Grace Jones recently gave a rare interview to The Guardian in which they asked her about Lady Gaga. Initially the infamous supermodel cum popstar cum artist cum icon of androgyny responded, “I really don’t think of her at all. I go about my business.” And then the claws came out.
When asked more specifically if Jones felt Gaga had copied her, she answered, “Well, you know, I’ve seen some things she’s worn that I’ve worn, and that does kind of piss me off.” Fair enough. Jones certainly came first and has certainly spent many, many more years living as a walking, breathing, work of art.
It then comes out that Gaga had asked Jones to do a collaboration — which Jones flatly refused. “I said no. I’d just prefer to work with someone who is more original and someone who is not copying me, actually.”
Grace Jones made her name in the 70s, with Andy Warhol and the rest of his factory crowd. She inspired artists and became a muse to Helmut Newton, Jean-Paul Goude, and Warhol himself. Jones is now 61 and there is certainly something to be said for the authenticity that comes with almost 40 years of history. No doubt Gaga to Jones is a 23-year-old blip on the radar.
But should Gaga be pissed? I don’t think so. It’s part of Jones’ persona to be fierce and outspoken and that Grace Jones came before her doesn’t belittle what Gaga is doing. Also, some wise words from Mediaite’s Glynnis MacNicol (via Gchat, natch): “I love Grace Jones, but you dont hear David Bowie complaining when people are ‘inspired’ by him.” Gaga told Fuse last year that Grace Jones was an inspiration to her.
“Grace (Jones) is such an inspiration to me, which is why with all the rumors that have flown around over the year, I was always excited because the androgyny of the woman. It’s this kind of fascinating thing that nobody understands or wants to understand unless you’re in the beautiful subculture that is my fans and the gay community.”
The world (in fashion, especially) should be so lucky to have them both.
UPDATE: Since writing this post, I got sucked into the Getty Image galleries of both these sartorial stars and I’ll be honest, some of the resemblances are striking. What do you think?