Lady Gaga’s December Vogue culls her inner child atop a table in a musty cake bakery – raucous and all – next to a frazzled Lily Cole.
It appears that the act of picking up Gaga for the December issue has quelled Anna Wintour critics. Judging from the position in space of Lady Gaga with respect to the hapless blond model (left) and Lily Cole, Grace Coddington might have had the notion of Gaga as the rambunctious celebrity at the apex of an industry, that appears deceivingly glamorous looking outside in. Uncloak the veil and you’ll see that the entertainment industry is hides spilled frosting, crushed oranges, rusty walls and peeling paint. But being that a market exists for just about anything, within this mess, Gaga is hot enough to be thrown into the kiln, but she’s immune from the burns of her critics.
Thanks to Copyranter making light of the unrestrained advertisement industry, Australian boutique, Superette, unveiled their controversial campaign in time for the (former) Halloween season boasting the slogan, ‘Be Caught Dead in it.’ Distasteful? Yes, but with the state of a fashion and a culture obsessive society we’ve been unfortunate to have been born into, such a state of obsession for clothes wouldn’t surprise me had it compelled someone to kill. People have killed for less, although my manic state of mind wouldn’t exactly overpower my sanity for the articles clothing that these models are fashioning.
Photo: Nobuyoshi Araki via Vogue Hommes Japan
Lady Gaga is quite the popular celeb posing pretty in three September Issue covers, all in one September month. First there was scantily neon Lady Gaga (V magazine), then there was scantily va-va-vamp Lady Gaga (Out magazine) and rounding it out is clothed S&M Lady Gaga (Vogue Hommes Japan). You shouldn’t feel compelled to send me hate mail when I tell you that I’m biased and not ashamed to admit that her Out cover sucked the competition dry. How so? For starters, the conclusion of Lady Gaga’s September high in Vogue Hommes Japan, fizzled. Nobuyoshi Araki strapped Lady Gaga in trendy leather and rope, and no doubt the bondage theme is burgeoning, but in an editorial perspective, I don’t get it. I for one am not aroused. What happened to Lady Gaga, the sex icon?
First, the positioning of her face is reminiscent of Facebook ‘Myspace Angle’ shots. Secondly, Araki revisits a Britney Spears-esque crotch shot that was soooo 2007 (and yes, I just compared her to Britney Spears – once again, don’t leave hate mail please). Finally, why is Gaga wearing loose fitting leather? Shouldn’t she be ashamed?
Now, I’m inclined to wonder if the splashes of paint were thrown in as a compliment for an otherwise banal black and white shoot that Kazuhiro Saito, with his chief editing power, desperately attempted to futilely excite. Is she supposed to be the restrained pop star, bubbling to break free and take men and women alike to bed (that’s old news to me)? Or is she a kinky pop star relishing the praise of mainstream masses (no new news there either)? Or did they throw Gaga into an S&M set just for shits and giggles? Is my editorial eye too shallow or am I thinking too hard? I’ve asked too many questions, and that’s not a good sign. What do you think?
Photo: Nobuyoshi Araki via Vogue Hommes Japan
P.S. If you’re not convinced about the Lady Gaga’s Out cover, The Cut quipped, “Out magazine, which is hosting the party and published what is possibly the greatest Gaga editorial to date in this month’s issue.“ You can’t object to that now can you?
— Francis Bea
Why am I not standing up and saying, “Oh Lord I have sinned!” Aside from the obvious tackiness of a nun self milking (Photoshopped) her C-cups, priests are likely helping their selves at the computer. So where does the editorial go wrong? First, the nun is more than pleasing to the eye. Had the 20 some year-old model been replaced with 60 year-old breast, there might be an issue. Secondly, the quintessential shape of her assets take our eyes away from the expresso cup and milk that just happens to be there. The only controversy worth noting here is the direction of the milk’s trajectory. All I have left to say is, that’s one interesting nipple.
