Ladies and gentlemen: a big happy birthday to Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta is in order today. 26 years ago, the woman we now know as Lady Gaga was born in New York City. Needless to say, the world has not been the same since.
The first time I was exposed to Lady Gaga, she was on an episode of The Hills performing her breakout hit “Just Dance.” When I see her lately, stomping around the world clad in head-to-toe Chanel (or sometimes, nothing at all), it’s hard to believe that my first association with this superstar is Audrina Patridge. Well, we all have to start somewhere, right? In the past few years Gaga has become a force impossible to be reckoned with. Her creative edge and flair for the ridiculous have cemented her as a cultural icon, and she’s not even 30 yet.
Gaga has amassed her share of haters along the way, but she stays completely above it all. She has clearly demonstrated that the things most important to her are her music, her fans, and her family. This dedication to her craft and remaining somewhat humble are the reasons why Gaga’s Little Monsters are the most devoted fans in the world.
To celebrate the fierceness that is Miss Gemanotta, take a look back at 26 of her most major looks in the gallery above!
What better way to kick off the birthday festivities than a vintage Gaga glamour shot?
This is my favorite picture of Gaga ever. Haute couture and a hot dog stand. Now that is what New York is really about.
Ah, showing up to the Grammys in an egg. Just another day.
Lady Gaga and Michael Bloomberg ring in 2012 together. Are there two people who define New York swagger more? Probably not.
Gaga celebrates her CFDA award in an outfit I'd wear to a PTA meeting. Casual, clean, and chic.
Only she looks good falling over.
Another pic from the archives.
Gaga's bag game is unparalleled. I can always get behind a Chanel situation.
Gaga stumbling out of London club Bungalow 8 like a true boss, wearing an outfit Jane Fonda wore in her infamous workout videos.
Gaga is the only person who I would allow to essentially deface a Birkin.
In the words of Nicki Minaj, "It's YSL daddy, I ain't gotta spell it."
Nice to meet you, Gaga. My name is Amber Rose. This is my boyfriend, Kanye West. He raps and stuff.
What? You thought I wouldn't include this?
Gaga meets Palm Beach in absurd knitwear.
She knows she's doing it right.
All Ferragamo houndstooth everything. That is how a lady dresses.
This is not exactly how a LADY dresses, but she still kills it.
Getting wasted at a baseball game.
Gaga models the perfect church hat.
More Birkin destruction, but it reminds of the DIY Fendi baguette (Google it) so I can't complain.
This is what happens when a Penthouse model combines with a librarian.
How could I not end it with Gaga and Karl Lagerfeld? Classic pair.