The Big Fashion IssueEdit
- Editorial by Harper's Bazaar staff; photography by Terry Richardson.
Gaga On Love and LiesEdit
After one of th emost tumultuous years of her life, pop's biggest star is still white-hot and burning bright. Bazaar quizzes her on the secrets of her survival and finds out why nobody puts Gaga in a corner.
It's not always easy being Lady Gaga—and in 2013, it was especially difficult. For the first time since she emerged from the New York City club ether in 2008, Planet Gaga seemed in peril. Her latest album, ARTPOP, an experimental R&B-tinged effort featuring artwork by Jeff Koons and a controversial duet with R. Kelly, divided critics. She also endured a very public split with her longtime manager, Troy Carter, just a week before the album's release in November—all of which seemed to knock Gaga out of orbit. But 2014 is a new year, and Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta is a space oddity of a pop star. After a brief break around the holidays and some well-documented quality time with her boyfriend, Chicago Fire actor Taylor Kinney (and sporting some remarkable early-winter pantless 'n' plaid looks), Gaga is back to being her most inimitably Gaga, with a sparkling new Versace campaign and her upcoming ArtRave tour, which launches later this spring.
How does one account for such resilience, such triumphant unflappability, in the face of turmoil? Bazaar drew up a Proustian little Gaga questionnaire designed to reveal some of the secrets of her extraordinary Gaga-ness. The Lady kindly obliged by answering honestly and fabulously—and she did not disappoint.
HARPER'S BAZAAR: How have you changed in the past few years?
LADY GAGA: I'm actually not very different at all. I work all day, do research, sketch my ideas, prepare for performances. My experience with fame has been the opposite: "How can I stop this from changing me?" I mean I'm not broke anymore—that's good! But today I'm more comfortable with being who I am. When I was younger, I felt pressure to become someone else once I became successful. But it's the intention of the work that's changed. I have fans now. I have a new purpose: to remind them that I am one of them, that we are one another. My consciousness has changed.
HB: What was the first big musical moment in your life?
LG: I went to see Phantom of the Opera with my grandma and my mom when I was very little. The stage, the voice, the music?…Composer Andrew Lloyd Webber has been a massive inspiration to me for some time—the storytelling, that deliciously somber undertone in his music. I just knew that he could see it while he was creating it. It is the same way I experience music.
HB: What's your favorite outfit of all time?
LG: Audrey Hepburn at the derby in My Fair Lady—the giant white hat with flower detail and bonnet, a mermaid lace gown with a giant bow, and a walking stick. I've loved that since I was little. I'll design something like that one day.
HB: Do you keep a lot of clothes that you've worn over the years?
LG: The fashion I've acquired over the years is so sacred to me—from costumes to couture, high fashion to punk wear I've collected from my secret international hot spots. I keep everything in an enormous archive in Hollywood. The clothes are on mannequins, also on hangers and in boxes with a photo of each piece, and there's a Web site where I can go to look through everything. It's too big—I could never sort through it myself! But these garments tell the stories of my life. And then there are the tour pieces. This is the section that is most sacred to me. These are the pieces that have collected energy, joy, and screams from fans all over the world. My fashion is my most prized possession for two reasons: 1) because it is a visualization of all the hard work I've put in to get where I am today; 2) because it is a legend to the encyclopedia of my life. It is exactly what I've aimed to seep into the artistic consciousness of people all over the world—that life is an art form.
HB: What is your home like?
LG: My "home" is a controversial topic. I don't exactly have one. I live all over the world. I keep a small rental in New York, where I hang many of my hats when I come to see my parents and New York pals. It's like a tiny jewel box, covered in rose-gold mirrors, with an oversize pink couch, an expensive vase, a white Marilyn piano, and a boudoir. I do not keep a lot of clothes here—mostly punk wear. And the three most expensive items I've ever purchased, including an actual house: my sable, a strand of diamonds, and my Mikimoto pearls.
HB: How do you think people in the future will feel about fashion right now?
LG: I'm not sure. I imagine that there will be a revival of some of these aesthetics—the more bold ones. Those who have watered down themselves for "sale" might make money now, but they are shortchanging their legend. I always think to myself, How do I want to be remembered? I don't want to be remembered as anything but brave. The only good intention to make money is to help others. I want to be Oprah. I want to be Melinda Gates. If I ever sell products other than my talents, then it will be to give more to others.
