Now this is unexpected. But then, to presume that you know anything about what Katy Perry is capable of is foolish, as the record-shattering, boundary pushing singer has proven again and again. When Perry’s spread from the July 2012 issue of Vogue Italia was released last night, however, we have to admit that we had to rub our eyes, look away, and squint a little to make sure we weren’t seeing things. In the spread, Perry is styled has a kind of futuristic mod, with architectural lines and stark blacks and pale pinks against an austere mint green backdrop. With a sharp blonde, then pink, bob, which is reminiscent of the style we saw Lady Gaga sporting when she arrived in Brisbane recently, this is unlike the bubbly, pretty Katy Perry we’ve grown accustomed to-and we’re into it. While Perry still looks absolutely gorge, the intergalactic look is undeniably shocking. The most gasp-inducing photo is by far the image above, which shows Perry, open-mouthed against a wall wearing a neck encasing, possibly leather collar dripping with jewels, and some of the most impressive eyeliner we have ever seen. A thick-lined cat eye, what we’re used to seeing from Perry, made extreme by a second set of thick, flawless lines above and below the lids. There’s even an extra set of lashes on the bottom, if you can believe it. We’re totally going to figure out an appropriate occasion to rock her makeup look, you better believe it. Paired with the palest of pink lips (think semi-lifeless) and that white hot hairstyle, the look is about as far from bubblegum as you can get.
In the article, which has probably suffered a wee bit in translation, writer Federico Chiara describes Perry’s hair as “so blue that it illuminates the neo-Gothic interior of the hotel with fantasy.” We’ve always admired Katy’s committment to making her wildest dreams come alive musically, aesthetically, and sartorially, and the quote also reminds us of what Iris Apfel said about fashion at her talk with Tavi Gevinson at the Costume Institute: that a little bit of fantasy, expressed through fashion, can completely transport an outfit. While Perry might not subscribe to the ’little bit’ part of Apfel’s statement, she is clearly all about the fantasy.
It’s interesting, therefore, to see Katy Perry in this kind of stark high fashion spread. While the looks definitely don’t fit within Perry’s penchant for the whimsical and light-hearted-she is quoted in the article as saying that she likes “anything that is fun”-the whole idea of breaking with her own mold is 100% pure Perry. She cites Jeremy Scott as one of her fave American designers, and says that she “adore[s] him because he doesn’t play along, and I do the same.” Could this 180-degree style change be Perry refusing to get stuck in her own image? We think so, and we applaud her for it. In Katy Perry: Part of Me, former EMI head of publicity Angelica Cob-Baehler (who many cite as the person who discovered Perry, and fought for her career), says that Katy didn’t want to be the next anything, that she just wanted to be the first Katy Perry. It’s fair to say that her goal has been achieved, and it would follow that she wouldn’t be satisfied with being the same Katy Perry forever, either. Have no fear, though, we don’t think the glitter is going anywhere either.
What do you think of Katy Perry’s bold Vogue Italia looks?