Talk about a fashion plate – the singer took red-carpet dressing to another level, says showbusiness editor Katie Hind.
It was a fashion choice that prompted a gazillion column inches around the world. Pop singer Lady Gaga, then on the verge of superstardom, opted for a dress and shoes made of meat for one of the highest profile events on the entertainment industry calendar.
Her red-carpet outing, at MTV’s Video Music Awards in Los Angeles, overshadowed all other winners and performers and became one of the defining moments of her career – while also provoking anger in vegan and vegetarian circles.
At the time I was working as a showbiz editor on a tabloid, and the story set the agenda for the whole of the following week – trying to secure an interview with the outfit’s creator Franc Fernandez was among the stories I chased.
It wasn’t just a masterclass in publicity – it emerged that the reason behind her outfit choice was to protest against the US government restricting the rights of their gay soldiers, a policy known as Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. The next day she appeared on the Ellen DeGeneres TV chat show and said, ‘If we don’t stand up for what we believe in, pretty soon we’re going to have as much rights [sic] as the meat on our bones.’
She had a string of hits behind her and was in the middle of her mammoth Monster Ball world tour. On the night she won eight awards, with Cher presenting the most prestigious – Video of the Year for ‘Bad Romance’.
Lady Gaga is now a household name with many bestselling singles and albums, and more recently has become the toast of Hollywood with her breakthrough role in the blockbuster movie A Star Is Born, for which she has received several awards and an Oscar nomination for best song.
But perhaps most importantly, after Meatgate the US military officially repealed their ban on openly gay and lesbian service personnel, making Lady Gaga’s frock gesture a huge win, win, win.
Also that month…
- The 7.1 magnitude Canterbury earthquake struck the South Island of New Zealand, causing widespread damage.
- In tennis, Spain’s Rafa Nadal won his first US Open title, beating Novak Djokovic.
- Singer Cheryl Cole divorced Chelsea and England footballer Ashley after four years of marriage.
- Somewhere, directed by Sofia Coppola, won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival.
- US actor Tony Curtis died aged 85.
- PayPal founder Elon Musk and actress Talulah Riley married for the first time at Dornoch Cathedral in Scotland (they later divorced, remarried and divorced again).