Lana Del Rey Covers HARPER’S BAZAAR ‘Art’ Issue

Posted on November 21, 2023


Lana Del Rey, captured in a series of intimate portraits by Collier Schorr and styled by Yashua Simmons for HARPER’S BAZAAR magazine, has emerged as one of the most influential songwriters in music. But her own story is about more than perseverance. It’s about the importance of knowing who you are and learning how to honor that.





On navigating the critical rejection of the Born to Die album and continuing to write songs: “I think in one week, The New Yorker, The New York Times, The New York Post, and New York magazine agreed that it was the most ridiculous act that had ever come out,” she says. But she rode the disorienting waves of critical rejection and commercial success in the best possible fashion: by simply continuing to write songs. “That may have been just pure ‘Let’s try and make this work!’ energy,” she says. “I’m sure my intuition in my everyday life was still pretty strong. But with the career, I think it was like ‘Let’s just try and see if we can make this work’ instead of having it come to a brutal end.”

On responding to critics calling her inauthentic, and being gifted the unique opportunity to self-reflect: “It was 100 percent authentic,” she says of her Born to Die reinvention. “It’s just that where I was at the time was  malleable in my own life—easy to,like, acquiesce,” she explains. “I kept rereading the idea of somebody who was feigning vulnerability,” she says. “[But] perhaps what they saw was what was vulnerable.”

On a defining career moment selling out the Walmart amphitheater in Rogers, Arkansas where a local waitress had showed  her a photo of the queue where she had been #80,000 on line: “When I saw that, that’s when I knew—it’s the moment,” Del Rey tells me. The defining moment for you? I ask her. “Yeah, for sure. Absolutely.” Really? Out of everything? “Anything that’s ever happened in my whole life,” she says definitively. “That’s it.”

Del Rey’s strongest sense of place and belonging remains within herself: “I have a big old home inside,” she says. “That’s the whole thing. It’s warm in here. There’s a huge hearth in here. If I had to peer right inside my heart, it’s really big. And it’s really hot and warm. But it can be icy though,” she warns me. “I’m not afraid of a fight. I’ll go from zero to 100 real fast, but that’s what you can do when you’re at home with yourself. You can fight fast, love fast, all that stuff.” “It’s inconvenient to be in touch with yourself,” she says gently. “It really is.”

John Waters, filmmaker and writer, on his admiration for Del Ray:
She’s unearthly suburban and unreasonably talented, and she can pretend to be a normal person,” the filmmaker and writer John Waters tells me. I think of the ad campaign for Russ Meyer’s Lorna,” he says admiringly, referring to the 1964 sexploitation film. “[The tagline] could go for her: ‘Longing, love, lust, life, Lana. Too much for one man.’ ”

 Film director David Lynch on the feelings Del Ray’s music evokes:
“She tells a story in her music,” Lynch says. “She gives a mood and a story and a way to think, and she paints a picture in your brain.”


[Photo Credit: Collier Schorr for Harper’s Bazaar Magazine]

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