It’s rare that Gwen Stefani is upstaged. But the chanteuse didn’t stand a chance when she presented the Icon Award to Cher on Sunday night at the Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas. No one was looking at the blonde in a gold frock, when they could goggle at the 71-year-old in an outfit that’s best described as a sheer black body-stocking with strategically placed sequins, plus vast Brian May wig and leather jacket.
But then Cher once declared, “Until you’re ready to look foolish, you’ll never have the possibility of being great.”
You can’t say she doesn’t walk that particular sartorial tightrope in superb fashion. She modelled two eye-popping outfits on Sunday, both of which seemed fashioned from a couple of pairs of 10-denier tights and a jar of rhinestones.
Keen followers of pop history noted the sheer black outfit she wore to sing If I could Turn Back Time was wittily modelled on an ensemble first seen on Cher in 1989.
Although lovers of Liberace-style spectacle might reckon the silver-spangled scrap of nothing she wore first, accessorised with one puce heart-shaped nipple pastie (left breast), was even more show-stopping; not to mention the platinum-blonde, Cleopatra-styled wig.
Only the hardest hearted would deny the fact: age cannot wither her, nor custom stale her infinite variety performances. True, for a minute I was put in mind of Cristal Connors in Paul Verhoeven’s cult classic movie Showgirls, who says snarkily to her understudy, “I’m getting’ a little too old for that whorey look.”
While Piers Morgan may have expressed disdain from the safety of the Good Morning Britain sofa at her sartorial choices, it’s almost impossible to deem someone ridiculous if they’ve already made it clear they don’t give two pins about dignity and age-appropriate attire.
Perhaps the most appealing thing about Cher is that she never seems to be billing herself as a sex goddess. Unlike that other great stayer Madonna, who at 58 years-old always appears grimly determined to project a vision of her own yoga-taut hotness to the public.
Cher is the ultimate vaudeville hoofer, embracing camp excess as her joyful birth-right. There’s a Mardi Gras sensibility to her performances, which makes you want to shed your own years, leap onstage and shimmy alongside her. It’s no coincidence this performance took place in Vegas, where more is never enough and vulgarity’s a virtue.
Furthermore, most women will know how the pop star feels about trotting out old outfits. When a mature female can still model ensembles she first wore aged 20 or 30, then she absolutely wants the whole world to know about it. If Princess Anne can perform public duties in outfits from the 1980s and pass this off as parsimony (when surely it’s a subtle form of boasting about her ageless figure?), well why can’t Cher recycle her old Spandex?
And, frankly, if she can do a “five-minute plank” – as she boasted when handed her award – then she’s rewriting the laws of nature and can tear up the rule book as she pleases.
When you look at this great survivor of the 1960s, you don’t see mutton dressed as lamb, you see Cher dressed as Cher.
Source – The Telegraph
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