Lady Gaga has laid bare the raw reality of skin and fur…

She is certainly the most thought provking popstar we have seen to date. You can see the unfurbished version of this article at the bottom. But on the train home, I realised the meat suit is so much more than just raw beef.

It’s September. It’s the new season in fashion. This fall, the minimalist leather trend prevails the pages of fashion magazines. Céline popularised the leather skirts, there are leather jackets there, fur overalls there. Where do these animal skin and fur come from?

Lady Gaga has dressed the raw reality of skin and fur. If people were so adamant that being dressed in fur and skin is just fashion, that it is their right to choose an ostrich skin handbag or a croc Birkin. Then why does Lady Gaga look so wrong in an animal suit?

She has definitely made me re-think the meaning of fur and skin. I marvel at the luxurious feel of python skin. I love the soft fur of mink. I would love to own a bona fide leather hand bag. But what is the cost of making one?

Why does mink fur feel luxurious, a leather Céline dress look appropiate and chic, yet a raw beef suit is vulgar?

Now do you see the genious of Lady Gaga?


Old version: Certainly a very talented pop star, she knows how to grab headlines and sell tickets to her shows. Her endless flamboyant dress antics today ends in a bloodshed — Jackass style. She wore a meat suit to the VMA awards and said “I was born this way”.

Grr. Style? Perhaps. Beauty? When I can’t even bear to open my eyes to look at this photo I think the meatsuit has veered off the territory of beauty (certainly) into the far away galaxy of disgusting.

It doesn’t take an animal rights activist to shout — Gaga, you have gone too far this time. Think about the starving kids in third world countries….

Earlier Lady Gaga posed nude in a beef bikini for Vogue Homme Japan.


Ara Jo – The Fashion Hypnotist

I have found a new pastime and that is browsing the Showtime gallery on the Arts London website. The site is like an online gallery, I can squander hours on end on the site.

I came across Ara Jo, a fresh Central St. Martins BA graduate whose design featured a bird cage style crinoline dress; a stretchy loose catsuit that restraint movements on your limbs. The headgears boogle the mind of the admirer. A box that makes you feel framed; a bulb over your head that is reminiscent of the glass around a heated tungsten filament and balloons boom like ideas from your brain.


 The whole combo emanates a modern version of Alice in the Wonderland. It looks like a dream, feels like a dream and probably wears like a dream. Ara Jo’s designs impose the state of hypnosis onto the wearer. The mystery of hypnosis can be dark and scary. But this is not what Ara is exloring. The collection is glitzy and flambloyant. The dresses remind you of a sweet dream that keeps you grinning for the day.


The bendy and the flexible material warps the space time continuum and makes you wonder – is this right? And no of course this is not right, it’s not supposed to. The inspiration stemmed from the dreary feeling of hypnosis. It is supposed to be surreal, it is supposed to be an out of body experience. The collection explores the feeling of a virtual-awake state. You can see but you can’t really see; you can move but you can’t really move; you can think but you’re not really thinking. Everything is trap in the space time of a hypnagoic state. Hence it is restrictive and flexi.

For a fresh graduate, Ara Jo has done pretty admirably. Her designs rarely sit in one place. The dresses have already been photographed by Dazed Digital, OUT (an American magazine) and I LOOK (a Chinese magazine).

The exploration of surrealism has paid of. Ara Jo was contacted by celebrity stylists who work for Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Sabrina Washington and the like. The birdcage dress shown above was worn by none other than the devout fashion lover Lady Gaga. When asked whose body would Ara Jo like to see the dresses on the most, she replied, ‘I love to see my collection worn by celebrities. I can see myself working in my studio, contacting celebrity stylists (or maybe being contacted by them?), seeing my collection on magazines…I really love being a fashion designer, I just love it!”


Kiwibiwi: What material were used?

Ara: I really like using stretch fabric. In the crinoline dress, the part of hoodie-which starts from head to the bottom-was made by mesh. The part of dress – I used crinolin and boning. I like boning work too because it really works to give a good shape. So, Mesh as stretch parts + Crinolin & Boning as stiff, shaped parts = an amazing look!!

Kiwibiwi: How many man hours went into making these dresses?

Ara: Omg, I’ve already lost count! I remember it took ages to finish the collection…. especially that short (crinoline) dress and the long black dress (not shown here, visit her site at Showtime). For the boning, I had to stitch down boning in every single seamline. I am sure I used over 50m of boning to make the short dress. So the long black dress? I don’t even want to think about it! But I was really lucky because there were some really experienced technicians at CSM to help final year students. I couldn’t have done it all by myself. I am really thankful to them.

Kiwibiwi: What project are you undertaking right now?

Ara: I have just finished the shooting of my new 2010S/S collection! The collection was inspired by Mermaids. I know the collection is bit late but I don’t mind. I am just so happy to see this amazing collection. I will update new photos in mid December, so visit my web and enjoy!

 Kiwibiwi: What’s your up-coming project?

Ara: As soon as I was finished with the 2010 S/S collection I started my 2010A/W collection. Time is tight so I have to get working so that I can show this collection during 2010 A/W London Fashion Collection.

Chaotic Fashion

Fashion inevitably recycles. The 70s recycles the 30s, the 90s recycled the 60s. What is so special about the millennium then? We have recycled the 30s,40s, 50s all the way up to the 90s. But we don’t have a set look to accommodate all these. We fry them all up and wear a neon nike jacket over a highly tailored suit trousers. A 60s bathing suit under an 80s’ padded coat. We wear a hippie tie dye dress with a rock, silver studded belt. If you are trying to define a style for us now. Unfortunately it is “undefined”.

Chaos go into our look. But what makes a good mix? There is no fix formula for it. You’d just have to experiment. A good look is messy but yet clean. You look at an outfit and you can still clearly distinguish the pieces. The edge, the colour.

This is an era where outfits scream for attention. Where people dress their personalities and not so much so for the purpose of the clothes anymore. It won’t be long before Dr. Martins are worn with evening gowns. And so far Lily Allen has perfected the dressy look with colourful trainers. Although Lily Allen has attracted many malicious comments about her lack of “style”, most of the time it takes people time to realise this is not a question of “lack of”, but “creation”.

Lady GaGa got on the front page for her high waisted tight PVC A-line skirt in nude coupled with a black leather bra. Having seen so many maillot under coats in reputable collections in this season’s London Fashion Week, you start to wonder when would Lady GaGa look officially arrive on the runway. After all, these mixes share the same sentiment. A chaotic and ruthless mix. It is only a matter of time before the general public starts to understand and accept the forward thinking ideas.
Bikini was a design that has shocked the world. Now you cannot imagine wearing a full body speedo on a beach in Spain. Would you like to ask yourself why?