Lady Gaga has had many memorable and outlandish looks over the past few years, but her most famous outfit to date may be the dress made out of raw beef that she wore to the MTV Video Music Awards last year. Shortly after the show, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame set about acquiring the instantly iconic gown, but faced a unique problem: How do you preserve an article of clothing that was already beginning to decompose?
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Two months after the VMAs, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame hired Burbank, California taxidermist Sergio Vigilato to begin the process of cleaning, curing and preserving the dress. In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Vigilato explained that when the 35-pound dress was delivered to his American Taxidermy shop, it had been frozen for weeks. Vigilato defrosted the meat, and treated it with bleach, formaldehyde and detergent before reassembling it to match the original design created by Franc Fernandez and Gaga’s stylist Nicola Formichetti. Once it was put back together, he dyed it a dark red to resemble the color of the dress when the singer originally wore it.