Madonna in 1984 at the MTV VMAs. Mona in 2011.
Credit: MTV/Michele Crowe
Who’da thunk, after popping out of a wedding cake and then proceeding to do R-Rated things to the floor, that Madonna’s infamous performance at the VERY FIRST Video Music Awards would become so iconic? And furthermore, who could possibly imagine, three decades after we first had our minds blown, that a cute cat performing Madonna’s “Like A Virgin” VMA moment could nail it with ALMOST as much finesse as Madge? If you didn’t see the original video, then be excited: You are like a virgin (to amazing cat videos).
We sat down with dog and cat outfitter Ada Nieves to talk about what was needed to re-create the fashion of some of the most talked-about moments of not just VMA history, but pop culture history as well. Yesterday we talked about how to keep Lady Gaga’s meat dress worn by a dog from becoming a treat, and how she went beyond the adorable for a veritable duplicate of classic Video Music Awards looks. But for the certified FIT pet fashion designer, she wasn’t “a virgin” to putting kitties in couture.
MTV Style: OK. We’ve got to know: What was your favorite costume to assemble?
Ada Nieves: All were fun to make! Each one has details that made me become more creative during the production process. For example, I’m a Madonna fan so I totally loved making the outfits for “Like a Virgin.” You can notice the “boobs” to give each outfit a bustier look and figure!
All the adorable, handcrafted details Ada produced for the “Like A Virgin” shoot.
Credit: MTV/Michele Crowe
MTV Style: We just about died over the details. How did you make the “Boy Toy” belt?
Ada: Ha! First it was an adventure to find the letters! Of course, when I finally found them, they came with quite a price tag. But hey, anything for Madonna, right? While watching the “Like a Virgin” video, I noticed the big bow on Madonna’s back. That’s when a light bulb was turned on, and I thought to make the skirt an individual piece that could be adjusted as needed. These outfits were made to consider how an animal shows their back and not the front, so it can actually be used on the reverse side of the pet’s body with the same ease. The “Boy Toy” belt is one of those pieces. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a rectangular piece that satisfied me as a closer look to the real buckle, so I hand-sewed each letter individually to the tulle skirt.
MTV Style: What’s different about making fashion for animals versus fashion for humans? What special considerations have to be made?
Ada: First, look at body structure: We stand with hands to our side and walk on two legs. Dogs’ and cats’ legs are closer to the chest than the sides, and they are closer to the ground and are hard to see from the front. In most cases, pet designs are on the back of an outfit. Sine we are re-creating, we wanted to stay as close to the real thing as possible with some adjustments. Therefore, the designs are never exactly the same, but still similar.