The 18 most outrageously flamboyant stage stars of all time

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  • Hats off to these performers who have the balls and sense of humour to wear some of the most outrageous on-stage looks we've ever seen.

    Selena Gomez
    Selena Gomez has kicked off her Revival tour in true style, with an outstanding stage wardrobe, and this latest look could well be the most incredible to date.

    Designed by the iconic Chanel designer Karl Lagerfeld, Selena’s black cape creation, complete with vinyl trousers, has been carefully handcrafted to include 12,000 pearls and sequins, and took a whopping 200 hours to make at the Chanel Atelier in Paris.

    It’s not the first time Queen Bey has been dressed by a designer for a world tour, back in 2014 the sassy singer debuted a showstopping tour wardrobe by Versace, and with The Formation World Tour set to be bigger, better and more memorable than anything the 34-year-old has ever done before, we couldn’t wait to see what was in store. Kicking off the highly-anticipated show, Beyoncé stepped out in this custom sequined bodysuit, designed by Gucci Creative Director Alessandro Michele. Look closely and you’ll spot quite a bit of impressive detailing here; jewel sleeves, tulle overlay, black beading at the waist and pearl detailing at the neck.

    And it didn’t stop there. For the next number, Beyoncé switched into this geometric long sleeved bodysuit. The red and white piece is equally impressive, with lashings of pearls, pailettes and a pearl embroidered belt.

    Rihanna has her pick of the crop when it comes to red carpet dressing, with some of the world’s most incredible designers on hand around the clock creating custom gowns at a minute’s notice. And naturally, the 28-year-old singer called upon one of her favourite designers to create the ultimate stage wardrobe for her 2013 Diamonds tour, turning to Givenchy’s Riccardo Tisci. The French label created a bespoke, heavily embellished floor-length silk cape to be worn during the opening act, complete with leather lace-up thigh high boots.

    Lady Gaga
    No surprises here. The Paparazzi singer has ripped-up the rule book on what counts as bonkers stage outfits, most notably during the world renowned Monsters Ball tour in 2010. Fans lucky enough to secure a ticket were treated to PVC nun outfits, sparkler bras and plenty of crazy-looking directional costumes, including this white showstopper, below.

    Katy Perry
    You can always count on Katy Perry to push the boundaries when it comes to stage costumes. From carousel-inspired dresses designed by Manish Arora to show support for President Obama, to firework bras and even this movie-inspired, popcorn hem creation – Miss Perry has officially put the fun back into stage costumes.

    The Icelandic singer always steps out on stage in custom-designed outifts and never disapoints. She’s quirky, fun, unique and totally off-piste. We love her.

    David Bowie
    So well-loved are Bowie’s stage looks that the recent exhibition about his music career at London’s V&A was the fastest-selling exhibit the museum has ever put on. Style as orginal as Bowie’s just doesn’t get old. From his Kabuki-like bodysuits to his androgynous ensembles, the singer changed the world of music and fashion forever one Alexander McQueen-designed costume at a time.

    They didn’t come much more extravagant than the subject of the new Michael Douglas and Matt Damon movie, Behind The Candleabra. Liberace loved feathers, fur, jewels and above all things, glitter. It was definitely a case of the bigger the better for the piana player, who liked his hair high and his coats to come with a 20ft train.

    The singer was, and still is, famous for his outlandish outfits. His on-stage style checklist consisted of: huge flares, stacked platform shoes, bold colours and sequins.

    We can thank costume designer Bob Mackie for the majority of Cher’s on-stage looks. Leather, lamé, fishnet and feathers shouldn’t work, but for Cher, it kinda does.

    Diana Ross
    Apparently, Diana Ross wanted to be a fashion designer when she was younger and her love of flamboyance was clear for all to see. She never played it safe, and for that we adore her. If you look back at some of her most famous looks over the years you can clearly how she has influenced and inspired popstar fashion up to this day.

    Michael Jackson
    The King of Pop influenced an entire generation with his style choices. Whether is was his trademark glove or his tilted fedora, Michael Jackson’s style legacy continues.

    Elton John
    He may have tamed down his on-stage fashion choices over the years, but Elton John remains famous for his out-there costume choices and wigs. The man made statement dressing an art form.

    Grace Jones
    Before a meat-clad Lady Gaga came bursting onto the scene, there was Grace Jones. Now in her 60s, the singer continues to flash the flesh and push boundaries. She was a muse to Andy Warhol, a champion of Philip Treacy’s hat designs and was generally incomparable.

    Marilyn Manson
    His style may not be to our particular tastes, but you can’t knock a guy for trying. The musician has revealed that his rather terrifying on-stage persona stems from having braces and acne as a child, and generally not feeling comfortable in his own skin. But he was recently named as one of the faces of the Saint Laurent pre-fall 2013 campaign. so who’s laughing now?

    It goes without saying that Madonna would make it onto our list of flamboyant dressers. Have we ever known Madge to blend into the background? Her Jean Paul Gaultier-designed cone bra has become an iconic piece of fashion history. The bra she wore on her 1990 Blond Ambition tour, eventually sold at auction for $52,000 (£33,000) in 2012.

    Freddie Mercury
    The late Queen frontman didn’t do on-stage style by halves. A big fan of eye-wateringly tight bodysuits, spandex, glitter and fur, Freddie’s fashion was always exciting and flamboyant. He once said: ‘It is not a concert you are seeing, it is a fashion show.’

    Karen O
    The Yeah Yeah Yeahs singer cites Grace Jones as her inspiration, so it’s no surprise that this singer’s style is well-designed, eye-popping and quirky. She creates all her looks with designer Christian Joy and has revealed that putting on a stage costume helps her feel the part. She told the BBC a few years ago: ‘Every time I get into costume it’s like going shopping and getting a new outfit for your Friday night out. I get completely energised by it and I feel like it keeps things fresh.’

    Who’s your favourite on-stage style star? Have we missed anyone of our list? Let us know in the comment box below.

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