The art of reinvention: Lady Gaga speaks about her creative process
Musician, actress and superstar Lady Gaga gets introspective in her artistic new campaign for Dom Pérignon
When Benedictine monk Dom Pierre Pérignon first tasted the sparkling wine he perfected in 1668, he famously remarked: “I’m drinking stars”. The young monastery cellarer’s champagne creation went on to become the most celebrated drink in the French royal court and, today, Dom Pérignon is still a favourite of the rich and famous, delighting our tastebuds with exquisite vintages overseen by the brand’s chef de cave Vincent Chaperon. One such fan is Oscar and Grammy-winning singer/actress Lady Gaga.
Born Stefani Germanotta, the versatile performer rose to fame in 2008 with a series of chart-topping pop hits and high fashion moments, explored jazz standards with legendary crooner Tony Bennett (2014), and received critical acclaim for acting roles in A Star is Born (2018) and House of Gucci (2021).
With a penchant for such stylish reinvention, it is no wonder that Lady Gaga’s partnership with Dom Pérignon has been a celebration of contrasts since it began in 2021. Now, as the brand releases its new Vintage 2013 champagne, Lady Gaga has produced a video campaign directed by Woodkid (Yoann Lemoine), choreographed by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui and photographed by master of light Mario Sorrenti. The artists have come together to create a piece focused on the ‘labour of creation’ – and their shared drive to create ever more exciting and transformative art, whether that’s through song, cinema or champagne.
“I think that the first collaboration was very much rooted in this idea that, with your imagination, you can create your wildest fantasies,” says Lady Gaga, adding that the new campaign is about “the sentiment and the specialness of creating at all”.
“It could be a fantasy, it could be a reality, it could be something very simple, something really grand. The film takes you through all of that,” she says. “There are moments where it’s wild and moments where it’s quite human, and I think that’s a lovely message.”
Lady Gaga shares her artistic approach, the joy of collaborating with other artists, and why champagne is always a celebration.
How do you approach your different artistic disciplines?
The entry point is always different, whatever the project is. I love lots of different mediums of art. I don’t know that anyone in particular would think that I do them all well, but I like to do them anyway. Sometimes it’s an idea that just comes to me in the moment, just from being around people. Sometimes it’s when I’m alone. Sometimes it’s a poem that I might write or read. Sometimes I just want to play piano; sometimes I hear a melody in my head and sing it out loud. And other times, someone might come to me with an idea and say: ‘what do you think?’. I actually love collaborating with people. It’s such a wonderful way to work.
What do you enjoy about collaborating with Dom Pérignon?
What makes Dom Pérignon really special is that it’s very clear that you’re making a memory when you drink it. There’s a history to the champagne; there’s an artistry. When I first met [Dom Pérignon], before we even decided to work together, they taught me all about the process of making champagne, the way that monks created it. It was so interesting and, to be frank with you, I know that a lot of artists or celebrities work with brands and do collaborations but, for me, it’s really important that I work authentically with people. I love working with [Dom]; Vincent [Chaperon] is amazing, they’re inspiring. And they always embrace my friends who are artists, and they’re excited to create something with somebody new.
What do you think about the new Vintage 2013?
I think every year is different, right? It’s a total spiritual experience – and I think the [last campaign] had a more kind of feeling of fantasy. This time it felt more introspective, and I think that’s why we created the imagery that we did.
What was your creative vision for this campaign?
This idea of introspection. I think that’s where I’m at in my own artistry as well… And so, in this film, I was excited to do something that was about the artistic gaze. What does it mean to make something, and really look at it and stand with your friends and gaze at it? I always think when you work with other people, you remember that there’s an audience; when you do things by yourself, it’s for you. I loved working with [director/composer] Woodkid and [ fashion director] Nicola Formichetti, who I’ve worked with for a really long time. He’s really a fashion legend at this point.
What was it like to work with Woodkid?
I love working with different artists. Woodkid is just incredibly soulful. You know, he was just wonderful. It’s really nice when you work with people who are not trying to make you into something. I can’t tell you how much of my whole career was, like, people trying to dress me like a doll or get me to do something that they wanted me to do. This [campaign] was: ‘We want to capture the artist in that moment of inception, the introspective spirit and then the creative process, and here are the various ways that we think that we can show that.’ We seriously enjoyed each other. It’s hard work, time, effort and discipline. When I’m working with [Dom Pérignon], there’s a level of sophistication and excellence that we always have to bring. I like to bring that with all of my work but I’m also a bit of a punk, so sometimes it’s a little more rough around the edges.
This campaign is about the ‘labour of creation’. What does that mean to you?
That you need to work hard. Without being too crass, it’s not just about taking a photo with your iPhone. You have to put in the work. You have to research imagery. You have to watch films, you have to read poetry, you have to read books; you have to have a chat with yourself about being innovative. I think that this campaign was about those of us who have made [making art] our life mission. That’s all we do. I spent all day today making art… And it is a labour of love. It’s a real privilege to make art. So you have to work hard because some people don’t have that privilege.
Do you have any specific memory of celebrating with Dom Pérignon?
I used to always drink Dom Pérignon with [singer] Tony Bennett. Whether it was in the middle of a show, at the Grammys, or at the end of a long day, it’s always for a special occasion. I actually have the [Vintage 2013] in my house – it sounds silly, but has it post-it on it that says ‘for my next win’. So I’m not allowed to drink it unless we have won something. It’s exciting. I think that that’s what makes Dom so special, isn’t it? That when you order one or when you have some with your friends, it’s a sentimental moment.
How has Dom Perignon’s philosophy inspired you?
They always remind me that it’s okay to have a very high bar. They have a very high bar for their champagne, the quality of their work, the people they collaborate with and I think that that’s a fine sentiment. I think it’s okay to have [high] standards, as long as you’re a good person. They’re very celebratory and thoughtful. It tastes thoughtful, doesn’t it? I think it does.
Photography: Mario Sorrenti
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