Mixtape Music Vault/A Look Back at the Making of Madonna’s ‘Vogue’ Video

By Patrick DeMarco

Imagine a music world without Madonna’s iconic video for her global smash single,’ Vogue.’ It would be like springtime without flowers, Netflix without ‘Orange Is The New Black,’ or…music without sound. Last week, Madge’s trademark tune celebrated 25 years since it invaded radio airwaves, and this weekend will mark 25 years since the famed “Vogue” took over MTV…and all of our lives. To celebrate the occasion, Philly Mixtape opened up the Mixtape Music Vault and had a look at just how Madge’s wonderfully whimsical clip all came together. 

To get the “Vogue” video party started, Madonna once again enlisted director David Fincher, as the pair previously collaborated on Madonna’s clips for her  ‘Like A Prayer’ singles, “Express Yourself” and “Oh Father.” Together, the dynamic duo delivered a sleek black-and-white video extravaganza (not to mention those fabulous Madonna back shots) that would go on to not only be one of Madonna’s best videos, but arguably one of the best videos to ever hit MTV. 

Shot on Feb 10-11th, 1990 at the famed Burbank Studios in California, the video was put together after a “huge casting call” where hundreds of dancers showed up to “Vogue” for their lives…literally, because Madonna was in the early stages of piecing together her ‘Blonde Ambition Tour’ and simply and no time to waste. Dancer Salim “Slam” Gauwloos recalls his days on set, telling Rolling Stone, “I remember David said, “Put him in this tuxedo jacket. ‘ So, I wore that, and they put me on some steps, and I was doing some poses, and it took like, 15 minutes, and I was like, ‘OK, is that it? I thought, this is not a good beginning. But then when the ‘Vogue’ video came out, I was like, ‘Ah Ok! Now I Get it!” And so did all of we…

As much as the iconic dancing is a certainly a big part of what makes the “Vogue” video so memorable (and of course, seeing backup “Vogue” vocal divas Niki Haris and Donna De Lory do their thing is always a treat), it’s kaleidoscopic black-and-white imagery is really the reason why we’re celebrating today. As we all have gloriously seen, the video recalls the look of films and photography from The Golden Age of Hollywood, with the use of Art Deco artist, Tamara de Lempicka. The chic clip also uses the photographs taken by world renowned photographer Horst P. Horst, including his famous “Mainbocher Corset” and “Lisa with Turban.” In fact, the famed shutterbug wasn’t too pleased with the Material Girl after she had used the imagery without his approval. We have to admit…we’re sure glad she didn’t ask him first. 

Looking back, while yes it’s hard to believe that “Vogue” is 25, but that it truly set the bar way high for every music artist that dared to released a video following it, as well as setting the tone for the crazy, yet somewhat blissful decade that was the ’90s. Madonna’s clip will continue to be artistically untouched and even five, ten, fifty years from now it will still have that glossy, timeless feel that will always look fresh and new. In fact, I can’t wait to keep celebrating, as Madonna’s ‘Vogue’ video will forever be the gift that keeps on giving for the rest of music eternity. 

 

 

 

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