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Did Lady Gaga really wear slabs of meat as a dress?

Singer Lady Gaga poses in the press room during the MTV Video Music Awards

Frederick M. Brown/Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

It didn't reek or leave a trail of blood, but warmed up pleasantly on her skin.

Lady Gaga's "meat dress" was real and made of beef, designer Franc Fernandez revealed Monday, one day after the singer traipsed around in it at the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards.

Mr. Fernandez, an L.A.-based artist, told MTV Style that he'd procured 50 pounds of beef - or what he called matambre, a South American roast - from his family butcher "in the valley."

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Construction took two days and the dress was refrigerated; Mr. Fernandez later transported it in a cooler - "its own little coffin." The final product weighed 40 pounds and sat atop a corset. "Gaga said it smelled good," he said.

The singer also got meat booties wrapped in butcher twine and a clutch with an antique brooch applied to the beef. Mr. Fernandez said the dress would not rot, but harden into "jerky." Although the butcher suggested taxidermy, the designer said the dress would be immortalized in the "Gaga Archives."

The singer, who donned a meat bikini on the cover of Vogue Hommes Japan last week, told Ellen DeGeneres she meant "no disrespect to anyone that is vegan or vegetarian," insisting it was a human-rights statement of sorts. Ms. DeGeneres, a vegan, then presented Gaga with a kale bikini.

Ingrid E. Newkirk, president of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, was equally unimpressed. "What's next: the family cat made into a hat?" she wrote in a statement Monday.

"Meat dress" remained a top trending topic on Twitter yesterday and most seemed disgusted by the stunt. (Sample tweet: "Lady Gaga thinks she's clever because she has a dress made of meat. Well, I have a whole BODY made of meat.")

They can rest assured: Mr. Fernandez says the beef gown was a one-shot deal. "There's not going to be meat dresses in the future."

Has Gaga gone too far this time? Share your thoughts here and join Globe writers Zosia Bielski, Lynn Crosbie and Maggie Wrobel for a live chat tomorrow, 1pm ET.

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