In case you hadn't noticed, Mother Monster is back with a bang. But how can the radical star break the mould for 2013? Well, in recent weeks, we've seen everything from clown-like makeup, an undercut, eyebrow-bleaching and a mysterious Twitter shutdown. As if that wasn't enough, a video arrived stating that ‘Lady Gaga is Over’ and that she is a self-confessed flop, an artist who deserves no applause, that you shouldn’t buy her music or even dare to dance to her songs. Reverse psychology much?
Along the way, we've been tantalised with teasers of Gaga's mammoth shoot with V Magazine and now, finally, we've got our paws on the full shoot as well as all four - yes, FOUR - covers. Each one sees her impersonating a different icon thanks to some seriously high-fashion garb custom made by Balenciaga, Giorgio Armani, Saint Laurent Paris and Versace. According to the singer, 'I will be all of these women forever. I am a shape-shifter, a pop-cultural magician' and each look represents a different stage of her life. So which stages does she tackle? you ask. There isn't a meat dress or spiky face appendage in sight but there IS lashings of boot polish, gold glitter and a whole lotta boob. Take a closer look at the snaps in the gallery above as we (do our best) to understand the latest of the Lady's guises...
1. Lady Godiva
We begin with the Balenciaga installment that sees Gaga posing completely nude on a chair in a pair of platform boots. It's accompanied by Gaga's explanation of working with Marina Abramovic. She says the performance artist would 'starve me in the woods for days, with no clocks, no speaking.' (We hope she's talking metaphorically). Either way, it would cleanse her before performing, but she can't get rid of the 'the wigs and the makeup', something Marina has come to understand. 'When an exchange occurs between two auras, there is a formation of trust and an impulse of love—perhaps...we could belong together.' Blimey!
2. Lady Muck
Next up, we have Gaga completely in the buff, with her hair dark, wavy and disheveled and her body smeared in what looks like boot polish. 'This is the me I was most afraid to ever be again,' the singer says, explaining that it represents a challenging period of time in her youth when she battled with drug addiction and eating disorders. 'I got my hair cut like that when I was 18 and all these really painful things happened during this time.' But thanks to shooting with photographers Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin, she's realised it's 'okay that I’m broken'. It also means she gets to wear Saint Laurent sequins.
3. Lady Va-Va Voom
Gaga's 'long love affair with Versace' continues as she transforms into a sleek glamazon with poker face straight blonde hair, a peachy pout and little more than Medusa pins, gold glitter or, err, cellophane accessorising her nakedness. It's Britney-style sexiness but with serious edge. Most brilliantly, the songstress speaks about the time Donatella took her 'sobbing with tissues into Gianni’s apartment' to raid the Versace archives - but wait, you have to read the full story from the Lady herself...
[Inez & Vinoodh for V Magazine]
'Tears falling on the floor, champagne pouring, she escorted me to his room, where she left me to play with his books and sketches. I studied the notes and drank and smoked until I could barely see. Running around the house with her and Allegra as she said, “Never cry, Gaga! You are a star, a REAL star!”' And who are we to argue with Donatella?
4. Lady Rock
Speaking of channelling Britney, for her next transformation, Gaga provides some more poptastic irony. Her hair is in a blonde quiff and her cover ensemble consists of a futurisitic Armani jacket that screams Bowie chic. Inside, she wears a skimpy black thony and white face paint that can't help but remind us of Madonna. 'I see this girl as the first incarnation of me. Of Gaga. The Bowie superfan, playing with glitter and reflective materials, like doing a jigsaw puzzle,' the singer explains. 'I must transform. And I must believe that my ability to evolve is infinite'. You certainly have as convinced, Gagaloo!
The new issue arrives on international newsstands on September 5th: VMAGAZINE.COM