The Simpsons executive producer and writer Al Jean sat down with MTV Style to discuss the fashion that featured during Lady GaGa’s episode of The Simpsons, entitled “Lisa Goes GaGa”.
During the interview, they discussed how the outrageous outfits seen in the episode were influenced by previous outfits that Lady GaGa has worn before. Check it out, along with some images of the outfits, and two new previews from the show…including a musical number!
MTV STYLE: We’re so excited about this Lady Gaga episode and can’t WAIT to see the finished product! Tell us about working with Lady Gaga.
AL JEAN: Well, Jim Brooks saw her interview with Anderson Cooper on 60 Minutes. After that, we knew we just had to put her on the show, so we wrote up a script and sent her a letter asking her to do it.
What a huge honor! How did she react?
She was really excited about the whole thing. After she signed on to do it, she came in to record dialogue twice, and we showed her a rough cut the second time. She seemed thrilled.
Lady Gaga is pretty notorious for her distinct creative vision from her music to her performances to her fashion. What was the process of translating all of that, those Gaga intangibles, into an animated character? Also, into a half-hour program?
She trusted us with the humor absolutely and was so good in recording. For the music, we wrote music and discussed the lyrics with her. The guys from Lonely Island who do the SNL Digital Shorts also gave some input that she went for and worked out really well. For the wardrobe, the outrageous outfits are just a part of who she is, so a lot of them were part of the script. Every time you see her, she’s wearing a new outfit or her hair is changed slightly. What’s great about animating is that we could create all these outfits and quick changes that wouldn’t be possible in real life. There’s a moment in the episode when she starts out with her hair down. Then, there’s a curtain pulled in front of her, and in seconds, she has a completely different outfit on with a cone bra and her hair is all hairsprayed up and big and frizzy. In real life, that would probably take 8 hours.
We believe it. How did you decide what each look would be? Did you work with a stylist or Gaga’s creative director, Nicola Formichetti?
We didn’t work with a stylist or anything, just our design team. We had a lot of ideas about new outfits we’d want to put her in – there’s a bit where she wears heels inside another pair of heels, which to my knowledge, I don’t think she’s done before – but we also based a lot of the outfits on things she’s worn in the past.
Yes! We saw that there’s a nod to the infamous 2010 VMA meat dress! But there are brand new outfits we’ve never seen before, too. How much of Gaga’s animated wardrobe was inspired by her real-life closet?
You could say 100% of the outfits were inspired by things she’s worn in real life. We did a lot of research, looking back at her old outfits, and she’s really been in a million different things, had a million different looks. Of course, we wanted to parody iconic things like the egg and the meat dress, but we didn’t want to do exactly the same thing. In the episode, we made it a pork chop dress. Instead of that Kermit the Frog dress, we have her in a dress made of hummingbirds that she flies around in. There’s an outfit where she’s wearing a sweatshirt and jeans that’s meant to be Gaga incognito, but she has a giant blinking “Gaga” sign lit up across the back. That was meant to be her incognito, but with the light-up sign, she’s not hiding from anyone. It’s funny.
What was the production process like? Did it take any longer than usual because of all the outfits?
Our Halloween episode is our most production-heavy project, but Marge and Lisa wear the same necklace and dress almost every week, so even though this Lady Gaga episode wasn’t as much work as Halloween, it was definitely more than normal. If you actually tried to have Gaga’s wardrobe in this episode produced, it would be at least six figures.
We’d expect no less. Did any other Simpsons characters go Gaga in this episode? Any major wardrobe changes like Apu in facial prostheses? Homer as Jo Calderone?
Maggie! She gets made over and makes an appearance as “Baby GooGoo.”