This year's biggest newsstand coup is undoubtedly the Lady Gaga-edited pre-spring issue of V magazine, which boasts a whopping 16 individual covers. Aside from the black and white portraits that Karl Lagerfeld and Hedi Slimane shot of each other, the issue is shaping up to be a tribute to one of Gaga's biggest inspirations: the late Alexander McQueen.
In a portfolio by Steven Klein — the photographer behind Gaga's "Alejandro" music video and the short film for her fragrance, Fame — the singer poses for many of the covers herself, as does famed fashion eccentric Daphne Guinness, who returns to the industry spotlight after keeping a relatively low profile over the past few seaons. As for the clothing, Guinness opened up her archive of McQueen pieces for the shoot — a wardrobe that she purchased from the estate of the late editor (and McQueen muse) Isabella Blow, who's also honored with her own posthumous V cover.
The theme here is what Gaga's calling her "Fashion Guard," bringing together the artists she respects the most in the industry for one huge passion project. "This is the church of fashion," she told the magazine. "If you don't have respect for what Daphne and Steven Klein and I are doing, you don't have a clue, really." In regard to the binding dresses and impossibly high armadillo heels (which you may remember from Gaga's epic 2009 video for "Bad Romance"), Gaga went on to say, "Daphne reminds me that it's okay to be in pain all the time. She taught me to go for it. Always. Fuck it. People just can't understand being in pain constantly for art. The way we handle emotional pain is by inflicting some sort of physical pain on ourselves for an art that we love."
Watch for the new issue of V to hit newsstands on Jan. 14, and click through the gallery below for a preview.