Lady Gaga is less than a month away from the release of the first single from her highly anticipated third studio album, ARTPOP, and the singer's comeback is in full swing. Now we know what you're thinking, surely ‘comeback’ is too strong a term for a woman who's been away from the spotlight for a mere six months, but Gaga's recent public sightings and initial publicity photos for her new material have all the hallmarks of a full on makeover.
Despite the unfortunate circumstances surrounding her absence - she had a severe hip injury and was forced to cancel her Born This Way Ball world tour - Gaga clearly wasn't resting on her laurels during her rest period. Speaking to WWD she said, “I had six months to beef up my brain and my body. I got to put a giant white or black sheet of paint over my whole canvas and I got to review ARTPOP again. I was given the time to really be creative because it’s a gazing process, it really is. I have to gaze into the work for long periods of time for it to be good. I have that feeling, that wonderful feeling, when me, Inez and Brandon look at each other and we go, ‘It’s so good. That’s the one.’”
'Applause' singer cover by Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin
Lady G may have had some cooling off time, but it’s fair to say she’s as eccentric as ever - and as controlling of her work and image. The cover for her new single, ‘Applause’, was shot by the star's friends Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin, whom she met on her first V Magazine cover shoot back in 2009 and has since worked with on several fashion films. The photographers also shot the video for the single in Los Angeles last week and the image on the cover was taken from the shoot. It shows a vulnerable Gaga with her hair covered in a black head wrap, a face full of paint and smothered in a white coat by British designer Gareth Pugh.
The singer has some pretty strong opinions about how her latest work is perceived. She told WWD: “It’s interesting how you view things, and you look at it like, I’m a pop icon, and [you wonder] ‘Is this the image of the album? Is this the direction? Who came up with it?’ I think that’s so interesting because it’s exactly the kind of thing we’re trying to destroy. This is one jacket. This is one image. This is one moment. This is one statement. When you watch each image and you watch each thing come out, they might not look exactly the same. [I’m not] defined by the same designer or defined by the same haircut or defined by the same icon. The statement is that I’m not one icon. I’m every icon. I’m an icon that is made out of all the colors on the palette at every time. I have no restrictions. No restrictions.”
Lady Gaga for V Magazine by Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin
We never had Gaga down as a fan of restrictions anywoo, but seemingly the most shocking thing about her new look so far is the sheer lack of excess. Last week we reported on her V Magazine spread by Inez and Vinoodh who have captured the 27-year-old laid bare in more ways that one. Not only is she really rather naked, but she also ditched the slap and wore a wild mane of strawberry blonde hair. Forget Gaga, now we're talking Lady Godiva.
Rooney Mara as Lisbeth in 'The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo' and Lady Gaga at a New York benefit
And this weekend the pop princess unveiled yet another image overhaul at the 'Devils Heaven' gala benefit for Robert Wilson's Watermill Center in New York. While she remained barefaced, Gaga has gone in an altogether darker direction. At first glance we thought that the she’d transformed into Lisbeth from The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo as after being videoed having her nose pierced last week, she walked the red carpet with newly dyed locks and a leather and sheer panelled dress. Despite the gothic look, even the revelation of a lacey bra beneath her frock wasn't enough to make the ensemble provocative, but the new minimal approach has certainly raised some eyebrows - perhaps not Gaga's but then again you wouldn't know as she's had them bleached out.
Lady Gaga shows her fans her minimal makeup look
LG's stylist Brandon Maxwell revealed, “I think that this time it is about letting some of it go and the focus being on the music because now she’s comfortable being naked and being who she is. The world has seen everything." He also said of her new look: "It’s more toned down and pulled back and chic. It’s also that we’re making suits out of things that they would not normally be made out of, like plastic, but they’re super well-tailored and clean."
So it would appear that meat dresses are out for the time being and minimalism is in. We just wonder how long the superstar can last without a lobster hat or turquoise wig.
Want more Gaga? See the singer's fashion evolution in the gallery below...