Madonna lives behind high, spike-topped, black metal walls in three townhouses joined into one on New York's Upper East Side. I had to manage my covetous feelings as I was ushered through the gate and then walked through pristine living rooms, dining rooms, and sitting areas, all decorated like the highest end of British hotels, in a mélange of blacks and grays. There were glossy black floors and doors, original Tamara de Lempicka paintings on the walls, and, I would swear, a wall covering made of teal duck feathers in at least one bathroom.
But I was open to forgiving Madonna all of these signs of her success because the fact is, I think the woman is gutsy, and the risks she has taken in her career have made the world a bit freer and more interesting for women of my generation.
In person, Madonna is tiny and alarmingly fit, and she has the posture of a seasoned dancer. Her face is more delicate than in photos; one gets the sense that she is aware of her every gesture. She is wearing beige slacks with boots and a belted beige sweater over a white shirt; her hair is simply styled in blonde waves. She greets me warily and welcomes me into a quiet study.
The full interview can be read at harpersbazaar.com/madonna-interview and large versions of the Tom Munro shot, Arianne Phillips styled pictures can be viewed at harpersbazaar.com/madonna-fashion-pictures
Pictures courtesy of Harpers Bazaar / Tom Munro