HB: What excites you about the idea of performing in space?
LG: I honestly can't wait. I can't wait to design the performance. I'm auctioning off my second seat [on a Virgin Galactic flight] to raise money for the Born This Way Foundation. I want to make a moment that is about much more than me. Performing in space is such an honor. I want to challenge myself to come up with something that will not only bring everyone together but will also have a message of love that blasts into the beyond.
HB: What's something that you're better at now than when you were younger?
LG: I am better with food. I don't have an eating disorder anymore. I'm also better at not letting people take advantage of me. Five years ago, when I spotted someone with a hidden agenda, I allowed them to stay around me. I didn't want to believe it. I thought if I ignored it, then they would eventually see me again—that I'm a human being and not a doll. But it doesn't work that way. I speak up now. I realized that it's my own fault that people take advantage. I should be around people who cherish my talents, my health, my time. I'm not a pawn for anyone's future business. I'm an artist. I deserve better than to be loyal to people who only believe in me because I make money.
HB: Romeo & Juliet or Titanic?
LG: Romeo & Juliet—both the Shakespeare and the Baz [Luhrmann] versions I was changed by profoundly as a child. But I have to say, Titanic is also a classic.
HB: John Lennon or Paul McCartney?
LG: I love Paul so much, but I was and will always be a Lennon girl.
HB: Do you believe in ghosts?
LG: Yes. I have many old souls around me all the time.
HB: What are your guilty pleasures?
LG: Russian hookers and cheap gin. At least I'm honest.
HB: If you were an animal, what would it be?
LG: A unicorn.
HB: What's the myth about you that you'd like to dispel?
LG: That I'm a myth.
HB: What's something true about you that people should know?
LG: That it's not an act.
HB: When was the last time you laughed out loud? At what?
LG: Today. My Taylor [Kinney, Gaga's boyfriend] stole my SpongeBob SquarePants socks from Tokyo.
HB: What was the last thing you talked about with your mother?
LG: I went through a rough time last year. I felt very taken advantage of by people I trusted. I asked my mother, "I work so hard. I never stop. I never say no. Why doesn't this person love me, Mom? Why was this person willing to hurt me to help themselves? Why wasn't I enough? Why is money more important than me? She reminded me to forgive others for not seeing God where I see it. I see God in my fans. She said, "You're hurt because you don't operate this way. You are fiercely protective of your inventions because you are your fans." She helped me understand my own feelings. When someone has pulled the wool over my eyes, I feel that they have pulled the wool over the eyes of millions of fans around the world. She helped me to forgive. You can't force people to have the same world consciousness and awareness as you do.
HB: When was the last time you cried?
LG: Yesterday. I'm creative. I'm always a laugh away from a tear.
HB: If you received a visit from yourself in the future, what would you want to ask your future self?
LG: I'd ask her to do a duet with me—that would be original. Then I would tell her that I'm so happy she didn't die young.
HB: Is there anything you regret doing—or not doing?
LG: Sometimes I get this gut feeling about people—maybe I sense a hidden agenda or that they care for the money more than the message. I wish that I'd listen to that feeling instead of waiting for the truth to rear its ugly head. I'm a smart girl. I'm loyal. But sometimes I'm too loyal. I'm not loyal enough to myself.
HB: How much attention do you pay to what people say about you?
LG: I've never had that type of relationship with art, that sort of hypercritical thing that's going around. I often think people don't know what to think of me, and in fact this is precisely the objective of many of my creations. Even back in the days with Lady Starlight, my original partner, we aimed to bemuse. This feeling of bemusement—it's neither good nor bad. It just is. Whether critics realize it or not, they've been in a very long argument since my public birth. Is it right or is it wrong? This was the intention of those twisted nursery rhyme, I-aim-to-confuse-you verses in my song "Applause." The conversation is still happening because they don't know what to think. They're still scratching their heads. This grappling is my art form—and it's powerful, because whether they like it or not, they're still talking.
HB: What's the biggest thing you've learned about yourself so far?
