(All Harper's Bazaar images by Luigi & Iango)
Madonna is no stranger to Harper's Bazaar, having posed memorably for the magazine numerous times inside and out since her debut, in a series of ungodly-cool Francesco Scavullo shots in November 1984 (pictured at right).
Now, Madonna has been granted the cover of the magazine's 150th-anniversary issue, and she uses the opportunity to vamp for the very first time for Luigi & Iango. The shots are pure Madonna — black-and-white images, a garter belt, sheer material, plenty of skin — and even recall a couple of shoots from her past (her “Deeper and Deeper” music video, some odd Miami shots I've never been able to place, her Rolling Stone spread from 1991 that time she spoke with Carrie Fisher).
But they still manage to be fresh. New and classic, they are just the right approach for an anniversary issue of one of the most influential fashion mags in history featuring one of the most influential fashionable icons.
In her interview with Difficult Women and Bad Feminist author Roxane Gay, Madonna speaks a lot about time.
Gay gets her to confirm her next big project, a movie she co-adapted from the novel The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells, and that she will direct. The story is about a woman navigating three lives across three eras, including a woman living in the '80s with her gay twin brother, who is dying of AIDS. Madonna refers to it as “an extremely timely story to tell.”
Choice quotes follow ...
On the political nature of her work:
I'm political. I believe in freedom of expression, I don't believe in censorship. I believe in equal rights for all people. And I believe women should own their sexuality and sexual expression. I don't believe there's a certain age where you can't say and feel and be who you want to be.
On the election of Trump:
I wake up every morning and it's like when you break up with somebody who has really broken your heart. You wake up and for a second you're just you, and then you go, “Oh, the person I love more than anything has just broken my heart, and I'm devastated and I'm broken and I have nothing. I'm lost.” That's how I feel every morning. I wake up and I go, “Wait a second. Donald Trump is the president. It's not a bad dream. It really happened.” It's like being dumped by a lover and also being stuck in a nightmare.
On taking her broken heart, making it into art:
Art keeps me alive. I've obviously been devastated or heartbroken all my life, since my mother's death. I've had so many challenges throughout my career, however successful people perceive me to be. The only way I've been able to survive the betrayal of lovers, family members, and society is to be able to create as an artist.
I'll stop when you fucking kill me. How about that?
Lead image: Alberta Ferretti gown; Erickson Beamon necklace; From left: Yeprem rings, Gucci, Sylva & Cie rings, and House of Emmanuele rings; New York Vintage headband (worn as bracelet); Carine Gilson garter belt; Madonna's own spike bracelets and stockings.
Photographs by Luigi & Iango; Hair: Andy LeCompte for Wella Professionals; Makeup: Aaron Henrikson; Manicure: Naomi Yasuda for Dior Vernis; Production: Beth Klein Productions; Set Design: Philipp Haemmerle. Special thanks to Diamond Horseshoe, New York.