How To Make A Lady Gaga VMA Meat Dress…For Dogs

Lady Gaga and Cher at the 2010 VMAs, and their canine dopplegängers.
Photo: Getty Images

If you haven’t seen the animal reenactment of Lady Gaga winning the 2010 Best Music Video Award and asking a scantily clad Cher to hold her meat purse, you are clearly missing out on the internet. When redone by a wig-wearing Sugar and a non-meat omnomnoming Moxie, the moment is every bit as memorable (but way cuter) than it was the first time around. And not only are animals acting like (famous) people heart-melting, but the costuming is so impeccable that we had to speak to the woman who sat down to replicate the VMAs Gone Wild looks…but for pint-sized pups. Check the reenactment in its furry fabulousness after the jump.

Lady Gaga, The Meat Dress, And Cher


What dog outfitter Ada Nieves created was not just adorable or funny, but a real-deal duplicate of classic looks of Video Music Awards participants. Think hand-sewns studs, perfectly tailored hats, and even TINY DOGGY SHOES. As a certified FIT pet fashion designer, dolling up dogs isn’t new to her, but a request to create a wholly realistic Lady Gaga meat dress? Well, that’s not something a dog dresser-upper does every day…

MTV Style: How did you get into this very specific line of work?
Ada Nieves: In 2005, while watching the Oscars, I thought the gowns were great for my dog Vanilla. With the encouragement of a photographer friend of mine, I decided to make them for fun and he took pictures. Once he showed the pictures to the media, they ended up going around the world! I received a few requests to buy the pieces, but I donated them instead to raise money for the animals affected by Hurricane Katrina. For instance, the “Penelope Cruz” ended up in Spain and was exhibited for a while.
Since then, I have been participating in several fashion shows a year, dressing the top dogs of the nation, celebrity dogs and pets from all around the world. I’m a person that likes challenges, and then I moved on to dressing up cats after adopting our cat Martini.
Recently I dressed up fancy rats at the NYC Rat convention, and have been blessed to work on sets for episodes of shows like 30 Rock and Ice Loves Coco.

Maybe the facial expressions aren’t right, but the look is all Cher.
Photo: Getty Images

MTV Style: Which costume took the longest to make and why?
Ada: Well, it wasn’t easy. [For] Cher’s one-piece suit, I hand-sewed the studs in her outfit one by one. It was quite a job.

Gaga dog, unlike the real thing, did not have Cher hold her meat purse.
Photo: Getty Images

MTV Style: How did you make a Lady Gaga Meat Dress that dogs wouldn’t eat?
Ada: This was probably the most challenging! I took notes on how the original meat dress was made to create a foundation or guide to make the doggy version. However, I had concerns that the meat would be too heavy for the dogs to carry or wear. I checked all meats at various supermarkets until I picked the bacon for its light weight and flexibility; it could be shaped as needed. To give it that “meaty” color, I hand-brushed red food coloring onto the meat, using a thin brush so it would look natural!

Gaga’s real deal and itsy-bitsy bacon booties!
Photo: Getty Images

To have it last and not have it eaten, I sprayed it with clear lacquer and lots and lots of hair spray! Then I took into consideration the coat of the dog that was going to wear it and used bridal satin fabric to make a vest.

Gaga’s (and temporarily Cher’s) meat purse and the tiny bacon replica.
Photo: Getty Images

Then I started hand-sewing the bacon on the fabric vest. I did practically the same for the purse and hat. Just like the original, this piece is one of a kind.

MTV Style: Where did you find a tiny Cher wig?
Ada: Another treasure find! It was a “tail” for a woman’s head that was black and a bit curly. It still needed to be puffed up a bit more so I used a curly iron and it seemed to have worked.

Cher’s leather onesie for pups.

MTV Style: Did you make the leather jacket from scratch?
Ada: Nope, that is actually a piece I had in the closet that adjusted to play the role. I just added some studs and stitches by hand to simulate the rhinestones, and a “Cher” jacket was born!

The amazing CHER embellishment.


+ Watch the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards live from Nokia Theatre L.A. in Los Angeles on Sunday, Aug. 28, at 9 p.m. ET/PT on MTV and Catch the live preshow at 8 p.m. ET/PT and cast your votes for Best New Artist up until the show airs!

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