7 Haute Couture Designs Straight From Sesame Street

haute couture sesame street

8. Cookie Monster

Christian Dior Spring 2011 Couture Line, Image courtesy of teacupsandcouture.wordpress.com

The Cookie Monster is the patron saint of overindulgence on Sesame Street. He is a creature of excess, notorious for his predilection for chocolate chip cookies and famous internet wide for fathering the “Nom Nom Nom!” tags in food blogging. So why not have a Muppet, made iconic as a bastion of overindulgence, kickoff an article about haute couture? Or as I call it fantasy-to-the-point-of excess, drool-inducing dresses.

The Cookie Monster Image Courtesy of SesameStreet.org

It’s commonly well known fact that within the fashion industry the more yards of fabric that is utilized in creating a dress, the more expensive the actual dress is. However fabric price is compounded upon other variables when dealing in haute couture as emphasized by Lauren Sherman, in her article “The Cult of Couture,” in which she noted the specifications needed to be met in order to be considered haute couture:

“…[It] is completely custom-made, from impeccable lining to hand-stitched hem. Not only is the dress bespoke, the fabrics and embellishments are of the highest quality, and the tailors, seamstresses, embroiderers, lace makers and other craftspeople who spend hundreds of hours assembling these pieces are the most skilled in the world.”

Christian Dior is a fashion house dating back to the late 1940’s, so not only would you be paying for the yields of chiffon*, but also for the brand name label itself, as the detail craftsmanship and labor intensive hours used to create this multi-layered chiffon fantasy ball gown. Also it can take up to four months to construct a single dress.

Moral of the story: Price points for haute couture dresses (esp. from such highly-esteemed, fashion “legacy” houses) begin at $25,000 dollars, but can range upwards to the hundred thousands, so obviously this is a dress that you would not want to get cookie crumbs on.

7. Elmo

On Aura Tout Vu – Haute Couture Fall 2012 – Winter 2013, Image Courtesy of Furinsider.com.

The main inspiration for this article centers around Cookie Lyon’s affinity for fur coats and the surprise ending to her visit to Sesame Street:

This skit was made possible by Saturday Night Live and NBC Studios.

The question on everyone’s mind is how many Elmos did it take to make this fur coat-dress? Also, is there really a need for fur dresses? Honestly, I would not be surprised if PETA was waiting on the sidelines with red paint buckets, especially when you considering the  inhumane relationship between the fashion industry and the animals.

Elmo, Famous enough to have his own spin-off from Sesame Street, and inspired many a stampede in 1996 when the “Tickle Me Elmo” was the must have toy of the holiday season. Image Courtesy of clipartpanda.com

6. Bert and Ernie

(c) 2013 Rami Kadi, Image Courtesy of The Examiner.com

Here we have a beautiful piece of artwork crafted by Lebanese fashion designer Rami Kadi, who made his debut to the world of couture in 2013. I wouldn’t pay any mind to The Examiner’s Jeffrey Felner‘s warning about experiencing “visual overload” when looking through Kadi’s portfolio. “Restraint!” he screams via exclamation points, and I was confounded between flipping tables (a la Teresa from Bravo’s New Jersey Housewives) and resisting my gag reflex that always acts up when I come into contact with mayo. Felner goes on to write, “If Kadi wishes to participate on the international stage of couture he must certainly lighten the Middle Eastern influence.” Um, no. One does not dictate to an artist what he must create, especially if they are one of a kind couture dresses. If it isn’t positively fabulous and ostentatious (like most of Kadi’s works are, fyi) then what would be the point in wearing it? The haute couture fashion industry is selling fantasy; never forget it.

Bert (R) and Ernie (L) Image Courtesy of Humanevents.com

I choose Kadi’s dress in particular to symbolize the symbiotic melding of the two personalities of Bert and Ernie. Ernie is the sun to Bert’s gloomy, pessimistic moon. So compatible are the two Muppets that it has been long queried whether these two roommates of twenty-five years were actually in a same-sex relationship, consequently inspiring an online campaign in 2011 for their marriage to be publically broadcasted on Sesame Street. So loud has been the clamor that Sesame Street released a statement in 1993 saying, “Bert and Ernie, who’ve been on Sesame Street for 25 years, do not portray a gay couple, and there are no plans for them to do so in the future. […] Bert and Ernie are characters who help demonstrate to children that despite their differences, they can be good friends.” And again in 2011, on Sesame Street’s facebook page Bert and Ernie are described as “best friends,” and “Even though they are identified as male characters and possess many human traits and characteristics… they remain puppets, and do not have a sexual orientation.” To paraphrase Shakespeare, thou doth protest too much Sesame Street.

