Photo: Getty Images
Lady Gaga and Donatella Versace go way back. Like, all the way back to 2011, when Gaga borrowed a vintage Versace dress for her “Edge of Glory” music video. Flash forward two years later, and they’re basically besties (and sometimes twinsies, depending on Gaga’s wig du jour): they do lots of air kissing, they send each other extravagant flower arrangements and now, after Gaga penned an ode to Versace with her song “Donatella,” rumor has it that Mother Monster is slated to be the face of the brand’s spring 2014 ad campaign. Suddenly, there’s a whole new meaning to the phrase “friends with benefits.”
Obviously, the set of this potential shoot provides the perfect place for us to drop in for another installment of Fashion Fanfic. Because LBR: aren’t you DYING to know what the two of them talk about?
“And zen I told her, ‘Jes! Of caars, of caars! It looks fabulous, it is amazing,’” Donatella explained to Gaga as the pair entered a cavernous London studio, arms linked. She exhaled a long drag of her cigarette and brushed a bleached blonde strand away from her face to survey the set. “Jes, this is fabulous.”
Gaga set down her meatball-inspired handbag (made to scale with real marinara) and beelined for the nearest garment rack (there were seven). “You know,” she started, “I just really want people to feel included in this ad, Donatella. I want this to be an all-inclusive ad. I want people to look at this ad and know that they’re not just looking at fashion or art—I want them to know that they’re looking at … a movement.”
Versace bellowed a husky laugh. “OK, OK. This is a mooovement. Now, please, put this on.” She held up a white dress with a mesh, semi-sheer skirt and bandage-wrap bustier. “Have you been sleeping in that stand-up freezer I gave you?”
“Yes, of course, Donatella. But you know I don’t really sleep, so I’ve also been using it to store my many, many wigs. They’ve never looked better! You’re an absolute genius.”
“And you, you are beautiful. You are beautiful, you are intriguing, you are provocative. You inspire me. Music inspires me. Do you listen to The Grimes? I like The Grimes. The Grimes also inspires me right now.”
“I don’t really listen to music, Donatella,” Gaga said as she strapped on 13-inch Lucite stilettos. “I prefer to experience aural art.”
“That dress looks great on you. It’s amazing. You are a vision. Let’s get started.”
Donatella stood back behind the photographers, Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott, and chain-smoked as the cameras began to flash from every angle. Mixing friends with business always made her nervous, but she felt better when she could be hands-on. Not that she didn’t trust Mert and Marcus with the concept, of course. They’d shot plenty of successful campaigns for Versace without her being on-set. And she knew the clothes would look great on Gaga, too. After all, she’d dressed her countless times. So why did she feel so stressed? Even that one time Gaga wore a pile of grey dreadlocks on her head, she still gave great face.
Donatella blinked back from her thoughts. “STEFANI! Your eyes! What are you doing with your eyes?!”
Gaga snarled as she widened her eyes and tried to give her best broken-down doll. “I don’t want to be beautiful! I can’t be too beautiful!” she insisted.
Donatella sighed and breathed out a thick cloud. “Gaga, I want you to remember something: you are fearless, you are glamorous. You are VUNK, remember? You are VUNK. Versace Punk. Not just Versace, not just punk. VUNK.”
Lady Gaga relaxed her face, adjusted her cleavage and straightened her stark-blonde, stick-straight wig. She pursed and pouted, tilted her head slightly to the left and placed both hands squarely on her hips. She smiled demurely, her two front teeth barely showing between her lips and squinted slightly. “Is zis better?” she asked.
“Jes,” Donatella beamed. “It’s perfect.”