LG: I became very depressed at the end of 2013. I was exhausted fighting people off. I couldn't even feel my own heartbeat. I was angry, cynical, and had this deep sadness like an anchor dragging everywhere I go. I just didn't feel like fighting anymore. I didn't feel like standing up for myself one more time—to one more person who lied to me. But January 1, I woke up, started crying again, and I looked in the mirror and said, "I know you don't want to fight. I know you think you can't, but you've done this before. I know it hurts, but you won't survive this depression." I really felt like I was dying—my light completely out. I said to myself, "Whatever is left in there, even just one light molecule, you will find it and make it multiply. You have to for you. You have to for your music. You have to for your fans and your family." Depression doesn't take away your talents—it just makes them harder to find. But I always find it. I learned that my sadness never destroyed what was great about me. You just have to go back to that greatness, find that one little light that's left. I'm lucky I found one little glimmer stored away.
HB: Are you happy?
LG: Today, yes.
HB: What do you want written on your gravestone?
LG: "She spread love with every invention."
The Lady Gaga March Cover Wardrobe AuctionEdit
Starting February 18, 2013 at 9PM EST, Harper's Bazaar and the Haus of Gaga auctioned pieces on eBay of clothing that Gaga wore for the March issue cover shoot. All proceeds from the sale will benefit the Born This Way Foundation. The auction will end on February 28, 2014 at 9PM EST.
- Custom headpiece and dress by Carolina Herrera made with hand-painted vinyl with grosgrain.
- White and black crystal jumpsuit with black stud belt, silver zip down front, and silver zippers at hips by Atelier Versace, length: 53", waist: 28", hips: 36.5", bust: 35". The item was sold with a loose black stud on right side zipper pocket, loss of crystals on right side bust and right arm.
- Silver and black crystals helmet with a nylon neck by Atelier Versace, length: 12", width: 31". The item was sold with a few stones that have fallen off the top.
- Black, silver crystals and nylon boot covers by Atelier Versace, length: 14", width: 11". It was sold with a few stones that have fallen off or come loose.
- Silver technical with 84% polyester and 16% polyurethane jacket by Emilio Pucci
- Floor-length off-white plain silk dress by Gareth Pugh, size 6/8 (UK)
- Large round space helmet with a clear plastic front and silver metallic back by Alexis Bittar, length: 21", around: 56". The helmet have one metal clip that has fallen off the side.
- Iridescent leather and mesh foldover high heels by Christopher Kane
- Neon green plexiglass headpiece by Philip Treacy
- A skin tight Spandex power mesh nude bodysuit with stainless steel triangular sequins and stainless laser cutout arm and calf pieces by threeASFOUR, bust: 34, waist: 26, hips: 36, size 4 (US) or 34 (EU). The metal laser cut pattern is that of vortex geometry divided up in a topology of triangular cutout shapes and sizes.
- Smoke lenses with a shiny silver metal and black plastic frames by Moncler Lunette
- Double twill enriched with an embroidery of white ostrich feathers across the top jacket by Moncler Gamme Rouge, size 0 (EU). It has a front opening with an exposed zip. It is a Bermuda knee length made in the duchesse technique.
- 5 cover boards signed by Gaga and Terry Richardson, 34.75 inches wide x 42 inches tall. The cover boards are glossy c-prints mounted to ¼ gator board of the March 2014 subscriber cover.
Iconic Womens IssueEdit
- Photography by Sebastian Faena.
Iconic Musican: Lady GagaEdit
KARL LAGERFELD: Since my Choupette is the most famous cat on the Internet, and your [French bulldog] Asia is the most famous dog on the Internet, should they meet? Does Asia have a personal maid like Choupette does?
LADY GAGA: They most certainly must meet! Asia is very sweet and calm. She would be very gentle with Choupette. She does not have a personal maid yet, but I adore making her little presents and cooking her homemade puppy food.
KL: Choupette talks without words; she communicates with me through her eyes. How does Asia communicate with you?
LG: Asia and I have a very special bond. She also talks a lot with her big, beautiful eyes. Her ears are especially large for a Frenchie, and I can tell she's comfy at home with Mommy because her ears are down. Asia also loves belly rubs, from everyone, and she lies on her back all the time to let me know!
