5.15.2010

Madonna: Like A Virgin All Over Again



The last time we saw the "material" girl on the cover of Interview Magazine was in April 2008, where she was holding onto the cords on a corner of a boxing ring, wearing black Chanel boxing gloves, high-heeled lace-up boots and a gilded "champ" belt with a big "M" emblazon on the front. Photographed by none other than Steven Klein. Now Madonna is back for the double-cover May 2010 edition shot by the dynamic duo Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott and styled by Karl Templer. Unlike many artists of her generation, Madonna has this uncanny ability to reinvent herself time and time again imposing her very influential persona in the entertainment, music and fashion realms. Now a mother of (how many kids now?) and still appearing as rebellious and controversial as ever, she reveals to Milk's Gus Vant Savant on her initiatives to build a school for underprivileged kids in Malawi, which is where two of her kids were adopted from:

"He's (Jeffrey Sachs) starting a global education initiative, and I'm going to be his Girl Friday, so to speak. We're holding a press conference to talk about the school for girls that I'm building in Malawi. It's kinda our way of making sure that every kid has a chance to have an education-more specifically girls, but boys as well. Girls, though in a lot of developing countries don't have the opportunity to go to school, nor are they encourage to go to school, so what we're doing is the beginning of a dream. But I'm going to Malawi for lots of reasons".

Not only Madonna is unquestionably musically gifted but she also seems to have a noble heart and a humanitarian side, as well. And that's admirable. I think she recognizes that as several celebrities and public figures, she is in a platform to help those who are not as privilege as her, and seeing that generous side from such an icon is great to watch. Furthermore, Madonna continues on and talks about his first encounter with a gay man, staples in her lengthy career: 

"The character that Richard E. Grant plays in the film I directed, Filth and Wisdom (2008), is this blind professor who was based on my ballet teacher, Christopher Flynn. Growing up in Michigan, I didn't really know what a gay man was. He was the first man-first human being-who made me feel good about myself and special. He was the first person who told me I was beautiful or that I had something to offer to the world, and he encourage me to believe in my dreams, to go to New York. He was such an important person in my life. He died of AIDS, but he went blind towards the end of his life. He was such a lover of art, classical music, literature, opera".

She also confess that she felt at "home" when she stepped into a gay club for the first time:

"He (Christopher Flynn) brought me to my first gay club -- it was this club in Detroit. I always felt like a freak when I was growing up and that there was something wrong with me because I couldn't fit in anywhere. But when he took me to that club, he brought me to a place where I finally felt at home".

It wasn't not that long ago when I heard Lady Gaga say the same exact words in the Ellen DeGeneres show, "I felt like a freak when I was growing up" and I'm not surprised these two women felt that way growing up in a conservative or/and secluded environment. I believe great artists, whether in music or fashion, have traditionally found road-bumps and major obstacles when growing up, trying to express themselves in a world where they are commonly misunderstood. It's a shame that the world we in live in today, or certain parts of it, have not reached up to a level of tolerance, acceptance or have no sense of being open-minded. Madonna also touched on the idea of collaborating:

"I quite like the idea of collaborating in general. Not only is it lonely to do things on your own creatively, it's also kind of arrogant. I guess some people are great enough to be brilliant on their own and never doubt anything and come up with the fabulous things. But I think it's good to get into arguments with people and have them say, "That sucks" or "You're crazy" or "That's cheezy" or "What do you think of this?" If anything, it helps you understand what you believe in and what you're passionate about and what is shit. I think it's important to have a  sounding board."

Furthermore, she briefly talks about a very influential person in her career, Seymour Stein, vice president of Warner Bros. Records: 

"Oh my God. Yeah, of course. he believed in me. Seymour Stein is the person who signed me in and gave me my first record deal, which was my only record deal I stayed at Warber Bros. until five minutes ago. He listened to my demo. He was in the hospital, he had me come in to visit him. He was hooked to all these weird devices -- I don't know what was wrong with him. But he made me bring my boom box and play my music for him. He was laying there in his boxer shorts and a wife-beater. But he was a champion during the first decade of my career. So he's a very important character".

I hope you noted she mentioned "boom box" so you can imagine how long  ago this encounter was. 


The two covers look amazing, sort of reminiscing to what they did to her "boy-toy" Jesus Luz, but the one on the left, where she's holding a crucifix right in front of her face looks more enticing, like an iconic Helmut Newton photograph. I like this red crossed seemed on the center, which I thought at first looked like blood. I just love the two covers, very strong photographs that make two very strong covers.

The video clip below is the behind-the-scenes of the shoot with the aforementioned photographers and stylist. I mean how many people you know who get a "behind-the-scenes" video of their cover? Well besides all the Vogue celebrities. And isn't the music in the background so hot?




The fashion spread looks as good as the two covers. As I mentioned before, I love the idea of the whole thing being black and white as a backdrop and having Madonna pose as seductive and daring as ever. I really like the attitude and strength of the pictures, I mean what's not to love Madonna in Dolce and Gabbana? One thing that caught my attention besides her amazingly well-kept figure (the woman is 51 years old, I know women half her age and don't even look as good as her) is the use of the crucifix. The religious symbolism behind a crucifix is very important to the catholic church and its followers, and placing on her stockings it can be misread as an insult. I don't mind for a controversial picture. Matter of fact, the top fashion magazines today have had controversial moments at some period in their existence. But I guess we will have to wait and see if any preacher is caught with the magazine under his robe (just saying). Click on images to enlarge.




Photos via fashiongonerogue.com

4 comments:

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Rene Medrano said...

I have this issue!