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Franc Fernandez

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Franc Fernandez

Franc Fernandez is an Argentinian designer located in the Los Angeles area that has designed outfits worn by Lady Gaga, notably including the meat dress.

Custom piecesEdit

Clear Rubber Mask, 2009Edit

The mask is shaped to fit under the nose and around the wearer's cheeks with an oval opening of the mouth. Four lacing holes at each side. The mask was used in "The Manifesto of Little Monsters", a film shot by Nick Knight in November of 2009 for the Monster Ball in 2009 through 2011.

The mask was sold for Icons & Idols Rock ‘n’ Roll Auction Event which took place at the Julien’s Auctions Beverly Hills Gallery on December 1st and 2nd, 2012.

Diamond Princess ensemble, 2009Edit

It was a personal request by Nicola Formichetti, Lady Gaga’s stylist, to construct a sort of “diamond princess” piece that she would be wearing in the portion of the Bad Romance video where the men are “bidding” on her. The crown along with the rest of the ensemble are made of individual pieces of jewelry wired together. The crown was finished the day before and the bust/top portion was literally constructed and molded on Lady Gaga, herself, on the day of the shoot. Lady Gaga has an amazing team around her so it was great to be a part of that experience.

—Frank Fernandez

Fernandez created the Diamond Princess ensemble made off a crown with a matching outfit (top with shoulder piece and panty) for the music video for "Bad Romance" directed by Francis Lawrence.

Headpiece, 2009Edit

Fernandez was asked to create a matching headpiece for a Olima dress to be worn at New Year's Eve 2010. He fabricated it from stiffened material that fits around the face and embellished with silver sequins and rhinestones. Additional elastic band secures the item to the wearer's head.

The headpiece was sold for Icons & Idols Rock ‘n’ Roll Auction Event which took place at the Julien’s Auctions Beverly Hills Gallery on December 1st and 2nd, 2012.

Denim shorts, 2010Edit

Fernandez collaborated again with Olima to create denim shorts to be worn by Beyoncé and some of Gaga's dancers in the music video for "Telephone". The two scenes were shot on January 27 of 2010.

Meat dress, 2010Edit

Fernandez was contacted by Fashion Director at the Haus of Gaga, Nicola Formichetti to create a meat dress. The dress was worn during the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards and during her interview on The Ellen DeGeneres Show following the awards.

"I never thought I'd be asking Cher to hold my meat purse," Gaga said, after Cher presented her the award for "Video of the Year".

Photographer Terry Richardson was there during the events and took photographs which some of them were included in "Lady Gaga x Terry Richardson" (2011).

Background and creationEdit

Vogue Hommes Japan - Poster (Vol5)

Similar to the meat bikini featured on the back cover of Vogue Hommes Japan, the meat dress was a much more conservative, covered up version of the previous piece. It is comprised of real meat (Argentinean beef). The dress is accompanied by a meat hat and purse as well as platform shoes also covered in the meat and butcher twine.

After The MTV Video Music Awards on September 12th, Lady Gaga wore the dress to The Ellen DeGeneres Show. it was on the show that she explained the reasoning behind the two meat outfits. Gaga, who was campaigning at the time in support of repelling "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," told Ellen DeGeneres that the dress represents equality, saying "Equality is the prime rib of America."

"Well, it is certainly no disrespect to anyone that is vegan or vegetarian. As you know, I am the most judgement-free human being on the Earth. However, it has many interpretations. For me this evening, if we don’t stand up for what we believe in and if we don’t fight for our rights pretty soon, we’re going to have as much rights as the meat on our own bones. And, I am not a piece of meat."

ControversyEdit

The photo taken by Terry Richardson, that was featured on Vogue Hommes Japan's September issue, prompted a strong reaction by "People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals" (PETA), which said in a statement, "No matter how beautifully it is presented, flesh from a tortured animal is flesh from a tortured animal. Meat represents bloody violence and suffering, so if that's the look they were going for -- they achieved it". PETA president, Ingrid Newkirk added in an interview with the Daily News, "Oh, Lady Gaga's job is to do outlandish things, and this certainly qualifies as outlandish because meat is something you want to avoid putting on or in your body,"

During Gaga's concert at the Wachovia Center in Philadelphia, she expressed her thoughts over the controversy the outfits caused.

"Next time I'll wear a tofu dress and the soybean police will come after me."

A spokesperson for PETA released the following statement regarding a meeting with Gaga to try and understand the situation.

"Ingrid did send Lady Gaga a private letter inviting her to a vegan dinner. We know her to be a kind person from her previous anti-fur statements, and we hope that she takes Ms. Newkirk up on the offer."

