Lady Gaga has Earned Her CFDA Fashion Icon Award

Tonight, the Council of Fashion Designers of America will honor a few of the nation’s greatest designers at the 2011 CFDA Fashion Awards. Winners include notables like Alexander Wang (Womenswear Designer of the Year) and Marc Jacobs (Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award). But Lady Gaga—who will be presented with the Fashion Icon Award—is already drawing the most attention and scrutiny for her honor. Does she deserve it? (The award, not the scrutiny).

Past winners include Iman, Kate Moss, and Sarah Jessica Parker, all renowned for their style. And while Lady Gaga breaks the mold in terms of clothing choices, fashionistas are still wondering whether or not she should be labeled an “icon.” The debates are raging.

No one can deny Gagas influence on the fashion world. Everything she sports inspires a stream of criticism, praise, and wonder, until the next thing she wears repeats the cycle. But do her clothes actually influence the day-to-day fashion choices of women around the world? It’s safe to say that no, no they don’t. Most people don’t take literal inspiration from Gaga, but her muppet-covered, meat-clad, pant-less ways have challenged and inspired other artists to be just as bold in their fashion choices.

She’s heightened awareness of her favorite designers, who are celebrated for their outrageous and impractical designs. And for every event that Lady Gaga attends, viewers anticipate her arrival more than anyone else’s. Why? So we can gawk and stare at every inch of her body in an attempt to understand the effort and imagination that went into its conception and execution. That type of attention is what makes Gaga worthy of being honored as a fashion icon. There, we said it!

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