The history of Madonna’s iconic cone bra explained

Madonna has had a number of iconic looks throughout her long career

Kabari99-Madonna has had a number of iconic looks throughout her long career,from the Marilyn Monroe-inspired outfit she wore in the “Material Girl”

music video to the Marie Antoinette-style getup she performed in at the 1990 MTV Video Music Awards.

During that time, the pop singer and actress has also been no stranger to controversy, both in her music and in her style choices.








Among her most headline-stealing outfits, perhaps,is the cone-shaped bra and corset she performed on stage at the

“Blond Ambition” tour in 1990 along with … well, sometimes not much else.

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As an artist,

Madonna has always looked toward the future,

but in this one outfit choice at least she honored one of fashion history’ most legendary designers Jean Paul Gaultier.

The cone bra wasn’t exactly new when Madonna wore it. Venerable women’s wear brand Maidenform used the silhouette in the 1940s,









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and Gaultier’s cone bra design was seen on fashion runways before Madonna wore it onstage.

But in Madonna’s hands, sometimes paired with men’s clothing, Gaultier’s vision took on new meaning.

As he told The New York Times, the singer liked his designs for how they blend masculine and feminine sensibilities.









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Debuted the look on the opening night of blond ambition

Although the cone bra had been around for some time, Jean Paul Gaultier’s take premiered on fashion runways in 1987.

Meanwhile, other early Gaultier attempts were seen all throughout the 1980s.

Punk fashion designer Vivienne Westwood had also explored traditionally feminine-coded clothing like lingerie

and businesswear before Madonna wore Gaultier’s creation on stage.

Before Maidenform experimented with the style in the late 1940s with their Chansonette,









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what came to sometimes be known as the “bullet bra” was innovated by Frederick Mellinger,

and showed up in 1946 at Mellinger’s “Frederick’s of Hollywood” store on Hollywood Boulevard.








From there,

The iconic silhouette was associated with a number of Hollywood’s biggest female stars from the time period.

Madonna put her indelible stamp on the cone bra look on the opening night of her “Blond Ambition” tour in Japan in 1990.

The “Like a Virgin” singer’s backup dancers also wore variations on the cone bra look sometimes even men, further subverting gender stereotypes.








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While performing and in public appearances, Madonna paired her cone bra with black fishnet stockings or a Bob Fosse-style bowler hat, among other combinations.

In 2001, Gaultier told The New York Times Magazine a Madonna-Gaultier conical bra had recently sold for $20,000 at auction, A pink cone bra Madonna wore later sold for $52,000.


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