Its Extravagance Never Goes Out Of Style: Cher, Unexpected Advertising Star At 75 | Celebrities, Fashion | S Fashion THE COUNTRY

Before the Kardashians, there was an Armenian-American who redefined what was considered a “beauty icon” for the general public, black hair and stylistic excesses included. We are talking about Cherilyn Sarkisian, who stayed in Cher, because the other letters were too many for her.

At 75, the actress, singer and tweeter begins the year starring in two powerful campaigns for spring 2022, that of Ugg, which has sought a cast of seniors eccentrics –there is also the former editor of Vogue André Leon Talley, the model Iman, the basketball player Kareem Abdul Jabbar and Susanne Bartsch, a Swiss party promoter who became famous in the New York nightlife during the 1980s–, and that of MAC cosmetics, along with the rapper Saweetie.

Cher in the MAC Cosmetics campaign.

The two brands have agreed to ask the same thing: to make itself raised to maximum power. Ugg has released a short which shows the artist at her home in Malibu, watching movies and talking to her mother on the phone. Cher’s mother, Georgia Holt, is 95 years old and was a singer, actress (she appears in several episodes of I Love Lucy) and collector of husbands. “My mother told me it couldn’t be a cartoon,” recalls Cher, moving through interiors like those of a luxury hotel that would have been inspired by Arabian Nights (a hotel in Dubai, for example), and says things like: “I never understand what people mean when they say I’m an icon. I’ve been through a lot and maybe they empathize with me, as I empathize with them.” And also: “I have style, that’s for sure.”

At mac ad, shorter, Saweetie treats Cher with due deference. After a video clip that shows the singer entering various stages, most of them from when she had her own television program, The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour, the rapper asks, “How did you do it?” and she replies: “I’m like this lipstick. When I am, I am”. Although the Ugg campaign shows a more homey Cher, nobody pretends to see the singer in a tracksuit. In both she appears as expected of her, with all her apparatus and artifice, which are precisely the qualities for which she is so much in demand now. What all the stars and hopefuls currently do when they go to the MET gala, the MTV Awards and even the most conservative red carpets, invent an avatar that helps them stay in the reels and in the memory of the internet for as long as possible, Cher invented it in the sixties, polished it in the seventies and sublimated it in the eighties.

His influence on these types of events is not just a matter of inspiration, sometimes it is literal. From the dress that Cher wore to the first Met gala that was held, in 1974, with a Hollywood theme, they drink all the naked dresses that have been put after Beyoncé, Dua Lipa, Kendall Jenner, Kim Kardashian and Jennifer Lopez. It was, in effect, a stripped dress made up of strategically placed sequins and feathers on sheer mesh that her regular collaborator, designer Bob Mackie, created for her, taking inspiration from the work of Jean Louis, the creator of the nude dress original, the one that Marilyn Monroe wore when she sang Happy Birthday, Mr. President.

That tendency to never go unnoticed, to understand the costume as one of the fine arts, is also what explains Cher’s ascendancy in drag culture. “When I die, you will know. Drags from all over the world will burn their sequins”, the singer tweeted on one occasion –followed by another less understandable phrase, because Cher’s Twitter is broadcast in her own idiolect–. Although she, incomprehensibly, has never been to the program Drag Race (Yes, her mother and her son, Chaz Bono, a pioneer in the fight for trans rights, have done it several times), the contestants have paid tribute to him in all seasons and in 2018 they even recorded a complete musical titled Cher: The Unauthorized Rusical, a seven-minute musical extravaganza featuring all the Chers: the Cher of the disco era, the Cher of the movie, the Cher of the rock star, the Cher of the sixties, the Cher of her triumphant return at the end of the ninety, when he re-emerged with the disc Believe, and the Cher who had her own variety show. The latter, a spin off from the program that she shared in the mid-seventies with her then-husband Sonny Bono, works like a treasure cave for YouTube and feeds the internet with clips for every occasion. With the premiere of West Side Story Spielberg, for example, has recirculated the musical version of 12 minutes that Cher made in a television special in 1978. The videos of her programs are also evidence that, as it happens with the folkloric in Spain, there is no trend that Cher has not taken before. Garland dress to Pedroche? Her already took it. ¿Cut-outs? I wore them in 72. Earrings a foot long? Why not. She was, after all, the first woman to show her navel on television (and after doing it once, she repeated it another 200, turning that detail into her hallmark) and until 1989, when she was already over 40, her video Turn Back Time was censored on MTV because the body fishnet she wore was considered too indecent.

Any young celebrity stylist of the moment has drunk from Cher’s archive. The singer in 1978, with a look What could Rosalía wear today? Photo: Getty

Cher herself has explained on several occasions that her film career suffered from her extravagant image. “It was very difficult for me to get a job in the cinema because people thought that I was not serious because of my clothes. I had friends, I knew all the heads of the Hollywood studios, but they didn’t give me a job,” he says in a recent interview with the Vogue American. His film career, relatively short, has also been revalued. Moon spell, above all, the film for which Cher won the Oscar in 1988, is considered one of the best romantic comedies of all time. In an article in The New Yorker In 2020, critic BD McClay compares it to Shakespeare’s light plays and explains why it’s so weird and wonderful: “It’s a comedy, but it’s deeply obsessed with death, to the point where it starts in a funeral home. It’s a romance, but instead of trying to promote the central couple, he takes their sudden and total attraction as an act of God. No one in the film acts rationally or normally.”

In addition to fashion campaigns that celebrate their appearance glamazónico and timeless –Cher has said that it seems very good to her that others leave their gray hair, but that they do not count on her to abandon her jet-black hair–, it would be good if they offered it projects in the cinema and the series that allowed her to show off in that facet.