You’d think with a predominantly gay fashion industry that a Marc Jacobs (of all people) ad of a kissing couple, who happened to be men, wouldn’t cause so much of a whisper. Note that Marc Jacobs, flaunting his reputation for controversy, has outdone himself in the past with tween Dakota Fanning back in ’06. I’ve walked around the city and given as much attention of two, shorts and cardigan/v-neck wearing gay men kissing as I did of a straight couple. So in rejecting the Marc Jacobs ad, does Men’s Vogue not realize that 90% of its demographic are Marc Jacobs devotees? According to The Cut, Marc Jacobs released his statement describing his disbelief:
“Funnily enough the most complaints were about the series with Dick Page and James Gibbs because they are a gay couple. Men’s Vogue even refused to publish it. Dick is a very close friend of mine and I’ve known him for 20 years — he’s been part of the Marc family for 20 years. And I like the idea of having a gay couple in a men’s ad because it makes sense. And I wanted the ads to be like they are — very romantic, tender and sweet. I certainly didn’t want to have anything provocative, not at all.”
Can Men’s Vogue not afford to research their demographic? I think of it as an investment considering the state of the economy and the fate of magazines these days.
Photo: W magazine
Dior’s stretch wool and alpaca coat, to order, 800.929.DIOR. Mikimoto necklaces and ring; Missoni leggings; Comme Des Garcons shoes.
I gave W a standing ovation for their ‘Sanctuary’ editorial, but their newest spread styled by Alex White and photographed by Craig McDean for their September issue, ‘Paper Bag Princess,’ culls high fashion and (for lack of a better term) homelessness. Wouldn’t you agree that W‘s deck, “Street style meets high fashion,” is tactless and beneath W? The real homeless of New York City lying on cardboard-box-cum-sleeping-mats desperate for sleep in 40 degree Fahrenheit, can not even afford a pair of jeans from Walmart.
Giorgio Armani’s rabbit fur coat, at Giorgio Armani, New York, and silk and nylon dress, at select Giorgio Armani boutiques. Viktor & Rolf necklaces; Chanel shoes.
I’m sure that they would agree (if they’re able to afford a copy of September’s W) that the cliché, ‘rubbing salt into open wounds,’ best explicates their resentment — I’ve yet to see the homeless in Giorgio Armani’s rabbit fur and Chanel shoes. These made up W princesses dawdle in duct taped high fashion shopping bags appear to embrace the penniless subculture. But I’m not convinced, having seen more and more 20 somethings begging on the streets. Maybe I’m taking this message too literally — although I can’t seem to figure out an alternative. I’m sure someone will make the case that W is going green, but I’m 110% sure that’s just not their intention.
Lanvin’s wool coat, silk velour gown and fur and wool scarf, at Barneys New York, New York. Lanvin hair comb, headpiece, pin, necklace (worn as belt) and bracelet.
— Francis Bea
Dress by Herve Leger by Max Azria. Stocking by Calvin Klein. Earrings by Alexis Bittar.
Life today is different from what our parents and grandparents had to endure in their generation. Segregation has been repressed to history textbooks, homosexuality has whittled homophobia down to the muscles and women have gained fair ground with men (yes these observations can be protested, but I’m referencing the ideals in the U.S.). African American and Asian couples, gay couples and billionaire women are familiar to us — and that’s a good thing. When I perused Blackbook‘s editorial on Claire Danes, I recalled yesterday’s New York Times Magazine on women and its interview with Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, president of Liberia and the first female African president. NYT Magazine asked:
If women ran the world, would wars still exist?
No. It would be a better, safer and more productive world. A woman would bring an extra dimension to that task — and that’s a sensitivity to humankind. It comes from being a mother.
But if women had power, they would be more likely to acquire the negative traits that power breeds, like selfishness and territorialism.
It would take a very long term of women absolutely in power to get to the place where they became men.
Despite being a guy, I had to agree with her. What if Hillary Clinton were in power instead of Obama? Would she have derived a health care plan much like Israel’s? But then again almost anything else would be better than Obama’s attempt at reform.
Anyway, I’ve digressed but I’ve set up an prelude as to why I appreciate Blackbook‘s spread of Claire Danes. The spread above speaks for itself — The photography by Sante D’Orazio and styling by Elizabeth Sulcer, empowers women. The editorial pays homage to a new class of women who have pushed out the testosterone heavy apex while maintaining their beauty with highbrow clothes. I’m (not) sorry guys if this bit of news is hard to swallow — you better cope or else you’ll choke.
Bodysuit by American Apparel. Leather Corset Belt by H & M. Jacket and Shoes byGucci. Stockings by Wolford Gloves by Topshop.
Is it me or am I seeing powerful women opting to go pantless (Rhianna, Lady Gaga)?
— Francis Bea