August 2011: Letter from the editor
Even someone who chooses a career in the public eye might not be all that comfortable being lavished with attention. “Some actors are very amorphous and transformative, and they need anonymity in order to exist psychologically,” Romola Garai tells features editor Rani Sheen in “Bright Light” (page 59). “And then others have strong, powerful presences and personality, and fame is something they are attracted to and that they need to be happy.”
Fame isn’t something that everyone aspires to? That thought is probably more shocking than cover girl Lady Gaga’s prosthetic cheek “bones.” Isn’t notoriety one reason why Facebook, Twitter and blogging have become such mainstream hits? Anyone can build a fan base, perhaps even be “discovered.”
Which brings us to Gaga, whose 10.6 million Twitter followers and 37 million Facebook “likes” at press time (the numbers increase daily by the thousands) have made her the fame game’s biggest winner. Gaga’s success at getting our attention could even lead us to think that celebrity is her true oeuvre, and music is merely the medium she has used to achieve her goal. The word “fame” has appeared in the title of two of her three albums to date. And while her songs are hands-in-the-air anthems, it’s her jarring appearance that keeps us mesmerized. Would Gaga be such a star if that formula were reversed—avant-garde music presented in crowd-pleasing clothes? No way. At their rendezvous in Montreal, Gaga told senior editor Sarah Casselman (“Mother Monster,” page 94) that her work with stylist Nicola Formichetti is more akin to creating a sculpture than simply getting dressed. Gaga as a living, breathing work of art? Now that makes total sense.
We can only guess what sartorial surprises the singer has in store this fall. For the rest of us, there are trends, which you’ll find throughout this issue. Colour-blocked coats, graphic ski sweaters and checkered suits—there’s something for everyone, whether your moment in the spotlight is likely to occur in a boardroom, a classroom or on a playground.
I look forward to reading your thoughts on Lady Gaga and the rest of our August issue. Write to us at [email protected].