Lady Gaga in Peter Movrin at LAX.
Photo: Splash News
Remember when Lady Gaga showed up at LAX late this November in head-to-toe leather and silk? She was a vision of future-goth, dripping with inky fabric that pooled at her feet as she prepared to board an 11-hour flight to Tokyo. You were likely either bewildered or amazed. At first glance, the eye-bugging outfit, created by Slovenian designer Peter Movrin, seems better-suited for hanging out in a museum than being worn on an airplane (can you imagine trying to use the teeny tiny in-flight bathroom in this thing?), but that’s exactly why it works for the ARTPOP singer, whose recent album is, among many things, an ode to where avant meets accessible.
As it turns out, Movrin’s sensibilities match Gaga’s in more ways than one. The designer, a self-proclaimed Iris Van Herpen obsessive, creates wearable art that embraces “the ugly”—an idea that Mother Monster has sartorially toyed with many times, especially as of late. (See also: the artwork for singles “Dope” and “Applause.”) The creation Gaga wore, which hails from Movrin’s Gothic architecture-inspired Franz Madonna collection, and we caught up with the designer over the phone to figure out exactly how much Gaga’s travel threads weigh, what went into its making, and Movrin’s own forays with wearable meat.
MTV STYLE: How many hours did it take to make this outfit?
PETER MOVRIN: I worked on many dresses at once, so I don’t know exactly, but it’s all handmade—no laser cuts. The outfit is two pieces: The dress is silk, and the coat is from artificial leather.
Do you always work with faux leather?
No, I work a lot with leather. I come from a family of butchers, and tradition is very important. My childhood involved a lot of meat, and that’s important in my work. My fashion and childhood are very connected.
So, what did you think of Lady Gaga’s infamous meat dress?
[Laughs] I was really surprised. It’s an expression of herself. It’s not that unusual. When I was helping my father, I had to wear sausages around my neck and a lot of meat—but only in the butcher shop. One collection of mine had printed T-shirts with sausages and pigs and knives and human bones.
How did Lady Gaga find out about your work?
Her stylist Hayley [Pisaturo], from Haus of Gaga, emailed me two months ago. I was very happy and surprised.
Did they specifically request the Franz Madonna outfit?
No, they asked for many outfits, not just the Franz Madonna. She ended up wearing one of my coats and one of my dresses at the airport.
Did you know she’d be wearing it for an 11-hour flight?
No, no, no. I was so surprised when I saw the pictures. But I think the Franz Madonna dress is so comfortable, and it’s very nice to fly in because the silk is so flowy. You can imagine when you open the doors on the airplane and you’re flying in the silk. I can imagine wearing it on a plane.
Is the coat heavy?
No, it’s so light!
How much does it weigh?
Maybe two or three kilograms [four to seven pounds]. For this kind of outfit, it’s not heavy.
What was the inspiration behind the designs that she wore?
The Franz Madonna is a dark collection with a lot of light, which comes from the body. It’s inspired by the Gothic, scientific, architecture like Notre Dame de Paris, Christianity, and the Franz—biblically a Slovenian name—and Madonna, this powerful woman in Christianity. I really like the roughness and ugly things that scare people.
My inspiration is whatever comes in the moment. I research, make a mood board, and hand-make a lot of things with fast stitches. For me, it’s easier to think of clothing as jewelry than it is as a way to dress—it’s more interesting to do jewelry for an a** than a skirt.
Jewelry tends to be more sculptural and artistic than ready-to-wear clothing—is that your thought process?
Yes. I think every piece should be like jewelry, because people carry jewelry longer than clothes. With fast fashion, someone will buy a black shirt and then throw it in the garbage a week later. Clothing should be more precious. If you have nice jewelry, you don’t put it in garbage in one month. You carry it on.