While Nicki Minaj entertained the crowds at Alexander Wang on Saturday, Lady Gaga hosted a fete for Stephen Gan of V magazine at Le Poisson Rouge — a Sophie’s Choice of sorts for fans of outrageously garbed divas. The editor and the pop star glided arm-and-arm through the red-lit performance space while the intimate venue was still half-full. Gaga took to the stage close to 1 a.m. to the strains of an Édith Piaf song and launched into an impassioned 45-minute set of songs from her new “Artpop” album, to be released in November, including “Aura” and “Applause.” Dressed in only a seashell bra, thong bikini bottom and glittering black ankle boots, Gaga threw her enormous mane of hair around, writhed on the floor and thanked Gan for her “beautiful cover spread” in the magazine.

The crowd ate it up, although WWD is pretty sure there was a significant amount of lip-synching involved. That didn’t seem to faze Jessica Alba and James Franco, who were squeezed into the cheek-to-jowl audience and bopping along to the music. Franco immediately posted a photo of Gaga on his Instagram and Twitter feeds. “Gaga at fashion week — so sweet,” he wrote.

This story first appeared in the September 9, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

“The truth is, I live for the applause,” conceded Gaga in a breathy monologue. No doubt attendees like Paris Hilton, Rose McGowan, Courtney Love, Daphne Guinness, Richard Chai, Jeremy Scott, Italo Zucchelli, Carine Roitfeld, Carlyne Cerf de Dudzeele, Terry Richardson, Sky Ferreira, Alessandra Ambrosio and Vinoodh Matadin and Inez van Lamsweerde could relate on some level. (Earlier in the night, Gaga made a cameo at the latter pair’s apartment dinner party for Ben Gorham’s Byredo fragrance line wearing a dreadlock wig and what appeared to be an oxygen tube.)

“I have 17 different product lines and I’m about to release my 16th fragrance,” said Hilton of her ongoing branding projects. She’s also set to release a new single, called “Good Time,” with Lil Wayne on Oct. 1.

Transsexual nightlife icon Amanda Lepore, in her de rigueur skintight lingerie, said she appreciated Gaga’s style and independence. “I don’t like to look like I’m just going to the supermarket,” she explained—certainly one thing the two share in common.

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