Lady Gaga's meat dress is one of the biggest fashion statements in VMA history, but despite the outsize media, fan and PETA attention, the ensemble was actually one of the superstar's more wearable looks of the evening.
"It didn't smell at all," Ernesto Elias of MTV Music and Talent, who escorted Gaga to and from her seat throughout Sunday's show, told MTV News on Thursday (September 16). Although Gaga was rocking pounds of raw meat under the glare of the Nokia Theatre lights, Elias said the fleshy frock wasn't gag-inducing. "I actually was able to get a picture taken with her and kinda touched it. It was just your regular old feeling of meat."
The crafty couture may have had the usual touches of a choice cut of beef, but the visual punch the look packed was anything but typical. Well, maybe it was typical for Gaga.
"Pretty much every time that dressing-room door would open up, it was always a surprise, because I never knew what to expect," Elias said. "That last time was a real shock, just because I was confused if it was really meat or what. At first, it kind of looks fake, but at a closer glance, I could tell it was real."
Gaga's final sashay backstage caught other VMA insiders off guard as well.
"When I'm walking her from her dressing room to her seat, I'm always five or 10 steps ahead, just kind of clearing a path. And ... people would just take a double take," Elias said, describing the behind-the-scenes impact of Gaga's outfit. "Just 'cause they weren't quite sure what they were really looking at. Then she would walk by them, and they'd get a better glimpse, and [it] probably left them confused — as most people were."
Gaga kept the ensemble carcass-coordinated as well, encasing some sky-high heels in slivers of meat. "They were real shoes and they just used the meat and wrapped it around the shoes. They used the butcher's twine to hold the meat in place," Elias said. "The shoes ... without the meat on them [were] just huge, like, heel platforms, I guess."
The meat mini capped off another night of decadent fashion, which included a black ball gown that "was very heavy. She needed to walk very slow to get to one place or another just because of the weight of the outfit," Elias said. Gaga also hit the white carpet in a flowing Alexander McQueen creation as she simultaneously pulled off both a fashion and political statement with several openly gay military vets on her arm.
Unlike her breakout runway-show-within-an-awards-show moment at the 2009 VMAs, Gaga had more time to put on each elaborate outfit. However, the pacing and styling of every look was very likely still planned with the same detail-oriented precision as her debut VMA outing. "She's very professional in how she's coming across with all this sort of stuff," Elias said. And as millions of viewers and VMA attendees witnessed at this year's festivities, Gaga kept it consistent with some seriously "over-the-top" fashion.
Even Elias, who led Gaga through the gaggle of backstage mayhem that is the VMAs, had to reflect upon the impact of the protein-packed garb. "I was probably just thinking: Is she really wearing a meat outfit?"
What did you think of Lady Gaga's VMA fashion? Let us know in the comments!
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