GUEST BLOG: Why Lady Gaga deserves her own Style Bible
17th November 2011 - David Foy
Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Lady Gaga has sold millions of singles and albums around the world, but she's become almost as well known for her highly individual and often outrageous outfits. David Foy, author of Lady Gaga: Style Bible, explains why the outfits of the woman born Stefani Germanotta merit a book in their own right.
In December of 2010 I was having drinks with Susan James, who's the Visual Arts Publisher for Bloomsbury. I mentioned that I thought we should do a book on Lady Gaga similar to the brilliant one that she had commissioned and edited about Alexander McQueen. What could have been a niche couture concept book had become a wholly accessible retrospective and a must-have for everyone's coffee table, whether they were fashionistas or not.
I felt that Gaga deserved a similar book in content and layout and I very much wanted to be the person to write it. Yes, she's known as a music star but she's so, so much more than that, especially to her little monsters, and her image and her use of visuals has been a massively important part of that. I loved the fact that the McQueen book hadn't been overburdened with too much text and mainly concentrated on presenting some great spreads of all the key pieces.
With Gaga I wanted to present a slightly sketchier bio outline as I very much wanted the outfits to speak for themselves in a fun A -Z format. I decided a lighter tone was needed and remembered how much I had loved all the captions in Smash Hits when I was a teenager. Factual but fun. I wanted this book to be as appealing to the teen market as well as older fans.
We also have an amazing international sales team at Bloomsbury and I knew this needed to be as accessible to potential purchasers who didn't have English as a first language and this proved to be a good instinct as apart from sales in Europe - Germans especially seem to love Gaga. Maybe it's all the recent use of leather? - the book has travelled further afield to Taiwan and places I haven't even heard of but then I did only get Ungraded for Geography at GCSE.
I felt that Gaga had made an impressive use of self-expression on the sartorial front and that this would warrant a book all of its own. Not only has she come up with highly original creations, via the HAUS of Gaga, such as the Meat Dress, the Kermit Shrug, arriving in a bespoke egg at the MTV awards and the bubble dress, she has also made lots of key retro nods to other artists such as Madonna and Lita Ford, as well as channelling her inner rocker with the more recent Born This Way album and video releases. She clearly makes use of as many cultural reference points as possible and whether she realizes it or not is opening up a wealth of knowledge to her younger fans in the way she uses her favourite influences.
She clearly also has a huge love for the art of couture whether it be new collections or vintage pieces. Make no mistake, she would die for fashion and has admitted as much. She has already worked in various ways with most of the major fashion houses and designers in a very short space of time.
Remember this girl is only 25 years old and everyone wants to work with her, from the designers themselves to the editors of all the major glossies and the best of the fashion photography pack. Why? I think it's because they can sense that there's a genuine curiosity and admiration for the art of couture and original style coming from her. She's an artist and wants to leave a lasting impression with the style or multitude of styles she's created. I hope the book I've created reflects that.
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