Lady Gaga is embracing carnivore couture: last week she appeared on the cover of Japanese Men’s Vogue wearing layers of thinly-sliced meat, and her outfit at last night’s MTV Video Music Awards, a halter dress made of flesh, was equally edible. “It has many interpretations, but for me this evening,” Gaga told Ellen DeGeneres of the ensemble. “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.” Gaga took the piece-of-meat metaphor a step further with her selection of escorts for the evening: she walked the red carpet with several service members who had been discharged because of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. A quick review of the recent history of edible fashion reveals that digestible dress is often worn as a garnish to a political statement. Occasionally, though, digestible digs are worn out of desperation or habit. Join us, for a look back through time at some of fashion’s most appetizing apparel.
Octogenarian and former Mary Tyler Moore star Cloris Leachman wore an evening gown of lettuce and red cabbage for a 2009 PETA pictorial. “Let vegetarianism grow on you,” the ad copy urged.
A 2008 episode of Project Runway required contestants to shop for materials inside Times Square’s Hershey Store, the Hershey Park of Midtown Manhattan. One contestant, Jillian, used Twizzlers to create a shiny bodice and red fringe for her dress. It was, inevitably, deemed “deliciously chic.”
Certain varieties of hemp are edible; certain varieties of jam band–aficionados enjoy wearing hemp clothing, particularly in hooded sweatshirt form.
The designer created couture from carbohydrates for a 2004 exhibition at Paris’ Fondation Cartier. Bread, in all its incarnations—croissants, baguettes, biscuits, etc.—was the basis for dresses, shoes, and mannequins.