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NEW YORK — As fashion’s favorite chameleon, Madonna has worked a geisha look, pioneered pre-Raphaelite goth, championed cowgirl chic and played the S&M princess. Now, as a fierce fencing Bond girl in both her new music video and as the fencing instructor Verity in the latest Bond film “Die Another Day,” she’s struck another fashionable chord.
This story first appeared in the November 19, 2002 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
“Madonna has a great sense of story,” says Arianne Phillips, the stylist who has collaborated with the artist on some of her most memorable looks, “and this is another chapter. Madonna’s really prolific and she’s changing all the time. It’s her job to keep the visuals interesting, just like she keeps her music interesting.”
After all, as a student of mystical number-crunching, Madonna’s numbers have been especially lucky. The “Die Another Day” theme is the 44-year-old diva’s 44th top-40 hit, a record for female artists last held by Aretha Franklin, who had 43 hits. And Madonna’s chart-topping looks have been equally numerous.
In the “Die Another Day” video — on heavy MTV rotation since early October — a white-clad Madonna, buckled and strapped with a tulle capelet riding across her shoulders, engages in swordplay with a black-clad Madonna, who wears a tiny belt bustle. “I felt like I was protecting the world from evil when I wore the white,” says Madonna of her dual looks, both created by Jeremy Scott, in collaboration with Phillips.
For his part, designing Madonna’s fencing gear sent Scott into overdrive. “She’s one of the ultimates,” he says. “I wanted the clothes to be so perfect for her.” Of course, Scott’s looks not only had to meet up to Madonna’s stylish standards, they had to hold up under serious strain.
“She is an amazing fencer,” says Scott, who was on the set during the video shoot last summer. “The stunt doubles couldn’t even keep up with her.”
Meanwhile, Madonna — never one to stick to one style for long — has moved on to the next. What new look would she like to try? “Nuclear physicist,” she says
Get ready, world, for lab-coat chic.