PHOTOS: Ricky Martin, Princess Di, Lady Gaga & other divas who conquered the shoulder pad – Queerty

Nothing says drama like a fierce set of shoulders pads.
In the ’70s and ’80s, Claude Montana revolutionized the fashion industry with designs featuring aggressive silhouettes and strong curves that defined an era of power dressing and made him known as the “king of the shoulder pad.”
The gay French designer initially launched the House of Montana in 1979 and rode a wave of success over the next decade.
The over-the-top trend caught on fast and soon everyone from Hollywood actresses to Wall Street bankers were clamoring to make sure their shoulders looked as exaggerated as possible.
By the ’90s, Montana’s diva glamazon aesthetic went out of favor with the rise of grunge and waifish models. After shuttering his boutiques and filing for bankruptcy in 1997, Montana shunned the the jet-set for a more reclusive life near his Paris home.
On February 23, 2024, Montana died at the age of 76, according to the NY Times. A cause of death has not been released.
Montana’s influence can be felt far and wide. From Dynasty to Miami Vice and Princess Diana to Lady Gaga, shoulder pads have been part of pop culture for more than 40 years.
To honor Claude Montana’s legacy, click through to see some of the finer moments in shoulder pad fashion history.
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Alexis Carrington wouldn’t be caught dead without her shoulder pads.
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Ricky’s been livin’ la vida loca forever!
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Rock star status on lock.
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The Suit.
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There are icons and then there’s Grace.
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This power suit goes Padam Padam!
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Forever Queen.
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Sam knows shoulder pads are blowing up again.
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Supermodel of the world.
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Before there was Mother Monster, it was all about shoulder pads and Herve Leger bandage dresses.
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Girl you know it’s true they wore shoulder pads!
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Crockett and Tubbs knew the deal.
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Shantay you stay, kween!
‘Elite’ hunks Manu Rios, Andre Lamoglia & Omar Ayuso channeled their inner Zoolander.
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Grace didn’t need padding. Where is Chrystal Carrington.
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