But how could you not admire Cyndi's "screw you, I'm going to wear what I want" attitude -- both in the Eighties and now? And that goes double for Lady Gaga. Hair bow made out of actual hair? Shoulder pads that could take out half of Manhattan? Custom Armani getups?
The MAC AIDS Fund has never had any shortage of star power for its Viva Glam campaign over the years (Mary J. Blige, Fergie, Lisa Marie Presley, just to name a few) but this pairing promised to yield a wild, no-holds-barred interview rife with girl power.
Cyndi and Gaga didn't disappoint. For openers, the talk was scheduled to take place at cross-dressing paradise Lucky Cheng's. Upon arriving there with executive beauty editor Pete Born, photo release forms were shoved in our faces; Cyndi was filming "Celebrity Apprentice" (which she later said reminded her of the worse moments of high school.) Producers are warning her not to tell us anything (she does anyway.)
After a short wait, we're ushered upstairs, where Gaga in a Marc Jacobs bustier reminiscent of Madonna's Eighties cone bras, with nude fishnets and six-inch platform heels, and a relatively conservative Cyndi in head-to-toe black, are stationed in front of a blowup of their ad. They are chatting like a mother and daughter, talking at times over each other in their excitement to make a point.
At first, Gaga, 23, is a little wary. But after hearing the WWD connection, she opens right up -- "Did you know WWD was my first cover? Ever! It was about five years ago, and I was at Lollapalooza, and you guys took my photo and asked if you could do a story. It was before anyone knew who I was. So this is very special for us." Lauper, 56, has a similar story to tell. "I did a Women's Wear thing where everyone wore white, and I got so excited that I even did my hair white," she says. "Everything was white -- my hair, my nails, the suit, the shoes, everything. But then when I saw myself, I didn't fit in. I kind of looked like Martha Washington."
After a short detour into shoes ("You always make more money in heels," said Gaga, who claimed to have waitressed in six-inch heels, to Pete's incredulousness that she could walk in the pair she's currently sporting), Gaga suggests that the interview patter turn to something a little more to the point.
"Let's talk about sex!" Gaga says with a wide smile. And talk they did: both women were absolutely passionate about promoting AIDS awareness, particularly in women, who are the focus of this year's campaign. The dynamic duo spouted statistics and demographics in rapid-fire fashion, reminding everyone within earshot that women in their age brackets are at risk for the disease. But they sure weren't afraid to get a little naughty to get their point across.
"We're looking forward to seeing that lipstick on condoms all over the world," Gaga opined, following up by saying, "People think if you're strong about your sexuality, you must have a d--k. That's what this whole campaign is about. You can be strong about your sexuality and be a smart woman who wears lipstick and high heels and looks pretty."