Stefani Germanotta, better known to you and me and pretty much everyone else as Lady Gaga, first came to worldwide attention with her 2009 album, The Fame Monster. From the opening bars of the opening track, Bad Romance, once could sense she would have a successful career. More albums have followed, leading her into the movies, starring with Bradley Cooper in the remake of A Star is Born. Another film has followed, The House of Gucci, released last month.
The latter is the story of the 1995 contract killing of Maurizio Gucci, a Milanese fashion-house heir. The hit was arranged by his ex-wife, Patrizia Reggiani, whom Gaga plays in the film. The casting could hardly be more appropriate. There is a strong case to be made that she is presently the most significant figure in the world of fashion…which is going gaga for her.
Last month she was on the front of both the British and Italian editions of Vogue magazine. Gucci reported an 86% hike in revenues for the second quarter of this financial year, most of this being attributed to the movie’s trailer, which was issued in July. She is not the first famous female music star to use her name and reputation (and looks) to promote a powerful fashion brand – you may recall Madonna’s tie-in with Gaultier – but Lady Gaga has no such one-brand arrangements. She wears what she fancies, to the commercial glee of whomever she chooses to favour. She has said she regards her outfits as “performance art” and it is hard to imagine that statement being more true about anyone than it is about her.
Lady Gaga is 36. She has won 12 Grammys and an Oscar. Nobody would suggest she lacks self-confidence – in one recent interview she said: “I love becoming art” – but there is no doubt that she has a lot of talent in a lot of fields, fashion being among them. The final track on her outstanding 2011 album Born This Way was called The Edge of Glory. I’d say she has got a good way beyond the edge by now.