The singer stars on the December cover of W magazine

By Emily Kirkpatrick
November 17, 2016 11:25 AM
Credit: Steven Meisel

Only a few celebrities can truly claim the title of “living legend,” and indisputably near the top of that list is Barbra Streisand. This is a woman who completed her EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony) within six years of starting her career, who’s conquered stage and screen and who continues to sell out tours at age 74. So it seems only natural that she’d cover W magazine like the diva she is, and make a few cracks at her past fashion choices while she’s at it.

In the interview for the cover story, Streisand touches on some of the highlights of her longstanding career, as well as tying the knot for the second time at the age of 56, and why she’s always embraced playing strong women. When asked why she gravitates towards those roles, the singer said, “It’s a more interesting part to play! Strong women are, simply, women with opinions. And they have always been treated with suspicion. Look at Hillary Clinton. And, sadly, the strong women usually don’t get the guy at the end of the film.”

But Streisand has proven her own opinion wrong, not only getting the guy in the end, but also having a hugely successful career in the process, receiving her first Oscar in 1969 for Funny Girl.

To accept the award, she wore a now iconic sheer black pantsuit by Arnold Scaasi, which surprised even her. “That night, in my dressing room, I was choosing between two different outfits,” she said. “One was lovely, but very conservative. And then there was the pantsuit with plastic sequins.”

She continued, “I had no idea that when the lights hit that outfit, it would become transparent! I wanted a white collar and cuffs, which it had, and I wore my hair under my chin, because I thought to myself, I’m going to win two Oscars in my lifetime, and I’ll be more conservative next time.”

Credit: Getty; AP

And it turns out her premonition was right — when she won her second gold statuette in 1977 for “Best Song” from A Star Is Born, she did go for something a little less see-through, though no less interesting. “I wore a gown that I designed,” she said. “It was red. It had a capelet, but I had just performed and wasn’t wearing it when I accepted the award.” While all of this behind-the-scenes information is surely fascinating for any fashion lovers or Streisand-philes out there, in the always immortal words of the diva herself, “It’s boring to dwell on yourself.”

What do you think about the story behind Streisand’s Oscars looks? Sound off below!