In a recent interview with Vogue, Nicola Formichetti talks working with Lady Gaga during her new era “Chromatica”. Read the full interview below!
On the world of ‘Chromatica’:
“Chromatica is not utopian or dystopian. It’s how Gaga sees the world. It’s very, very upbeat, but it’s realistic in its message, and she speaks about a lot of deeply personal things. So there is this interplay of light and dark. We needed something that wasn’t running from the past—actually, we wanted to embrace the past—to show that Gaga is on her path towards healing,” Formichetti says over the phone from Los Angeles. The singer has been candid about her experiences with sexual assault, mental health issues, chronic pain, post-traumatic stress disorder, and more. “Chromatica is about how she makes sense of things.”
On the ‘Chromatica’ album cover:
“[The cover] is almost a tableau of different parts of her journey throughout her life,” says Formichetti. “How she has always transformed herself into different characters, establishing these Gaga ‘codes.’ Punk rock. Avant-garde. Alien. Norbert’s style is very voyeuristic, almost more cinematographic in nature, which I think worked well for this. And, you’ll notice, she can’t move. She’s bonded to this fashion. But this isn’t a bad thing. It’s both about where she started and how far she has come.”
On the ‘Rain On Me’ music video:
He points to the music video for “Rain On Me,” one of two singles that Gaga put out before the album release (“Stupid Love” being the other). “In the beginning of the video, she has on these really tall, stiletto spike heels,” he says. “By the end, she is wearing platform boots. This silhouette is important. It’s still her, it still looks interesting, but it’s an evolution from high heels, which are more striking and more aggressive, to something that is more grounded. Maybe it’s a little more believable. It’s a different vibe, which we both love.” If fans are wondering, the boots are from a brand called Demonia. (Formichetti also mentions Ariana Grande, who features on the track, and her lilac dress—it was designed by Zana Bane).
“Gaga wanted to own the roots of her past [in pop],” continues Formichetti. “And we wanted to show that through fashion, as well. Before, we used to kind of hide her. Gaga was this mystery, with the wigs, the sunglasses, the makeup. She was an enigma. We still have that element, of course, but she’s much stronger, and you can really see more of her in everything. You start seeing more of her face, her skin.”
When productions are allowed to resume, Formichetti suspects that the established aesthetic narrative of Chromatica will continue. For example, there is a much-anticipated song on the album called “Sour Candy,” which features the group Blackpink. A music video has not yet been filmed.
On the future of the era:
Formichetti laughs. “We’re all punks here, so we all want to go against the rules whenever we can. But it’s nice to have a parameter that we can play within. There are so many parts to this that we haven’t explored yet. Yeah. Chromatica is big.”
This article originally appeared in Vogue.