of Hollywood, whatever that means. To resist the standards of dressing to impress. To use what really matters: my voice.

Lady Gaga Had a Really Good Reason for Her Oversize Suit