Lady Gaga at the Los Angeles premiere of A Star Is Born wearing Bvlgari jewellery and Givenchy silver gown
Lady Gaga on authenticity, compassion, and being ambitious enough to pursue her passions
Who would forget the moment Lady Gaga graced the 2010 MTV Video Movie Awards, wearing a dress made of raw beef? No doubt a statement-maker,
Lady Gaga is a true explorer of style. As someone who used to tirelessly browse through East Village vintage stores to find the most amazing unique pieces, and then recreate and wear them, Lady Gaga knows exactly how she wants to look.
Now that she has the means and the power to wear whatever her heart desires, she has made it her business to discover new craftsmen and women to support. “For me, fashion has always been a form of armour. I just keep creating more and more fantasies to escape into new skins to shed,” she shares.
Stefani Joelle Angelina Germanotta was born 32 years ago, and she was re-born as Lady Gaga in her late teens. Unlike her character in A Star Is Born, Lady Gaga has always been full of confidence, hurling her piano around New York City for gigs. And if she got kicked out the door, she came back in through the window.
High jewellery necklace in platinum and diamond, which Lady Gaga wore to the Los Angeles premiere of her movie, A Star Is Born, BVLGARI
What role does ambition play in your life?
Without ambition at the beginning of my career, I would not be where I am today, because you get rejected over and over again. You make mistakes, you fall down, and you have performances that you are not proud of. I think it is always wonderful to have ambition, even if that ambition is to improve on how you feel. It doesn’t have to be about your career, it can be just about you as a person. For me, I am ambitious now to help more people in the world. I have a platform and I know that I want to use it for good things, to promote kindness, to promote compassion, to empower young people to be kind to one another.
How did you manage to stay such an original?
I am proud to be Italian and I love my Italian nose. I didn’t always, but I learned to love who I was. People would come to me and say try dancing, try looking this way, I would always flip it on its head and do it my way. I always made sure that it was what I wanted to say and how I wanted to say it. I was always trying to challenge the norms about how people view women in pop music. I am not done, I appreciate the comment that I have proven myself, but I feel like I am just at the beginning of showing who I really am.
Heritage necklace in platinum and diamond, which Lady Gaga wore to the Los Angeles premiere of her movie, A Star Is Born, BVLGARI
For me, fashion and art and music have always been a form of armour. I just keep creating more and more fantasies to escape into, new skins to shed
You’re always dressed strategically. What is fashion to you?
For me, fashion and art and music have always been a form of armour. I just keep creating more and more fantasies to escape into, new skins to shed. And every time I shed a skin, it was like taking a shower when you’re dirty: getting rid of, washing off, shedding all of the bad, and becoming something new. Dressing up for me is never about looking perfect — it was always about just being myself.
Do you like receiving jewellery as a gift?
I think it is a misconception that a man or your lover has to buy you jewellery. I think a woman can buy herself jewellery and wear it with dignity. She earned it.
So what’s the most memorable piece you bought for yourself?
It’s one of the three most expensive items I’ve ever purchased, including an actual house: my sable, a strand of diamonds, and my Mikimoto pearls.
One of the most amazing headpieces you wore was designed by Shaun Leane. How and why did you acquire it?
I bought it at an auction. The tour pieces are the most sacred to me. They have collected energy, joy, and screams from fans all over the world. My fashion is my most prized possession for two reasons: because it’s a visualisation of all the hard work I’ve put in to get where I am today, and because it’s a legend to the encyclopaedia of my life.
Christmas is just a few weeks away. What does a Christmas tree look like decorated by Lady Gaga?
Usually, I decorate my Christmas trees to feel like whatever album I am currently making. So this year, it will most likely look something like the soundtrack to “A Star is Born”. I love to cook. We always have a big feast on Christmas, and I love to decorate the house with trees and with pine. It’s a celebration; it’s something that is very important to me and my family. I like themed occasions, so I like to dress up and make it festive for everyone.
The Garden of Kalahari earrings, which Lady Gaga wore to the A Star Is Born premiere at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival, CHOPARD
What does it mean to be a star for Lady Gaga?
To be a star is to have courage. For me, the courage of the human spirit, this is the biggest star that can be born — bravery, compassion, understanding — these, to me, are what make a real star. Do I feel like a star? There are moments when I am very aware, and then there are most moments when I am just truly a human being like everyone else. I am not here to be a star. I am here to have a voice. That’s what is important to me, to be authentic and to be myself, and to have something to say that will be good for the world.
Images courtesy of Bvlgari and Chopard