Interview: Lady Gaga on developing close relationship with Donatella Versace and daring to be different

The Tudor brand ambassador is the epitome of #borntodare.

Lady Gaga wears Tudor's Black Bay 36 in an advertising campaign (Photo: Tudor)

When it comes to naming a force to be reckoned with in the world of entertainment, only one name comes to mind — Lady Gaga. Options flies to Las Vegas, Nevada, to catch up with the multiple Grammy Award-winning artist, composer, actress, dancer, style icon, advocate, activist and Tudor brand ambassador on her style choices.


Lady Gaga at her two-year Las Vegas residency at Park Theater (Photo: Getty Images)

How would you describe your style and how do you feel it has changed or evolved over the years?
I think my style is ever-changing. From day to day, I want to dress totally differently. I went through a period in my life where style, for me, was almost like shedding a skin. You know, if I didn’t feel it in my power in a certain way, I would, like, dye my hair that day or wear a wig or change my clothes completely. And my style would be completely different because I wanted to feel different, like a different person. And I’m more grown up now. So my style has changed, but not so much. I still transform from day to day, you know. In June, I went to see the Vegas Gaga Museum that has a lot of my costumes from over the years. It’s sort of a retrospective and I wore a tutu with a crop top and, today, I’m wearing a suit. And I think that’s daring, too.

You know, there’s a lot of pressure in the world to look a certain way. We sort of run on the pull of aestheticism, at this point, with social media. And I think people try to keep up with that aesthetic all the time. And I’m not really into that. When I’m zigging, I like to zag later.


Lady Gaga sports a black Celine suit by Hedi Slimane (Photo: Tudor)

Is it important for you to empower young or new designers? Do you intentionally look after designers who might not have the exposure just when you’re working with your stylist or shopping for yourself?
For me, it’s not about the name. It’s about the talent. And when I see young talent, my heart soars. I get so excited and I want to support them. I’ll see a garment and say, who made this? And someone will say it’s a young designer and I’m like, ‘Give it to me’. I want to wear it because I really want to support these young, up-and-coming artists. I remember Brandon [Maxwell, CFDA Award-winner] from years ago. He was a stylist for many years and he also took up photography in college. I remember, one day, he said, ‘Gaga, I think I want to be a fashion designer’ and, I was like, this is my shocked face. Like I’ve known this for a long time. But you know, I like to take my friends with me. Even here in Las Vegas, I’ve got Brian Newman, my buddy for over a decade, playing with me.

Do you wear watches for fashion or function?
For both. I mean, I [have] got to be on time but I usually have my best friend, who’s sitting back there, going like this [makes gesture to watch the time] all day long with her Tudor watch, making sure that I’m on time. But, also, Tudor was really kind and they gave me a wide variety of their watches for all sexual identities. So, I actually experimented with stacking them and wearing multiple watches at once and I found that to be really fun, you know?

And that’s fashion. That’s very fashion.
Yeah, it’s fashion. And like I said, you know, [Tudor] says ‘Born to dare’ and, the truth is, I like to be daring. It might seem silly to some people but I think it’s quite fun and daring to wear several watches at once that all tell the same time.


Lady Gaga's Claire De Rose features an opaline dial and a steel bracelet (Photo: Tudor)

Do you have a specific Tudor watch that is your favourite?
I’m actually wearing it. It’s the Clair de Rose. I like it because, you know, I’m a lyricist and songwriter, so I write my own music, and it’s a play on words. So it would normally in French be clair de lune, which means moonlight. And then [you have] rose. I just, you know, love La vie en rose. I sing it, and I love that song. So, it’s sort of a play on this — moonlight and romanticism — as well as the history of the Tudor rose watch. And I just think it’s a beautiful watch. And I have really tiny wrists, so I usually can’t wear watches. And it’s really nice being able to wear a watch that fits me and is pretty. And I think it’s elegant as well.

What are you wearing today?
Today, I’m wearing Celine and I love Hedi Slimane. And I think he did an absolutely incredible job at Saint Laurent, and I think he continues to shine at Celine. And I’m very loyal that way. I also have a very close relationship with Donatella [Versace]. So you know, for me, it’s about friendship. It’s not about, you know, the hot new thing.


This article first appeared on Sept 16, 2019 in The Edge Malaysia. ​


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