Lady Gaga covers Rolling Stone and Madame Figaro

We all know May has been the month of Gaga, and Rolling Stone knows it too. Our favorite pop sensation does a surprisingly understated shoot for the magazine – and goes couture for the cover of Madame Figaro.

for Madame Figaro

Dress: Irina Shaposhnikova. Sunglasses: Mercura.

An absolutely perfect cover. Though Rolling Stone tends to love naked ladies on their cover, Gaga proved here that you can cover it up and still look hot enough to sell magazines.

The dress is, in a word, fascinating. It’s got a hard, alien-esque feel that’s really working for Gaga and her facial prosthetics. The sunglasses are to die for. Beyond badass. I think the stylist for this photo shoot worked the entire look around Gaga’s alien cheekbones – every angle in the clothing, hair and accessories works to emphasize that hard gracefulness. It takes a serious diva to not look batshit crazy in this get-up, but who is a more serious diva than Gaga? [Editor’s Note: Besides me.]

LADY GAGA for Rolling Stone
Photographed by Ryan McGinley

It’s not my favorite photo. Gaga is about exuberance, about the power you feel from, to borrow a phrase, expressing yourself. And whether that expression is loud dance beats or stripped-down piano ballads, it’s still in-your-face, and this photo shoot is not. It makes Gaga seem – dare I say it? – a little boring. (Did you know such a thing was possible?)

Gaga can pose like her life depends on it, so catching a decidedly non-glamorous, foggy candid of her just seems like a waste of fabulousness. But I do love the ponytailed-skeleton on the leather jacket.

My problem with this is that the photographer is trying to have it both ways – an angelic, hippie, all-natural shoot, but with Amy Winehouse eyeliner and dramatic lipstick. It doesn’t really work stylistically – with the weird foggy fade (which just looks silly), they should have put her in no makeup (or tons of makeup which make her look like she’s not wearing makeup). Maybe they tried, and Gaga refused to be photographed without her thick liner and red lips. [Editor’s Note: It’s what I would do.]

I love the Alice in Wonderland quality to this photo, and I love how doll-like and innocent Gaga looks from afar. It’s a beautiful shot; I’m just not sure what it’s doing in Rolling Stone.

© Democracy Diva, 2011.

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