Lady Gaga has never been one for subtlety. Why then would one expect her to toast her debut fragrance with some generic cocktails affair? Thursday evening, Haus Laboratories in Paris, Steven Klein, and Coty Inc. helped the songstress host an appropriately louche black tie masquerade party for her Lady Gaga Fame eau de parfum at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. Guests were instructed to wear either masks or headpieces in accordance with the event’s theme. As such, the museum’s atrium was a carnival of Batmen, Zorros and Venetian feathered ladies—not to mention the burly, tattooed, topless and black leather-clad men dotting the space like an army of S&M disciples. One man walked around with a bunch of black balloons tied to his sunglasses. A duo sported welding headgear. And one woman’s silver mask came so low down on her face, she begged the bartender for a straw, to no avail (had she discovered a new dieting technique?).
Designer Olivier Theyskens had misunderstood the invitation’s request, and as such, his “mask” was a quick DIY job on the paper invitation, with holes punched out for the eyes, nose and mouth.
“Masquerade in French is not something about masks, so I didn’t get that,” he explained. “I saw everybody with masks on when I arrived and went behind the photo pit in the street and made this.”
In the middle of the room was a giant black and gold sculptural replica of the Fame fragrance bottle, with a small digital clock reading fifteen minutes in red lights. Klein’s voice came over a loudspeaker, directing everyone’s gaze towards a large screen facing the bottle, on which they were treated to a first glimpse of the film he had made with Gaga to celebrate the fragrance: a dark, alien story that ended with miniature men climbing across Gaga’s naked body while chanting her name.
Then it was time for Gaga herself, who appeared in a capsule built into the sculpture’s base. Wearing a red wig and a Prabal Gurung dress, she appeared passed out (the performance art piece was called “Sleeping with Gaga”) and guests were given the opportunity to reach in and touch her, with the hopes of waking her up. Eventually, she rose (sans Prince Charming, a fairytale this was not), removed her wig, stripped down to a thong and corset and proceeded to get a tattoo on the back of her neck, shaved for the occasion (the artist in charge was Mark Mahoney). And thus went her fifteen minutes (plus or minus) of fame. Get it?