For this month’s cover shoot, Lady Gaga reigned supreme in the season’s most sumptuous finery at an ultraprivate Long Island estate. Photographer Ruth Hogben: “It was elegant, intimate. Gaga has incredible features that you could stare at all day long.” ELLE Creative Director Joe Zee: “We played up her natural radiance with bold furs from Chanel and Versace.” Wardrobe Stylist Brandon Maxwell: “The crowning piece was definitely the Christian Lacroix for Schiaparelli dress, brought by two assistants who flew from Paris to New York just for the day!” Set Designer Marla Weinhoff: “It was also huge for us to get a sneak preview of Artpop, her new album. Gaga elevates everyone around her—she’s a true artist.”
BEHIND THE SCENES
On handling pressure:“What are you talking about, pressure? I’m great under pressure. I’m a warrior. I’m Rocky, round 12.”
The difference between Gaga’s high-priestess act and the girl who spends time with her family: ”I am—Stefani is—a perpetually tortured artist. That’s why I changed my name. I can’t be her in public. She would be a mess!”
Vinyl bodysuit with mink collar, $3,250, embellished leather boots, $3,795, all, Versace, call 888-721-7219.
On raging against the critics who question the authenticity of her early struggles:“Everyone is so cynical—that I can’t purely love my fans, or share an honest story about my past, without someone asking me if I really, truly struggled. Do you know how much dirt I ate? Do you know the men I had to crawl through, the people that disrespected my body, my mind, my heart?”
Cotton shirt, $670, cupro and cotton feathered skirt, price on request, both, Dries Van Noten, collection at Linda Dresner, Birmingham, MI. Metallic leather pumps, Manolo Blahnik, $595.
How she used her forced hiatus to “go back to the core” and prepare to prove herself all over again—this time not just as a pop star but as a pop artist to prepare for her new album Artpop:“I went to look back to myself being 19, with all my Warhol books and all my Yoko Ono and John Lennon CDs, my Rolling Stones CDs and my Bowie…, and I said, what would she want me to do right now? Well she’d want you to call Jeff Koons and Robert Wilson and Marina Abramović and Inez and Vinoodh…And that’s what I did!”
Lady Gaga wears a wool dress with satin collar and silk faille sleeves and a pink raccoon-fur headpiece from Schiaparelli with a pony-hair necklace (worn as headpiece) from Bjørg.
Read the full interview in our October issue on newsstands September 24!