"Women Who Rock: Vision, Passion, Power"Edit

Main article: Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

As of June 16, 2011, the dress has been on display at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, "Women Who Rock: Vision, Passion, Power" exhibit. [1]The dress was treated and preserved by a taxidermist over a number of weeks. "The dress was kept in a meat locker until the treatment was ready to begin," said a statement from the hall. "It was then placed in a vat of chemicals and, while still pliable, was put on a body form and allowed to dry." To keep the dress from looking like a large collection of beef jerky, it was painted to look like fresh meat.

MTV Interview with Franc FernandezEdit

What was your inspiration?;
"I was contacted by her stylist, Nicola Formichetti, and they had already shot the picture with Terry Richardson in the meat bikini for Vogue Hommes Japan. They told me that they wanted to make a main dress [out of meat], so I did it."
What kind of meat was it?;
"I don’t know what it’s called in English, but in Argentina, it’s called matambre [Argentinean beef]. I went to my butcher to get it, in Los Angeles in the valley. He’s the butcher that my family goes to. I’m trying to get him a signed picture of it."
How many pounds of meat did you buy?;
"I bought a lot of meat because I wanted extra. I would say more than 50 pounds of meat. Is that a lot?"
How heavy was it?
"It was fairly heavy. She said it was the most comfortable dress of the night, though. I’m guessing it weighed around forty pounds. It’s built on a corset, so the weight is distributed on her chest, so it’s not like it’s hanging off her neck."
Was it comfortable?
"She said so."
Were there leftovers?
"Not very much, no."
Did it leave a blood trail?
"No, not at all. It’s actually very clean meat, very sturdy and strong and doesn’t run at all. It’s the meat you use to make a roast, where you roll it in a tortilla and put it in the oven. Hence, the shoes — that’s why they were wrapped in butcher twine."
Did it smell?
"Gaga said it smelled good. It had a sweet smell. It hadn’t been sitting out for more than five hours. And it’s not a heavy gross meat."
Did you have to keep it refrigerated?;
"While it was being made it was refrigerated, [worked on] and then refrigerated. It took a span of two days on and off. Maybe three with sourcing and getting materials and everything."
Will this dress “go bad”?
"Well, yes. And it’s a dress that will dry out. The meat dries out, rather than rotting. It becomes jerky. But, it shouldn’t be worn again."
Was the look designed, or did you drape it naturally?
"I just did the meat. You can’t really design something that we’re making out of organic pieces. It’s like ‘This piece can go here,’ and you look at the cuts you have and you drape it."
How do you drape meat?
"I’ve done some draping, it just seemed logical to me. The way I was doing it, nothing about it was much of a challenge, except for the time it took. I had helping hands that were great. It was just sewing through meat, which is a little weird, but it’s not rocket science. I just used regular string, some stronger thread, nothing unusual."
What did it feel like on Lady Gaga’s body?
"There was a corset but the rest of it was skin on skin. Initially it was cold, but then it warmed up. Not too much, though. She said she wasn’t warm at all, especially under those lights, it didn’t heat up."
Did Gaga have to be sewn into the dress?
"She went in through the bottom. Some of it she was sewn into. I was backstage."
Did you treat the meat with any preservatives?
"No, not at all."
How did you transport the dress?
"I’m in Los Angeles. So, I had a little cooler that I carried it in — its own little coffin."
When Lady Gaga sat down, did the meat rub onto the chair upholstery?
"Well, it shouldn’t have because it’s not a sticky meat. It’s not a messy dress at all, surprisingly. But I didn’t see the seat after she sat on it. But I’ve been handling that meat for two days and there is nothing messy about it."
What would the dress feel like? Like for Cher and those who touched it?
"It would feel like meat I suppose. It’s all natural."
What happens to the meat dress now?
"The dress will be put in an archive with all of her dresses. The Gaga Archives, I suppose. It won’t last, that’s the beauty of it. When it is brought out again, hopefully it will be in a retrospective, and it will be a different dress, which is the best thing. I like the idea of it changing and evolving into something else. My butcher said I could taxidermy it if I wanted it to stay the way it is, and I didn’t want to stay that way. Seems like a waste to keep it that way, than to watch it change."
How did you come up with the idea of butcher strings on her shoes?
"I was referencing the whole meat theme. I bought the strings at a butcher supply store."
What were the crystal pieces on her meat purse?
"It’s an antique brooch that was applied to the meat."
Gaga said this dress represents that we shouldn’t be treated like a piece of meat. What does this dress represent for you?
"I have to agree with her. I just think it looked great."
Where is it now?
"I’m not sure. She has people who handle everything, so it’s with them."
Would you create this look again?
"I think it’s just that—it’s just the meat dress. There’s not going to be meat dresses in the future. This was made for a specific purpose. It’s what it is."
When you saw her wear this dress, what went through your mind?
"She’s wearing my meat dress! It just looked great on her and she made it look easy and things come very naturally to her."

Church Hat, 2011Edit

Fernandez created a "Church Hat" for Lady Gaga worn on the 2011 Grammys.

ReferencesEdit

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