5. Kermit the Frog

Christina Tan, in her couture design dress dubbed “The Cabbage” for Regent Theater’s 2008 production of Wicked (Melbourne, Australia). Image Courtesy of www. Smh.com.au

Arguably the most legendary amphibian, the interwebs has undoubtedly increased Kermit the Frog‘s longevity via the hot tea, “But that’s not any of my business” meme. In her couture design dress dubbed “The Cabbage” for Melbourne, Australia’s, Regent Theater’s 2008 production of Wicked, Christina Tan’s lime green fantastical frock seems quite reminiscent of our froggy friend. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, this Australian version of Wicked is rumoured to have cost between 12 and 14 million dollars, and I can’t say that I’m surprised. There’s the matching outfits for the flying monkeys and with every item of clothing being custom-made for their actors, likened by Michelle Griffin,”[to] all the theatrical extravagance of a Galliano haute-couture show for Dior”.

Kermit the Frog , Image Courtesy of animatorvsanimation.wikia.com.

Honorary Mention: Miss Piggy

Christian Dior Spring 2007 Couture Collection. Image Courtesy of www.egodesign.ca.com

I would have positively loved to have had this posh diva on this list officially but after a very thorough investigation  it became apparent though Kermit the Frog straddles the fence of both Sesame Street and The Muppet Show, Miss Piggy on the other hand is securely anchored to The Muppet Show.

Miss Piggy: Sass Machine, Karate Enthusiast, Aspiring Starlet Image Courtesy of www.critliterature.com.

This fashionista gives as good as she gets in wit, sass, and karate chops! Miss Piggy has even gone head to head with the recently departed Joan Rivers of E! network’s Fashion Police multiple times. Needless to say, I adore her.

3. Count Von Count

Jean Paul Gaultier Haute Couture 2015, Image Courtesy of Readmeinpictures.com

Though his vampire credentials were called into question by Youtuber Maven of the Eventide, Count von Count is apparently styled after Bela Lugosi’s portrayal of Count Dracula, and still holds true to the old folklore of vampires obsessively counting small objects spilled before their path. After he finishes counting, this vampire muppet breaks out into laughter maniacal enough to rival even Mojo Jojo from Cartoon Network’s The Powerpuff Girls , as lighting crashes and clangs around him.

Count von Count. Image Courtesy of Wikipedia.org

2. Oscar the Grouch

Jan Taminiau Haute Couture Fall Winter 2012-2013 , Image Courtesy of bestdress.com.ua

Could Oscar the Grouch fit into the trash can with all these frills and fluff attached? I highly doubt it.For your viewing pleasure here is Macklemore adapting his love for buying second-hand, to a serenade on trash that even Oscar the Grouch could get behind.

Oscar the Grouch. Image Courtesy of Muppets.wikia.com

Then, we have a battle between the Grouch and the Grump! Grumpy Cat and Oscar the Grouch go head to head to see who will be dubbed King Cantankerous and rule over all of the interwebs.

1. Big Bird

Is Big Bird : A)Canary, B)A national treasure, or C) Too good for this world and must be defended at all costs? The obvious answer is “D,” all of the above. On a offhanded note, if Big Bird and a porcupine did the deed, then this puffy, prickly, hybrid-canary mermaid dress would porbably be their offspring.

Big Bird: Too precious, Too Pure for this world. Image Courtesy of Muppet.wikia.com

Have you ever seen anything so hideous that you completed the full cycle of feels from hate to love in under two seconds flat? Essentially: “This is hideous. I must have it.” This was my impression with this number from Nikoline Liv Andersen and her exhibit The Dance of the Deaf and Dumb Eye, an homage to Japanese “See no evil, Hear no evil, Speak no evil” monkeys with subsequent nods to French history. THIS was probably not the intention of the Danish fashion designer seeing as how according to the Huffington Post, the monkey is supposed to symbolize blind consumerism. Thus the consequent nods to the outlandish wigs sported by Marie Antoinette, and the opulent fashions of the French courts during the 18th century. Though I doubted Antoinette’s wigs sported monkeys. Warships, yes. Monkeys, no.

*Is it chiffon? Is it organza? Is it tulle? I don’t know, I’m a plebeian that’s never been to fashion school. I just admire from afar. After consulting many online dress glossaries (yes, that’s a thing) I would have to say it’s probably an organza evening dress, with a tulle underlay netting to increase volume. However, seeing as how tulle is from the rayon/nylon family and apparently incredibly hard to hand sew, my second guess would be a thin organza underlay to prevent chaffing and multiple layers of silk chiffon to add volume as well as flow.

Feature image: USAG- Humphreys

Jennifer Ortiz
Hi! I'm Jennifer. I graduated from the University of Florida with a bachelor's in English. I am currently summoning the gumption to travel the world and revamping my rhetorical film criticism/ appreciation blog . I love books, dogs, and super-chill instrumentals. Here's looking at you Penguin Cafe! Secret Obsessions: 90's angry girl punk music, Parks and Rec, and fashion.