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Got Beef? Fashion goes HAM.. or rather Bovine.

Got Beef? Fashion goes HAM.. or rather Bovine.

Got Beef? Fashion goes HAM.. or rather Bovine.

When people hear meat in fashion, many are immediately reminded of Lady Gaga’s meat dress. After all, no one had the gall to think of such a rare feat for years. However, looking back through art and fashion’s history. Lady Gaga’s wearing of a meat dress was not so unique after all.

The first recorded use of meat in art and fashion was in the 1960s. Carol Schneeman performed Meat Joy where it was described that she and seven other artists cavorted on stage with a bevy of raw fare including fish, sausage, and chicken meat. The only thing missing is an easy meatloaf recipe and they could’ve held a banquet feast at the stage.

Kidding aside, the performance was meant to celebrate human sexuality by being naked as what happened in the time of Dionysius. Schneeman defended her performance stating that the human body in its naked form is much more expressive than a society hell bent on negating people’s sexuality.

Much closer to Lady Gaga’s feat is Jana Sterbak’s meat sculpture done in 1987 for the Vanitas: Flesh Dress for Albino Anorexic. Some people even say that Lady Gaga ripped off Sterbak’s idea since critics have noticed a lot of similarities between the sculpture and Lady Gaga’s dress.

To Lady Gaga’s credit, Sterbak’s sculpture was made of 50 pounds of flank steak that’s decidedly raw. This was then stitched into a garment and and displayed at the exhibit. Expectedly, there was a huge outcry over it and people were flabbergasted. This was in 1991 at Canada’s National Gallery.

What influenced Sterbak’s sculpture is the exhibition theme which celebrates and reminds its audiences of fleshly mortality. Of course, there’s also the anorexic reference in the theme and could also be meant as a commentary on the sick, thin models of the time. The good thing is, Lady Gaga’s looked a bit fresher than the rotting steak sculpture of Sterbak. Similarly, there’s also such a thing as a meat hat. Lady Gaga has never acknowledged Sterbak’s influence although she did mention something about a meat hat.

Another creation that utilized the influence of meat is Ada Rajszys’ Meat Pattern, where she made hybrid paintings that can be worn as well. In one of her paintings that depicted a meat-like influence, Rajszys explained that it’s meant to question the fact that are we really wearing meat or are we the ones becoming meat?

In 2008, a group of artists took a cue from Schneeman’s performance and made their own version of Meat Joy named Meat After Meat Joy. There were a lot of fleshly offerings in the exhibit as well as bloody, raw ones. Aside from meat, the exhibition’s theme also featured body and gender.

In the same year, America’s Next Top Model also put a spin in their own meat couture. They had a photo shoot in a slaughterhouse where models were made to wear beef briefs and meat drapes. Although the previous other artists in the list were primarily concerned about the theme of body and sexuality in relation to meat, Tyra is just probably looking for a challenge that’s gross enough to rate on TV and make the participants squirm.

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The New Trend in Losing the Necktie

The New Trend in Losing the Necktie

The only constant about fashion is change. What was fashionable last season is decidedly not suitable this year. Different situations call for different dress codes, and what stars can get away with will not necessarily be appreciated in your place of work.

The necktie, or tie, is an integral part of men´s clothing. It is defined as a lengthy strip of cloth worn around the neck, under the shirt collar and knotted at the front at the throat. Ties are traditionally worn for formal occasions, with the top shirt button fastened, and the tie knot situated between the front points of the collar. Sometimes younger men may wear a tie tied loosely around the neck, with the top button of their shirt unfastened.

The question remains – when is losing the necktie acceptable and when is it not? If you work in a formal environment where all your colleagues wear suits and ties, ditching the necktie will be seen as rebellious and would probably not go down well with the executives, which could harm your chances or promotion.

What about job interviews? Aren’t neckties mandatory in this case? Only if the dress code at the company is formal. If it is more relaxed, lose the necktie but wear a perfectly pressed shirt and trousers.
Weddings and christenings can be tricky. Again, wear one if it is a formal event such as a traditional church event as it may appear disrespectful to go without one. Otherwise a smart pair of trousers with a formal shirt buttoned to the top will be satisfactory.

Funerals are one occasion when neckties are probably mandatory, out of respect for the deceased and their family. Invitations to events can be confusing, so when it doubt it is probably better to wear a tie unless you can pull it off with aplomb. Even semi-formal and dressy usually mean a tie is expected.
Cocktail parties, gala events and openings encourage distinctive dress, and this is exactly the time to ditch the necktie and dress to be remembered.

When the situation is not clear-cut, formal but not too dressy, you may decide to leave the tie at home. Then the rest of your outfit must be exceptional – a crisp shirt and well-tailored trousers (with or without a jacket) and carefully-chosen accessories are vital. You may even want to go sockless to complement the bare neck. Button up the shirt to the top to maintain an elegant, well-pulled together look.

You can of course choose a cravat, scarf or bandana to add interest and flair to your outfit, particularly if you feel too uncomfortable without some sort of neck cover. If you follow this route, carry it off with assurance or you will just appear odd.You may also want to alter your appearance slightly for a less formal look. Wear your hair differently or slightly mussed; stubble or a neat short beard can look appealing; and add a statement accessory such as an exquisite belt, cufflinks or watch.

There are certainly more opportunities currently to lose the necktie than ever before. Whatever you decide, as with every situation in life, confidence and attitude are the most important accessories you can put on.

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