If you’ve ever dreamed of seeing the Franc Fernandez meat dress that Lady Gaga wore to the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards upclose, this is your chance. Almost a decade old, the ensemble is now “jerky,” literally, says fashion director and Haus of Gaga Las Vegas curator, Nicola Formichetti. After being kept refrigerated for an unspecified period of time it was eventually preserved by American Taxidermy so it could be stored in the singer’s extensive archive housed in Los Angeles.
Starting May 30, this legendary outfit and dozens of the Oscar and Grammy winners costumes, wigs and accessories are now on permanent exhibition at the mini-museum, Haus of Gaga Las Vegas, adjacent to the performer’s Strip home, Park Theater at Park MGM. This is the first time Gaga has opened her vault for viewing.
— Lady Gaga (@ladygaga) May 30, 2019
[Haus of Gaga] is a space where you can experience all of Gaga and [it has been her] dream to [have] all her outfits in one place. We have about 20 outfits, over 40 wigs and accessories and shoes, everything,” says Formichetti, who is a longtime Lady Gaga collaborator and member of Haus of Gaga. “[Like her show Enigma], the digital space was very much an inspiration [for the exhibition]—and then mixed with a little bit of Las Vegas showgirl moment. For the opening, I specifically have more of her earlier stuff. But we already have the next one [in mind].”
The space, curated by Formichetti, represents the high-energy, high-spirited irreverent style of the multi-hyphenate performer who has pummeled the lines between fashion, music and performance over the past decade.
“She is the public face and a big part of the creative team—she’s involved in everything,” he says. “It’s very much about collaboration and she respects everybody that works with her. From her wardrobe team, the makeup team and the production team, we really do everything together.”
In glass case after glass case, expect to the awed by the very best in theatrical attire designed by the top names in fashion.
Formichetti points to the custom cigarette shades from the March 2010 “Telephone” music video as a favorite. Also on display is the custom telephone headpiece by Fred Butler from the video. One of the earliest ensembles is a disco ball mirrored short-sleeve blazer and cone bra created by Zaldy for the 2009 Monsters Ball 1.0 Tour. A recent gown is the custom velvet dress by Versace that Gaga wore to the 2016 Golden Globe awards alongside the statuette she won that year for American Horror Story. And even more relevant are the handwritten lyrics to “I’ll Never Love Again,” by Bradley Cooper’s character Jackson Maine for Lady Gaga’s character Ally from A Star is Born, as well as her Ally costume by Erin Benach.
“To have all the outfits together, with the wigs, the makeup and shoes, everything, it’s pretty insane for us,” he says. “Gaga is never about the past. She’s always about moving forward. But we also want her fans to experience her legacy from the last 10 years.”
Instead of charging an admission fee, visitors are encouraged to leave donations that will go to the Born This Way foundation, a nonprofit co-founded by Gaga and her mother Cynthia Germanotta, supporting “the mental wellness of young people and empowers them to create a kinder and braver world.”
A line of exclusive merchandise will be available upon opening in addition to a big window unveil, Formichetti teases.
“[On May 30] we’re going to reveal just part of the exclusive items [that will be for sale]. I’m going to pick the best of what we want to show. We love curating and editing, so whatever we feel is right, we’re going to put out. Now that I’m in the space, of course we are very inspired,” he says. “I think we’re going to go high and low. We don’t want to make it too expensive so we tried to make it as reasonable as possible. But also it’s not really about the price, maybe more about the effect. You know we are in Vegas and so we want to give a Vegas vibe to it mixed with Gaga, something a bit more fun.”
Overall, like Mother Monster, Haus of Gaga will be forever changing, adding an extra layer of experience for those who are coming to see the popular Enigma residency, which kicks off its second leg on May 30 as well.
“[While it would be] amazing [to have Haus of Gaga in other cities] I think for now we’re focusing on Las Vegas because we’re always here with the show,” he says. “We [want to] keep this space evolving and changing, swapping outfits and making it unexpected. We have so many amazing things coming up. This is just the beginning.
HAUS OF GAGA/LAS VEGAS will be open to the public from 12pm – 8pm daily, and 12pm – 12am on Lady Gaga show days.