Words: Jamie Tabberer; pictures: Provided
Move over the meat dress! Lady Gaga served two looks last night that deserve to go down in history as among her best - if not, dare we say, the best?
The star was dressed to the nines for the launch of her and Tony Bennett's new album Love For Sale - and at a gig streamed around the world for Westfield, treating fans to a jazzed-up take on throwback hit 'Poker Face'.
The album is a sequel to the pop icon's 2014 album with Bennett, Cheek To Cheek.
"Thank you to my talented sister"
In an Insta post, the star revealed her dresses were designed by none other than her sister Natali Germanotta.
"It was a joy to sing for you today, thank you for watching online or joining in person, and for coming together with me to celebrate Love For Sale! @itstonybennett and I are so excited for you to hear our album!" she said.
"And thank you to my talented sister @germ_aphobenotta @topostudiony for designing my beautiful costumes for the show!"
the jazz version of poker face is excellent, lady gaga truly never disappoints. pic.twitter.com/CuYSF9EvVw— LG 🍬 (@EnigmaticGaga) September 30, 2021
Love For Sale is Gaga's first album since last year's chart-topping 'Chromatica'.
Its release precedes that of the star's new film House of Gucci, co-starring Adam Driver and out on 26 November 2021.
Westfield have also shared the following interview with Gaga, in which she discusses jazz, mental health and, of course, love.
What made you do another jazz album?
"Well, honestly, Tony called me the day that Cheek to Cheek, our first album together went number one and he said we’ve got to do another record together, it should be all Cole Porter songs and we should do all love songs and I said ‘Ok Tony’ and I like to keep my word with Tony, he’s a dear friend."
Watching the 'Love for Sale' video, your second single from the album, it’s clear the amazing connection you have with Tony Bennett and it’s quite emotional to watch. Does doing duets bring out a whole other performer in you compared to when you are performing solo?
"100% when I sing with Tony, I am exponentially a better jazz singer than when I sing by myself, but that’s because we are close and we know each other and even now with Tony having Alzheimer’s when we sing together he still knows it’s me when he hears my voice. I am never ever going to take for granted the relationship he and I have, the relationship I have with his family and his wife Susan. For me singing jazz with Tony Bennett is the highlight of my career. I think it’s because I have respect for music. While I am so grateful for the love that the world has shown for the music that I have created over the years, the songs that I have written, it really means something extra special to me that they would revere me singing songs that are 100 years old with somebody that has being singing for decades and decades and bringing forth a music that is the greatest American music that exists."
Why is this album with Tony Bennet so special to you?
"This is his last album and he’s been my musical companion. He is an absolute legend. His legacy is unprecedented and the fact that he shared his talent with me and let me just simply be there while his light shined on me, I am forever grateful."
What is your favourite song from the album?
"Gosh, it’s so hard to say. I love ‘Love for Sale’, I love ‘I Get a Kick Out of You’ I also love my solo ‘Let’s Do It’ and to be honest, I love the whole record. You know, jazz music is not just about one song, jazz music is about a whole feeling and a whole vibe so for me, what’s special is the whole album together. If it were up to me I would suggest you stream or buy the whole record, not just one song. It’s a lifestyle, it’s a feeling. It’s about the world. It’s love… for sale!"
This album has been launched at a time where connecting in real life continues to have limitations. What goes into launching an album in this way, from a visual and fan experience perspective - is it different to putting on concerts like you are used to?
"It’s definitely different during a global pandemic to make art and release music. We have to follow a lot of precautions and we have to work together in a different way but I think what’s really special is the way we do come together and the way we do make this work and commit to each other. We obviously all love art, we all love music or we wouldn’t be here. I often say this, but I think during Covid-19 while there’s been tremendous suffering, there’s also been tremendous bravery and I wish to acknowledge that among my team and say thank you to everybody that’s here for making this show possible and making jazz accessible to the world during this time. Jazz music comes from pain and the world is feeling a lot of pain and I hope that we brought some joy out of that pain for everybody tonight."
The pandemic has meant it’s been hard for you to be together with your fans - how important is it to you to unite with them remotely through this Westfield experience and performance after such a long time?
"It’s so important to me to reunite with my fans after such a long time of not being able to sing for them and I so appreciate Westfield being supportive of that being an experience that is brought through jazz music. Jazz music is the greatest music that I believe exists in America and for us to all to be witnessing it together, experiencing it together and coming together to watch it, sing it, to listen to it, to cheer for it… this is all that I could hope for, so I’m hoping for an evening of joy and I just want to express my deep gratitude to all the fans that were here tonight."
Jazz is intrinsically linked with the style and sophistication of the 1920s. How has working on this album influenced your fashion inspiration?
"In terms of fashion, I would say that there’s nothing that is a limit because when it comes to jazz music, jazz music is limitless. In terms of the figures of chords, the way that music is structured, it’s the most liberated music of all music to me. And I am inspired mostly by family and my sister made the costumes that I wear during the show tonight and she has watched me be a jazz singer since I was in my early pre-teen years when I was 11 and 12 years old so she knows how to make something for me that feels authentic to who I truly am. I guess what I would say is, when we think about clothing in terms of jazz, we think about authenticity, we don’t think about an idea. And while during the 20s there was jazz, jazz lived far beyond the 20s, like right now in 2021. And we think this is jazz too."
You've been a champion for mental health throughout your career, and the importance of mental health finally seems to have become a priority around the world. How has the conversation around mental health changed since you started the Born This Way Foundation?
"I think since I started the Born This Way foundation with my mother this conversation around mental health has changed in so much as that we’re having the conversation. Before it was something that was very hard to talk about, there was a huge stigma around it and now it seems that people are more open to discussing it and realizing that especially the state of the world we are in, it’s so important that we all have an understanding of the importance of our mental health, and what I would say right now to anyone watching is it’s ok to check in with your self and ask yourself how your head is doing, how you are feeling and if life feels too fast-paced or you need to slow down it's OK to acknowledge that and take care of you."
The Attitude October issue is out now.