Lady Gaga doesn’t really do ‘small,’ but apparently she does do ‘intimate.’ Sporting a Prabal Gurung gown at some times and nothing but a bustier and garter belt at others, the singer spent the better part of four hours ensconced in a egg-like incubator on the ground floor of the Guggenheim Museum being ogled by Marc Jacobs, Olivier Theyskens, Jessica Stam, Greg Krelenstein, her mother, apparently Lindsay Lohan, and yours truly. The occasion? The launch of her first fragrance, Fame. Guests were instructed to wear a mask and/or headgear, so Leandra, my new neighbor, swung by a costume store on 8th street to grab several masks…for herself (“I’m layering—what’s new?”), while I painted a silver screen across my eyes (with MAC pigment and a Tom Ford brush) and shellacked my mouth with Butter London’s La Moss Lippy in a nod to the songstress’ blood-thirsty beauty look in the Steven Klein-directed film spot.
After being led through a gaggle of male models/backup dancers in black leather sex-shop harnesses, we grabbed goblets of champagne and zeroed in on the stage. Now, let’s talk about what went on in the egg (there was no singing involved). For the first thirty minutes, Gaga napped, with her Blackberry by her side, as partygoers were led up the stairs for a chance to slip a hand through a hole in the Plexi and stroke her hand, her hair, or whatever else was within arm’s reach. “She’s really soft,” Leandra said, and she would know: the Man Repeller might have taken the prize for longest touch with Mother Monster, holding her outstretched paw for a good 60 seconds as a jumbotron broadcast the engagement from several angles. We were the first of the slightly confused, unanimously nervous Touchers to whip out iPhones and snap each other’s embraces—because, goddamn it, that is one for the scrapbook.
Then she woke up, walked over to a vanity, sprayed herself with some Fame, popped some pills, disrobed, and settled into a seated position with several friends looking on. Legendary tattoo artist Mark Mahoney entered the egg and assembled his tools. With stamina that would make Marina Abromović proud, Gaga got a half-dollar-sized cherub etched into the back of her shaved head over the course of two hours, while intermittently swigging tequila from a bottle of Don Julio and taking iPad selfies with Steven Klein. Marina, it's your move.