Someone Threw at Doll at Lady Gaga’s Head in Toronto, but She Handled It Like a Pro

After the taping of the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show in Paris last week, the world was treated to some sneak peeks of what’s to come when the extravaganza airs on CBS this evening: Bella Hadid’s awkward runway run-in with her ex The Weeknd, those teeny silk pink robes, lots of kissy-face selfies, and Lady Gaga’s daring stage attire. Performing among the Angels on the Victoria’s Secret runway, Gaga donned a black felt cowboy-style hat designed by milliner Gladys Tamez valued at $1 million, made as an homage to the annual million-dollar Victoria’s Secret bra. 

This image may contain Human Person Clothing Hat and Apparel

Photo: Getty Images

The shimmering chapeau is embellished with 45,700 Swarovski crystals that are embroidered onto the surface of the hat and also hang down like a fringe to just below the singer’s knees.

As Tamez explains, “The initial conversation I had with Gaga was brief—she came in with an idea for what she wanted and called it ‘a cascade of diamonds.’ ” She adds, “She also wanted it to look like ‘a night sky,’ and told me to ‘think in black.’ That was all the direction she gave me.”

Gaga’s vision may have seemed vague at first, but Tamez knew almost immediately what the singer was after, having worked with her for nearly two years prior and having outfitted her in a similar accessory for the Joanne album cover and tour (she’s also designing looks for the artist’s upcoming Super Bowl halftime show).

“Gaga has such strong instincts,” says Tamez. “She has a keen vision and an encyclopedic knowledge of fashion but is open to risk, and that’s why she is the ideal collaborator.”

The idea of risk-taking can be difficult for a milliner whose job it is to fuse fashion with function, but it was a challenge that Tamez was more than willing to accept: “Aesthetically, the design was Bob Mackie–meets–Gypsy Rose Lee and Gaga just loved that.

But in the end, the hat had to function and she had to be able to actually perform in it onstage—if it’s beautiful but doesn’t work, then it’s not right.” In order to achieve this balance between wearable and wow-factor, Tamez decided that she “didn’t want a curtain effect with the cascading crystals, but something more like a dress that was elegant and sexy.”

She adds, “I knew she wanted the strands to be long, so we adjusted the lengths according to the contours of her body so that it would move with her.”


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Photo: Courtesy of Gladys Tamez
Gaga tested its durability by twirling around while wearing the piece ahead of show time. Once she knew it would hold up, she chose to pair the custom look with a strapless black jumpsuit from Hedi Slimane’s last collection for Saint Laurent and even incorporated the hatbox she received from Tamez into the performance of her song “John Wayne.”

“Gaga actually used our travel case in her routine,” the designer notes. “I was blown away when I saw her take the hat out of my luggage on the runway!” While Tamez’s creation certainly upstaged some of the famously intricate Angel wings, and maybe even the diamond-encrusted bra, too, there was a cool simplicity about the accessory that made it special.

“The hat is sort of a paradox in that it can attract attention but also give you privacy and mystery,” Tamez says. “Gaga wears her outfits and they never wear her, so she’s able to amplify her look effortlessly.”

She adds, “Yes, there is a theatrical element, a character, an alter ego that goes with her fame, but I like to think my hats are close to who she really is as a person—a style icon with incredible talent who’s also down to earth.” And who can rock a million dollars on her head like no one else.

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