Nothing says glamour and fame quite like the stars that grace the red carpet, walking along the laid out fabric in designer shoes and gowns. Some looks beg to seen, but not always for the purpose you may think. There are a few looks that gain infamy for being, well, infamously shocking, risqué or absurd.
Lady Gaga’s Meat Dress
Starting with a classic, this dress is well known for being a little stomach turning, especially amongst any herbivore viewers. Like a walking butcher’s shop, Gaga made a grand entrance into the 2010 Video Music Awards, with a look better suited for a BBQ perhaps. The raw beef extravaganza was designed by Franc Fernandez (and styled by Nicola Formichetti), using $100 of flank steak. Fernandez explained to MTV “I bought a lot of meat because I wanted extra. I would say more than 50 pounds of meat. Is that a lot?“. Addressing the question on everyone’s mind, Fernandez explained the meaty garment did not smell and “Gaga said it smelled good. It had a sweet smell.” I think I’d still rather wear cotton.
Bjork’s Swan Dress
Bjork’s homage to the elegant white bird, at the 73rd Academy Awards, is one that is going down in history. The Icelandic artist wins a place on this list, for successfully making a lifeless fake bird look majestic. Despite critics, the infamous dress was honoured at MoMA Museum in 2015, in all its feathery glory. The designer behind the look, Marjan Pejoski, was surprised at Bjork’s choice initially, not knowing she’d adorned his design until the morning after. As for Bjork’s comedic moment of laying a fake egg, on the red carpet itself, Pejoksi “really laughed when I heard that,” as he told Vogue, “It was fantastic of her. So rebellious, at a traditional occasion like the Oscars. I respect tradition of course, but everybody and everything deserves to be laughed at from time to time.”
Rihanna’s Swarovski Dress
When a dazzling vision of crystals arrived at the 2014 CFDA awards, who could have been surprised that it was Rihanna? The dress that barely covered the singer caused some controversy, much to the singer’s delight, whose pride at her dress was always present throughout the event, “Do my tits bother you? They’re covered in Swarovski crystals girl”. Dress designer Adam Selman worked hard on assembling the scandalous look. The 230,000 crystals may be the main feature, but it is arguably the headscarf, gloves and fur stole that makes the piece whole. Selman explains to Elle that the idea was born from both himself and Rihanna, “We agreed on the idea of a crystal dress. It happened super organically.” Rihanna clearly knows what’s best!
Lil’ Kim’s Purple Jumpsuit
Let’s flashback to 1999, it’s nearly the turn of the century and Lil’ Kim is rocking nipple pasties. Iconic, am I right? Lil’ Kim grabbed all the attention at the VMA’s with her asymmetrical purple jumpsuit, with a whole sleeve (and more) missing. The sequins, wig and confident attitude of the wearer only added to the bold look, created by Misa Hylton, which was custom made for the hip-hop artist. The jumpsuit clearly represents the Lil’ Kim aesthetic, as Hylton explained to Vogue “From the start, I really got into Kim and who she is, I got into her music. I created a visual story, something out of the ordinary and unique to anything experienced thus far.” The look still remains relevant, as seen when Miley Cyrus (also known for her infamous looks) donned the costume for Halloween in 2013.
Jennifer Lopez’s Green Gown
Here’s a fun fact about another infamously revealing red carpet look: J-Lo’s skin barring dress at the Grammy’s in 2000 inspired the creation of Google Image search; clearly people couldn’t get enough. The silk chiffon dress, being the most popular search 17 years ago, is still iconic today. The exotic pattern and risqué cut can be credited to Versace, who surprisingly did not design the dress especially for Lopez. Geri Halliwell (one of the Spice Girls) wore the gown a month before at the NJR Music Awards, but received much less attention on her red carpet moment. Lopez’s stylist at the time, Andrea Lieberman gives an explanation to the disproportionate attention J-Lo received, “Versace and Jennifer [Lopez] belonged together. It was really natural”. I’m inclined to agree.
Have any of these infamous looks inspired you?
Text: Jessica Saunders
Images: Magiel, Hollywood Reporter, Mirror, Fresh Press, Huffington Post, NY Daily News, Glamour, Evening Standard