After Lady Gaga spent the 2011 Video Music Awards in Jo Calderone‘s plain attire, you’d be forgiven for thinking that she went a step further for the October 2011 cover of Harper’s Bazaar, appearing as Stefani Germanotta. Of course, it’s never so simple for Gaga, who would insist that appearing as “herself” would be a betrayal of appearing as her self. Though, as Laura Brown‘s interview explains, the “basically barefaced Gaga is very deliberately dressed down,” this, to Gaga, is just as artificial as any other way she has appeared:
Don’t you think that what’s on the cover of a magazine is quite artificial? There’s this idea that it’s all natural, but everything’s been staged to look natural. It is also an invention. It’s just that my inventions are different. I often get asked about my artifice, but isn’t fashion based on the idea that we can create a fantasy?
Gaga’s point here gets some support from the magazine itself, when a caption in its online Gaga gallery offers the advice, “To get Lady Gaga’s no-makeup look, try Studio Sculpt SPF 15 Foundation ($29.15), Prep + Prime Highlighter ($23), Brow Gel ($15) and Prep + Prime Lash ($15). All M.A.C.”
As tiresome as Gaga’s didactic nature can sometimes get?and she indicates in the interview that she’s revisiting the works of Bertolt Brecht, so we’ve got that to look forward to?her point about the “natural” cover photo is on the mark. Her claim that “artifice is the new reality” is no less true for its grandiosity. She challenges “the perception that I ‘put it on’ every day,” which she toyed with during her opening monologue as Calderone at the VMAs. Certainly Gaga is more conscious of how she presents her self, but she’s right that it’s hardly more put-on than anyone’s “natural” look.
The Real Lady Gaga [Harper's Bazaar]