VOGUE (Music Video)
The video was directed by David Fincher and shot at The Burbank Studios in Burbank, California on February 10–11, 1990. According to Lucy O'Brien in her book Madonna: Like an Icon, the video was brought together after a "huge casting call" in Los Angeles where hundreds of different sorts of dancers appeared.
Filmed in black-and-white, the video recalls the look of films and photography from The Golden Age of Hollywood with the use of artwork by the Art Deco artist Tamara de Lempicka and an Art Deco set design. Many of the scenes are recreations of photographs taken by noted photographer Horst P. Horst, including his famous "Mainbocher Corset", "Lisa with Turban" (1940), and "Carmen Face Massage" (1946). Horst was reportedly "displeased" with Madonna's video because he never gave his permission for his photographs to be used and received no acknowledgement from Madonna. Some of the close-up poses recreate noted portraits of such stars as Marilyn Monroe, Veronica Lake, Greta Garbo, Marlene Dietrich, Katharine Hepburn, and Jean Harlow. (Additionally, several stars of this era were name-checked in the song's lyrics.) Several famous Hollywood portrait photographers whose style and works are referenced include George Hurrell, Eugene Robert Richee, Don English, Whitey Schafer, Ernest Bachrach, Scotty Welbourne, Laszlo Willinger, and Clarence Sinclair Bull.
The video features the dancers for Madonna's then-upcoming Blond Ambition Tour. The choreography was set by "Punk Ballerina" Karole Armitage. The video world-premiered on MTV on March 29, 1990.
There are two versions of the video, the regularly aired television music video, and the 12" remix, which is the extended version over three minutes longer.
The black-and-white video, set in Art Deco-themed 1920s and '30s surroundings, starts off showing different sculptures, works of art, as well as Madonna's dancers posing. Along with this are images of a maid and a butler cleaning up inside what seems to be a grand house. When the dance section of the song starts, Madonna turns around, and, similarly to the lyrics, strikes a pose. The video progresses, and images of men with fedoras, Madonna wearing the controversial sheer lace dress and other outfits, follow. As the chorus begins, Madonna and her dancers start to perform a vogue dance routine, where she sings the chorus as her dancers mime the backing vocals. After this, other scenes of Madonna in different outfits and imitations of golden-era Hollywood stars progresses, after which there is a scene with Madonna's dancers voguing. Finally, after this scene, Madonna can be seen wearing her iconic "cone bra", after which she also performs a dance routine with a fellow dancer. As the rap section begins, different clips of Madonna posing in the style of famous photographs or portraits of Hollywood stars, begins, ultimately followed by a choreographed scene with her dancers and backup singers.
MTV placed the video at second on their list of "100 Greatest Music Videos Ever Made" in 1999. In 1993, Rolling Stone magazine listed the video as the twenty-eighth best music video of all-time. Also, the same magazine listed "Vogue" as the #2 music video of all time in 1999 second only to Michael Jackson's Thriller. It was also ranked at number five on "The Top 100 Videos That Broke The Rules", issued by MTV on the channel's 25th anniversary in August 2006. It was the third time Fincher and Madonna collaborated on a video (the first being 1989's "Express Yourself" and the second being 1989's "Oh Father"). About.com listed as the best Madonna video.
There was some controversy surrounding the video due to a scene in which Madonna's breasts and, if the viewer looks closely, her nipples could be seen through her sheer lace blouse, as seen in the picture on the right. MTV wanted to remove this scene, but Madonna refused, and the video aired with the shot intact. The video was edited in Australia for daytime screenings, with the sheer blouse images replaced with slow motion shots of other parts of the video.
"Vogue" music video received a total of nine MTV Video Music Awards nominations, becoming her most-nominated video at the award show. It won Best Direction, Best Editing and Best Cinematography.