KL: Choupette is my muse. Is Asia your musical inspiration?
LG: Asia is my inspiration for many things. She has really shown me the importance of living in the moment. If I don't, I'll miss a precious look on her face! She is a very romantic and loving animal, and this sort of poetry is what art is all about, I think. Interaction. She loves to sit with me when I record jazz. She never barks or makes noise; she just looks at me with her big ears.
KL: I think animals are better muses than human beings—they'll never fall out of fashion. What do you think of animals?
LG: I love animals. They communicate with us entirely with love, something we all should do. Asia and my love will never be out of fashion—it is unconditional.
KL: What are you into? What's your next fashion "trip"?
LG: I've been recently enjoying looking far and wide for the best vintage fashion I can find. Clothing with a story, a past. Heavy fabrics, jewels, veils. My latest trip is feeling a connection to all women throughout history through fashion. I love wearing clothes knowing that I'm carrying the spirit of previous fashionistas, and living out more of their fantasies, and my own. I believe clothes carry the soul of the designer and the person wearing them forever, so I look for clothes with a soul. Perhaps it's something only I can see. But I know it's real.
KL: Where do you see your look evolving?
LG: I could tell you, but then I'd have to kill you. Who knows? But when I sing jazz with Tony Bennett, I want to wear dresses made for real ladies, turn off all the lights, and have you hear only my voice cutting through the darkness.
KL: I wonder if you'll end up extremely classic one day. Do you think classic can be daring too?
KL: I can picture you doing "Miss Otis Regrets" with Tony Bennett. I love that song. Please tell me about your new album with him [Cheek to Cheek].
LG: Tony has completely changed my life. It's been a sort of secret that I've been singing jazz since I was 13. I was a jazz singer before I was a pop singer. Tony is such a gentleman. He really treats me like a lady. I feel so healed by my relationship with him because some men were very bad to me when I was young and in the studio. Tony showed me what the elegant and old-school cats were like. Our recording sessions were beautiful, memorable. We've built a deep friendship. There are 60 years between us, but when we sing together there is no distance. This album is pure jazz, songs from the Great American Songbook, played by both Tony and my respective jazz musicians and friends.
KL: I love Billie Holiday's "It's Easy to Remember (and So Hard to Forget)." In life, I always say, most people are easy to forget and hard to remember. Do you like Billie Holiday? What are your musical inspirations for this type of music?
LG: I used to listen to Billie Holiday every Sunday with my mother, but I fell in love with Ella Fitzgerald. She is to me the quintessential jazz vocalist. Her life story, the pain and wisdom, the whiskey in her throaty voice. I felt connected to her because it's these types of women, the lush ladies of swing, who've made me feel like no matter what happens, I can always turn a tragedy into a great performance. That's the romance of theater.
KL: How long is your world tour? Is it around the world in 80 days?
LG: Seven months.
KL: Do you have a different look planned for every city? I dare say, fashion could be your victim.
LG: I don't have my looks planned, but it's a nice compliment to suggest so. Thank you. I bring lots of vintage pieces with me—jewels, hats, bags—and I'm also very fortunate to get sent beautiful couture and runway looks all over the world. I just wear what makes me feel good for the day. Right now I'm enjoying feeling like a lady. Wearing dresses, in love, walking Asia in gardens, singing jazz with Tony Bennett …
KL: I heard you're going to Dubai for the first time. I hope you like it. I loved it when I showed the Chanel Dubai collection there.
LG: I'm very excited to go there, see my fans, give them the show of a lifetime. And, of course, I must explore the local designers and go shopping!
KL: I would call you the world's ever-changing fashion icon. How does it feel to be chosen as Carine Roitfeld and Bazaar's icon? You change all the time, but to me you stay the same Gaga. How do you manage that?
LG: It's an honor for you to say that, Karl. You are very classic. Classic for me is something that changes all the time, like a drifting anchor. Even though I'm changing all the time, I'm always thinking of iconography—which is repetition of images—so I'm always different. I'm in a way wearing the same outfit over and over, but I'm just a different expression of the same woman. When I leave the house, I bear the souls of fashionistas who came before me; I continue to live glamorously to celebrate them. I'm just being me.