Madonna's Cone Bra turns 25: How this Gaultier lingerie's legacy lingers
Madonna birthed a major fashion moment when she performed in a pink cone bra corset in Chiba, Japan, on April 13, 1990—the first stop on her Blonde Ambition Tour. Created by French designer Jean Paul Gaultier (first seen on his runway in 1982), the controversial concert outfit was inspired by 1950s bullet bras and ‘80s underwear-as-outerwear street style—a show-stopping combination that played to Madonna’s counterculture sensibility. EW breaks down some of the fantastic, questionable, and downright fun lingerie looks inspired by Gaultier’s original cone bra design.
This shirred, orange crushed velvet dress—with cone-shaped cups—was one of the jaw-dropping designs Gaultier showed at a 1987 fashion show in Paris.
The Original Sketch
Gaultier’s original design—as seen in this sketch—introduced an edgy take on traditional lingerie and has since influenced numerous fashion designers and pop stars alike.
Imagine if your mom dressed up as Madge for Halloween. That’s the premise of this garish getup worn by Stephanie Faracy in the 1993 cult classic Hocus Pocus.
The Bear Necessities
Madge wasn’t the first to wear one of Gaultier's cone bra creations. That honor goes to the designer’s teddy bear, for whom he designed a cone-shaped bra as a child growing up in suburban Paris.
Lady Gaga, part 1
The singer proved the bra’s enduring appeal as pop star fashion staple during a performance at the Much Music Awards in 2009.
The actress channeled Madge in a black-and-white photo shoot for V magazine in 2009.
Katy Perry showed off a pair of whipped cream cans in her 2010 "California Gurls" video
Lady Gaga, part 2
Gaga brought out the big guns in a music video for her hit single "Alejandro" in 2010.
Jane Lynch looked busty in an oversized black velvet version for her rendition of Madonna's "Vogue" on Glee in 2010.
The Aussie pop star promoted her “Aphrodite” album in 2010 dressed in an updated version of Gaultier's bullet bra-inspired bustier.
The parodist donned head-to-toe gold for his “Perform This Way” video in 2011.
'Toddlers and Tiaras'
This sassy little blonde named Mia dressed as mini-Madonna in a 2011 episode.
More than 20 years after she first shocked audiences with her provocative stage style, Madonna wore this black cone bra contraption—worn over a starched white blouse and men’s tie—for her 2012 MDNA Tour.
Rihanna’s take on the iconic top had fans seeing spots in 2012.
Gaultier’s cone-shaped creation continued to influence later designs, including this frothy, floor-length gown from his Spring 2013 collection.
The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt star combined a few elements of Madonna’s early style—including lace gloves and a tulle headband—for an homage to the Queen of Pop on “The Ellen Show” earlier this year.
Cones on the Road
The famous cone bra costume hit the road 23 years after Madonna’s Blonde Ambition Tour as part of the Hard Rock Cafe's Hard Rock Couture exhibition on August 29, 2013 in Manchester, England.