There's a great history of designers creating outrageous outfits for singers to showcase on tour. American designer Bob Mackie is probably most famous for creating stage costumes for the likes of Cher, Diana Ross and Tina Turner. While Jean Paul Gaultier gained notoriety for conceiving the cone bra corset Madonna wore for her Blonde Ambition tour back in 1990.
Gaultier has had a long relationship with Madonna and was also commissioned by the pop star to come up with looks for her Confessions tour in 2006. Her outlandish Gothic equestrian garb, which radiated Gaultier's extreme aesthetic, even included a top hat.
When it came time to head out on the Sticky & Sweet tour in 2008, Madonna relied on Givenchy to play costume designer. The French fashion house designed several pieces including a gypsy-themed stretch chiffon dress set off with fuchsia metal chains and colorful ribbons along with a coordinating necklace.
For her recent Les Folies Tour, Kylie Minogue partnered with Dolce & Gabbana to design costumes for the road.
Check out this over-the-top Aphrodite ensemble she debuted last month; apparently many classic Dolce & Gabbana pieces were reinterpreted for the Aussie songstress. Kylie is no stranger to partnering with high-end designers to provide outfits for her intricate stage shows.
She turned to Jean Paul Gaultier for her stylish KylieX2008 tour, and rocked everything from an almost eggplant chiffon spider-like gown to an eclectic, lace-infused geisha getup crowned with a floral headpiece.
He may have departed from his own fashion empire, which still bares his name, but Thierry Mugler hasn't stopped designing. He put together the flashy stage pieces for Beyonce's I Am… tour in 2009, and also served as the creative adviser for the production.
The semi-retired Mugler fashioned a take-off on the motorcycle bustier he featured in George Michael's Too Funky music video from the 90s, which the designer actually directed. Even though Beyonce was going for a warrior vibe, the singer still needed a few more glam options, like this sparkly gold one-piece with a bow bustle.
No examination of tour costumes would be complete without Lady Gaga. The singer chose Giorgio Armani to create several pieces for her current tour, The Monster Ball. There's a reflective mirror dress, complete with matching sunglasses and shoes. The Gaga-Armani bond can be traced back to the satellite gown the performer wore at last year's Grammy's.
Designers will continue to head out on tour, so long as it stays on trend to dress mainstream acts in couture!