7 of Lana Del Rey’s most iconic outfits
Five years on from the sad girl pop star's 'Lust for Life', we look back at her fashion journey from indie sleaze to Gucci muse.
Elizabeth Woolridge Grant – aka Lana Del Slay, aka Lana Del Rey – has been the moment ever since her deep, sultry, haunting voice on “Video Games” took over the charts. Eight albums later, she continues to be one of the most intriguing figures to come out of the US, encompassing the all-American girl next door but with a dark, sexy and brooding edge.
It’s no surprise, then, that we all thought Lana Del Rey was a gemini, especially given the chaotic way she switches up fashion aesthetics. One moment she is in daisy dukes and Buttwiser tees, the next an ethereal bohemian mini dress. One moment she is the epitome of 2010s indie sleaze, then she’s in her goth era. But it turns out she’s not a gemini, she’s a cancer, and that makes sense too, given the pensive sad girl energy she brings to all her iconic style moments.
As her fifth studio album, Lust for Life, which brought us the hit “Love”, turns five years old, we look back at the best style moments from the singer. From heavenly regalia in music videos and at the Met Gala to becoming a Gucci girl.
In the Born To Die music video, 2012
After the runaway success of her debut single “Video Games”, and its retro, super 8-style music video, Lana went in a more cinematic direction for the visuals for her follow-up. The dramatic “Born To Die” soundtracked scenes of Lana atop a throne in a Romanian chapel, flanked by tigers and wearing an angelic white Antonio Berardi SS11 dress with cut outs above her boobs and a shades of blue flower crown. Later, for the moments she’s taking a walk on the wild side, she wears an all-American girl look in cut-off denim shorts, red hi-tops and a white leather fringe jacket over pink lingerie. It wouldn’t be her most Americana outfit though…
In the Ride music video, 2012
In a 10-minute music video epic for the song “Ride”, Lana had her most Americana outfit of them all. As the derided and outcast “Artist” in a short film about prostitution, violence, and the American dream, she wears a laced acid wash denim jacket, a pair of short shorts and a Buttwiser beer tee. If this was in 2022, that T-shirt would 100% say Bussywiser and we are forever thankful that it was not.
At Isle of Wight festival, 2012
In 2012, Lana was in her beehive era. Doing the UK festival circuit, an iconic photo was taken of the singer at Lovebox, posing in a pair of heeled white trainers, a blush shirt dress and a loose camo shirt jacket. She brought back the latter statement piece to walk around Isle of Wight festival, covering the fringed lips tee and daisy dukes she’d performed in earlier. She finished the look with beige open-toe boot heels caked in mud. Truly an early 2010s outfit. Stick a pair of fake Ray Bans and a high street x high fashion collab scarf on her neck and she could be the face of American Apparel.
At Milan Fashion Week, 2013
Versace’s Fall 2013 collection was an ode to fetish with vinyl dresses, trench coats, and risque cutouts. Sitting front row at the show was Lana, with a seriously dramatic new look that was equal parts shocking and sexy. Her indie sleaze and boho aesthetics were switched out for her vamp era – encompassing a black mini-dress with lace sleeves and detailing, vinyl boots, blood red lipstick and nails, and new inky tresses. We call that range.
At the Met Gala, 2018
The Met Gala 2018 is indisputably the most iconic Met Gala in history. Remember Rihanna’s papal look? Zendaya’s Joan of Arc? Ariana Grande wearing the ceiling of the sistine chapel? Well, add to that list Lana, who arrived at the event alongside the rest of the Gucci gang (Jared Leto and Alessandro Michele) in a custom gown from the Italian house. She looked pensive while serving medieval regalia with her off-white overdress over a lacy skirt (that kinda looks like those blinds on your grandma’s windows), while a gold heart in the centre of her chest was pierced by six swords. Then, sat on her head was a diamond halo with stunning ombre feathered wings coming off it.
In the Gucci Forever Guilty film, 2019
Alessandro Michele wanted to create a campaign around the theme of “Hollyweird” for his Gucci Guilty fragrance and so who better to feature than his muses Jared Leto, Courtney Love and Lana in a trippy film directed by Glen Luchford? Midway through the release of her sixth album, Norman Fucking Rockwell, Lana donned a retro grassy-toned jumpsuit with the double G insignia on the belt for the Forever Guilty film, with a dangly silver chain pendant and a stunning jewel-encrusted body suit. To finish off the moment, holding back her bouffant hair were 00s-style diamante clips with the brand's name sparkling across them that Olivia Rodrigo would sell her soul for.
At a book signing, 2020
LDR’s most iconic fashion moment was more of a faux pas, but iconic nonetheless. Back in the heights of the pandemic Lana turned up to a signing for her debut book of broody poetry wearing a diamante mesh mask. The internet was quick to jump on her for the very un-CDC-approved PPE before she took to Twitter to clarify that the mask was actually lined with plastic. She’d then recreate the moment in the music video for “Chemtrails over the Country Club”. Honestly we stan. Face masks became such a staple of our wardrobe, why not style it out in the most impractical, heavy and sweaty way possible. After all, a pandemic is for a few years, but iconic fashion moments live on forever.