Gaga in V: A Retrospective

Gaga in V: A Retrospective

V109 marks a homecoming for one of the magazine’s most longstanding collaborators.

V109 marks a homecoming for one of the magazine’s most longstanding collaborators.

Text: William Defebaugh

It feels misleading to call 2017 the year of Lady Gaga, because that epithet applies to so many years in the last decade since she first rose to stardom: 2008, the year she released her disco-pop debut album The Fame; 2009, when she followed it up with her Grammy-winning The Fame Monster; 2011, which saw the arrival of her career-defining Born This Way; 2013, the year of her ARTPOP manifesto; and 2016, when she won her first Golden Globe for her riveting starring role in American Horror Story: Hotel, delivered a chill-inducing performance at the Oscars, and released her intimate fifth studio album, Joanne. And yet, it’s difficult to deny that 2017 has been a mile-marker for the actress and pop star.

Gaga kicked off the year with a high-flying, multiple Emmy-nominated Super Bowl Halftime Show that saw the singer weave together her various hits and personas into a single performance that she delivered with a message of unity for a troubled America. (An avid Hillary Clinton supporter, Gaga took the stage just two weeks after Donald Trump was sworn into office.) From there, she went straight into filming Bradley Cooper’s remake of A Star Is Born, in which she plays the lead, expected for release in 2018. She topped off that experience with an anthemic new single, “The Cure,” released the day of her first Coachella show (she was the first woman to headline the festival in a decade). She ended the summer kicking off her already sold out Joanne World Tour, which will extend all the way through the end of the year. Next up is what promises to be a no holds-barred documentary, Gaga: Five Foot Two, premiering on Netflix on September 22.

All of these reasons (and a million more) landed Gaga the starring role in our annual September Music Issue. Fans and readers alike will recognize this as a homecoming of sorts; for each of Gaga’s career milestones, she’s had a V cover to match, all of which culminated in her guest edited issue last year. This story began when Gaga and Editor-in-Chief Stephen Gan met over sushi in the East Village in 2009—since then, the two have forged a friendship and creative partnership with a face in the form of 5 issues and 24 V covers. Her newest marks not only a reunion with V, but with another collaborator as well: Hedi Slimane, who photographed her iconic album artwork for The Fame Monster. The photos, and accompanying interview with Slaves of New York author Tama Janowitz, might just be the most stripped down we’ve ever seen or heard the superstar. But don’t just take our word for it—check out the story here.

V61 PHOTOGRAPHED BY MARIO TESTINO STYLED BY NICOLA FORMICHETTI

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