On the Radar

Madonna's new baby is Material Girl


NEW YORK — A few months back, the Internet was abuzz with news about Madonna and daughter Lola starting a clothing line. Then, last June 29, Perez Hilton tweeted about Lola entering the blogosphere, where she wrote about inspirations for her fashion line.

This set off a flurry of excited retweets and massive hits to the blog site.

By the time the teaser ad for the collection, predictably called “Material Girl,” was released, the supposedly secret celebrity muse, Taylor Momsen, was also outed by the press.

Such are the hype and hysteria circulating around the much-awaited release of Madonna and Lola’s first clothing collection this August 3rd.

“Material Girl,” their newly created, fast-fashion junior collection consisting of apparel, footwear, handbags and jewelry, will retail from $12 to $40, and launch exclusively 200-plus Macy’s stores and online in time for the back-to-school season.

Madonna explains the brand: “Material Girl, everybody relates that title to me because of the song that I did 300 years ago. When I first did that song, it was meant in an ironic way, because I don’t think of myself as a materialistic person, but I do love clothes and I love fashion and I love beautiful things. And then as years went by strangers would see me on the street and go, ‘Oh hey, yo it’s the Material Girl’ and I’m like, ‘Aaahhh! I hate that name! I am not!’ And then I realized that I needed to have a sense humor about it too, and that I had to sort of embrace all the layers of meanings that came with that title.”

It comes as no surprise that Madonna—mother of reinvention and a fashion icon to generations of women—would be dabbling in fashion.

But as it turns out, Madonna has turned over the style scepter to her daughter Lola, who has become more fashion savvy than herself.

Madonna says, “Because she has a uniform at her school, there’s a restriction as to what world of colors she can work with and because there’s a restriction, it makes her have to be more creative and resourceful. So, I think all of those elements put together, plus her influences, watching films, watching music videos, she pays attention to what’s going on in the street and what people are wearing. She is much more fashion forward and savvy than I am at this point.”

Surprisingly, Madonna, the performer who shocked the world with her provocative outfits, has mellowed, thanks to motherhood.

When asked about what she thinks of Lola’s style, she expounds with a mix of pride and horror. “I always have two reactions when Lola comes into my room with an outfit on. One is, ‘Oh my God she looks amazing, what incredible style!’ And then my second reaction is, ‘She is dressed completely inappropriately for school!’ So I have to, like, think with two brains.”

Like any old mom, Madonna has even gone to the point of being conservative. “I usually tell her to take off her three- or six-inch platforms and pull down her skirt just a little bit, and take off some of the black makeup around her eyes. Because she does have amazing style, but you know, I am the typical mother where I say, ‘Oh my God, you can’t go to school dressed like that!’”

Despite the controls that Madonna tries to enforce on Lola’s style, Lola still has it good. Because mother knows best, is famous and well connected, she manages to channel all that frustration into something productive, via their clothing line.

“Well, I think this is a good way to get her creative juices flowing and get her to be able to express herself through fashion the way she wants to everyday when she goes to school.

“But instead of me telling her to take it off or screaming and yelling at her and getting into a fight at 8 o’clock in the morning, she gets to use all that energy designing a line of clothes. So it’s perfect.”

Not that the 13-year-old Lola needs any pushing. According to Madonna, Lola has been attending meetings from the very beginning.

Madonna’s role is to make sure they go the right direction and the line is something she can stand behind and be proud of.

Which is how it turned out. “I really like the way Lola dresses and I think this line is absolutely an extension of her taste,” Madonna professes.

For Fall 2010, Material Girl is all about self-expression, prints and embellishments, playing with layers, mixing hard and soft elements, like a tutu dress and studded combat boots, or an oversized boyfriend sweatshirt with a floral print mini skirt.

Madonna offers some styling advice: “We like to combine a plaid or a flannel with a lace, or leather with lace or rhinestones, so we mix and match textures and fabrics and elements that are both masculine and feminine.”

But before you think the Material Girl look is complicated, Madonna begs to differ: “It’s not looking like you took too much time thinking about what you’re wearing. It’s easy. You put things on, you can take things off, you can switch things up, and it’s really the way my daughter dresses.”

Madonna believes Material Girl will likewise appeal to the adventurous girl who’s into fashion and music, and has a sense of humor.

But more than just fun fashion pieces, she shares that while designing the collection, the clothes “need to be functional, but it also (shouldn’t) look like you thought too much about it. That’s how I like to dress, and I know that’s how Lola likes to dress.”









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