At THR, the staff is well-acquainted with things happening last-minute. But the occasion of the cover shoot for this year’s 25 Most Powerful Stylists required more scrambling than usual. On March 4, style editor Carol McColgin, who produced and edited the package, got word that Lady Gaga had agreed to be photographed by Karl Lagerfeld in Paris.
McColgin hopped a flight the next day: “All I knew was that Gaga and Lagerfeld were a go for Saturday the 7th, but we didn’t know where or when. Which sounds crazy, but not at THR. I was so jet-lagged that I wore trainers to the shoot, which turned out to be at Coco Chanel’s APARTMENT. Fashion sacrilege, yes, but wasn’t Coco all about liberation?”
We don’t make a move today without Karl. That’s the way I am with Tony [Bennett] on the stage — he is the star of the show because he is the legend, and it’s the same with Karl.
Gaga’s suggestion for champagne at the shoot — which included a photograph of her in the same Chanel dress worn by Cindy Crawford in Peter Lindbergh’s 1991 “Wild at Heart” Vogue feature — was spot-on.
Being on Coco’s couch and having champagne in her APARTMENT — it should always be a moment that we remember. So we are not just creating fashion as a look but an entire experience. It’s our life. It’s the reason I do it every day.
Gaga has gone lady without sacrificing her theatrical flair. Her white Azzedine Alaia gown with softer hair and makeup set off her operatic chops for the Oscars’ Sound of Music tribute, which ranked No. 1 for social media during the show, with interactions among 214,000 people per minute globally. Not that Maxwell — who met Gaga through her former stylist Nicola Formachetti and has been working with her for six years — was among them:
I watched maybe 20 seconds on the Oscars, he says.
He gets too nervous that my tits are going to fall out, so he doesn’t watch. So many people want to be more edgy and darker and avant-garde. But for me, it’s more interesting to celebrate being classic, Lady Gaga adds.
Maxwell, also a designer, created Gaga’s wardrobe for her Cheek to Cheek tour with Tony Bennett and her plunging silver Grammys gown. “It was sexy, but the fabric was so interesting,” says Gaga.
This story is available in the March 27 issue of The Hollywood Reporter.