Sinéad’s “New Look”

First of all, it’s not a makeover. The glam and sexy photo of Sinéad O’Connor on the cover of her upcoming album “I’m Not Bossy, I’m the Boss” — in which she’s barely recognizable, a cross between Louise Brooks and Catwoman — is a promotional shot, not truly a new look for the 47-year-old Irish singer. Photoshop obviously performed a key role in her transformation; the bluntly cut, sleek black hair appears to be a wig.

Still, she looks fantastic, and you might even pick up some style pointers from the way O’Connor has experimented with her image. Here’s the takeaway. DON’T CLING TO THE SAME OLD, SAME OLD. The baldy crew cut made an edgy statement back in 1990, when O’Connor won her first three Grammys, and it remains her signature. But look at the splash she’s made just by trying something new. PLAY UP YOUR BEST FEATURES. Although O’Connor set out to challenge conventional ideas of what makes a woman attractive, she was never able to disguise the beautiful bone structure of her face. (If you’ve somehow forgotten, take another look at the video of “Nothing Compares 2U.”) Her smoky makeup in the new photo enhances her best feature — her stunning eyes. KEEP CONTEMPORARY. In recent years, O’Connor’s style has tended to be dated and dowdy, which makes the sudden change that much more dramatic. This doesn’t mean you should go around town in a black latex dress, just that it pays to stay current.

Now, for a little more inspiration, check out the video of “4th and Vine,” released in anticipation of the new album, which will be out in August. This is pre-transformation, but O’Connor looks great anyway — because she seems to be so happy, as she sings, “I’m gonna put some eyeliner on / I’m gonna look real nice…” —Lola Ehrlich


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