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Madonna in 1984

No one did 80s style quite like Madonna. Sporting her natural brown locks, a ‘Boy Toy’ denim jacket worn backwards and her trademark hair band, the singer made her status known as a true fashion icon. [Photo: Getty]

As Madonna turns 60, we chart her most controversial fashion moments

*Warning: Some readers may find some of the images in this article NSFW. 

You’ve got to give it to Madonna; she doesn’t give a hoot what people think of her style.

The award-winning artist has been longstanding red carpet rebel, working one headline-hitting outfit after another. 

Vogue once called the singer, who turns 60 on 16 August, an “indisputable American icon” – and that’s undeniably true.

Over her 30-plus year career, her wardrobe’s become as iconic as her chart-topping hits. Madonna’s look has always been an integral part of her career and has constantly evolved.

With each new record/album/tour came a new look and a new Madonna. She’s not only the Queen of Pop – but the Queen of Reinvention.

The singer launched her career in the early 80s as the ultimate ‘material girl’ with statement hair accessories, loud colours and even louder make-up. As the decade passed, Madonna became more rebellious. Edgy tulle skirts were paired with crucifixes and layered necklaces reminiscent of a 1930s pin-up.

Up next was Madonna’s most sexy era. She teamed up with French fashion designer Jean Paul Gaultier and took to the stage in version one of the bullet bra; one of her most controversial looks to date.

By comparison, the naughties were fairly tame for the superstar.

A focus on her film career (Madonna scored starring roles in ‘Evita’, ‘Swept Away’, and a cameo in ‘Die Another Day’) and new husband director Guy Ritchie in her life, she toned down her fashion and arrived at red carpet events in fairly sedate looks.

But that didn’t mean Madonna was ready to retire her corsets.

Aged 50, the singer was still wearing a leotard – a clear sign that she was never going to conform to society’s constraints. In 2016, aged 57, she arrived at the Met Gala wearing a lace look that bared both her breasts and behind.

While half the world condemned the singer, the other half applauded her figurative finger-flip to ageism.

What’s next for the boundary-pushing icon? Your guess is as good as ours. For now, we’ll content ourselves with looking back at Madonna’s most controversial outfits to date.

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