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Brief Published: 21 Jun 2011

Lady Gaga Works Versace's Dark Side


After fashion maverick and pop sensation Lady Gaga pledged her exclusive loyalty to the Versace brand for the next two months, the Italian label revealed a darker, edgier aesthetic for Autumn/Winter 2011-12. This was demonstrated in its advertising campaign, shot by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott, featuring brunette models instead of signature blondes.

Lady Gaga wore only vintage Versace in her recent video for the single Edge of Glory, having been permitted to raid the archive by the head of the fashion house, Donatella Versace – a first since founder Gianni Versace’s death in 1997. Gaga wears a black leather, bondage-style dress embellished with gold rings and hardware throughout the video, with an iconic gold Versace metal emblem as the focal point of the outfit.

The Autumn advertising campaign – shot in front of a brooding sunset – features brunette models Saskia de Brauw and Seab O' Pry. Donatella explained the thinking behind the shift by referencing the excitement created when her brother Gianni had worked with edgier models in the past. "When Gianni used girls like Kristen McMenamy and Stella Tennant, everyone was always saying: ‘Wow, this is not a Versace girl – she is not blonde’.”

Photographers Alas and Piggott were chosen instead of Mario Testino, who has shot the Versace campaign since 2004, to give the campaign a new look. Testino will continue to shoot Versace’s fragrance campaigns.