Oh, that meat dress ! Nearly a year after Lady Gaga wore it at the MTV Video Music Awards, the costume made of various cuts of meat that designer Franc Fernandez and stylist Nicola Formichetti put together is still making headlines.
On Thursday (June 16), that dress will join the “Women Who Rock: Vision, Passion, Power” exhibit at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, where it will sit on display along with Gaga’s childhood piano and Armani Prive orbit gown , which she wore to the 2011 Grammys, until February 2012.
“I was talking to Lady Gaga’s managers, and this is probably around November [of last year], and basically talked about different things, and we talked about the meat dress and we thought it would be great to add it to the exhibit just because of all the notoriety it has, so that’s basically how it came about,” RRHOF chief curator Jim Henke told MTV News. “We thought the meat dress would really be cool.”
So, how will the folks at the Rock Hall keep it fresh until it wraps up its stint there? “It’s going to be in a case and we are putting some canisters in there to control the humidity, and then we have this other canister that soaks up the glutens,” he explained. “But it’s in a sealed case and we have the gels to control the environment in there.”
However, it took some work to get it to the point where it can hang around the Rock Hall along with a number of other high-profile memorabilia without seeming super-gross. Henke explained, “We went back to Franc Fernandez … ultimately what we decided to do, we sent it to a taxidermist, they put it into a meat locker and then we started working on it and created this [chemical] solution and treated it with that.
“And then they had a body form, and when it was still wet, they put it on the body form and then it dried on there,” he continued. “And then they had to do a little bit of painting to bring it back and give it a little bit more color.”
Gaga hasn’t been shy about making the dress into jerky or wanting to have her extensive wardrobe in a museum, as she shared on “The Graham Norton Show.” “I keep everything and dream of having a museum of all my clothes. I have an archive house for all my clothes,” she said. “[The dress has] been jerked. It stank. It was fabulous. I never want to talk to anyone at those big celebrity functions because I feel awkward, and it was great — because it stunk, I didn’t have to talk to anyone.”
Having the dress in the exhibit is quite an honor and it’s an interesting piece, but Henke notes this isn’t the most bizarre exhibit at the RRHOF. “Definitely one of the stranger pieces,” he laughed about the dress, adding, “There are some other weird things. We actually have [pioneering radio DJ] Alan Freed’s ashes.”