In Which I Meme With The Herd

Mooing and thundering, the trendy set blaze a trail across the grasslands, leaving poop, witticisms, candy bar wrappers, and empty Perrier bottles…

I follow a bunch of different AI art channels on youtube, which means that The Algorithm keeps presenting me with other AI artists, ad infinitum. The latest trend (passe now, since 5 minutes ago) is animated AI art in the style of a Pose ballroom face-off between various existing characters wearing AI-renderings of high fashion outfits. I.e.: my image of the pope’s reactive armor is very Balenciaga, isn’t it? Or maybe it’s more Jeff Koons.

The pope and Mike Pence exit the armored popemobile.

So, the videos are bunches of puffery attitude, AI rendered lipsync, and – frankly – they’re not quite “there”, yet. In another year, AI video rendering will be vastly superior, but right now, it’s failing to climb the rock-fall at the other end of the uncanny valley. Soon enough.

But while I was rendering something else, I thought of something else, and I had just watched on of the Balenciaga videos, and ideas combined in my mind and the result made me hop over to Midjourney and bang in “/imagine a bulldog wearing a high fashion outfit by balenciaga.”

Midjourney AI and mjr: “a bulldog wearing a high fashion outfit by balenciaga”

I love dogs, and I am also a student of haute couture (which is why I am not impressed by what Balenciaga is doing these days) so it was a natural mental explosion. It also turned into a fascinating exercise. I discovered that Midjourney gives very different results if the prompt is “/imagine a male borzoi wearing a high fashion outfit by mugler” or a female borzoi. We’re back to the cultural importance of gender signalling and that’s definitely crucial for art – but let’s not talk about that right now. This is just a posting about haute couture doggos.

Midjourney AI and mjr: “a female borzoi dog wearing a high fashion ensemble by hermes”

I’m amazed at the expressiveness of the dog. And, my dogs, who I sometimes lion-clipped, used to get that same sort of “am I doing OK? do I look dumb?” expression. Unapologetic dog person, here. I started thinking whether it would be worth trying it with a cat, but, ehhh… I lived with many cats over the years and generally found them to have relatively little personality. We can fight about that if you like.

Midjourney AI and mjr: “a male samoyed wearing high fashion ensemble by versace”

Ugh, versace’s cheap crap, on that glorious floof ball.

Midjourney AI and mjr: “a female borzoi wearing a high fashion ensemble by thierry mugler.”

This was a bit odd: I tried to specify “a female afghan hound…” and Midjourney’s stupid content filtering system kicked back that prompt. It’s funny as hell, to me, that this fancy AI that does all this matching and processing, is incapable of content filtering beyond simple keyword matching. Lazy.

Midjourney AI and mjr: “a male borzoi dog wearing a high fashion ensemble by burberry”

The dog in the burberry is clearly thinking “I am embarrassed by this ill-fitting coat.”

Burberry reminds me of a funny family story. My dad had an old Burberry that he bought in a thrift store on Canal Street in the 70s. It was suitably broken in and beautiful. One day a British colleague and my dad stepped out to get something and the brit said, “tell me about that coat?” Dad said he paid $20 for it on Canal Street and it’s a trench coat. The Brit says, “That’s a very odd design, though. It’s a Burberry but it may be custom.” The matter was dropped until the Brit came back the next year, “I mentioned that coat to a friend who works for Burberry and they got very excited. You see, during WWI the trench coat was invented by rich punters going to Flanders and having Burberry make them warm raincoats with big pockets, flaps for binoculars, etc., Your coat should have a serial number inside on the label.” It didn’t. Apparently, my dad was walking around in the Baltimore rain wearing one of the original Burberry trench coats from WWI. Later, he had it cleaned and boxed up and shipped it to London, where it probably sits in some trench coat wing of the British Museum. Burberry sent dad a brand new trench coat, which he still wears. Back in the 90s when I was doing a lot of consulting in New York, I bought a lovely 1930s Burberry on ebay, when ebay first came to life, and I paid more than $20 for it. These days I’m less fashionable but I do still have a lovely off-camel Borsalino snap brim and the trench coat. One time when I was at RSA conference in San Francisco I was (legitimately) “Press” so I stuck my press pass in the band of the fedora. Good times.

Midjourney AI and mjr “a male borzoi wearing a high fashion ensemble by dior.”


Midjourney AI and mjr: “a male german shepherd dog wearing a high fashion ensemble by gaultier.”

I used to loathe Gaultier, until I was at the fashion museum in the Louvre, and there was a temporary show in which various designers had made outfits for a person-sized version of the statue of liberty. Clever idea. Gaultier’s ante was an absolutely immaculate bias-cut gown that was held together with a total of maybe 20 stitches. I was convinced.


Midjourney AI and mjr: “a male irish wolfhound wearing a high fashion ensemble by hermes.”

I did another one, which for some reason I didn’t save, with the irish wolfhound wearing louis vuitton. The AI gave me back a portrait of a huge irish wolfhound sitting on a louis vuitton suitcase. Don’t tell me AIs lack a sense of humor.

And, I like to save my favorite for last:

Midjourney AI and mjr: “a male doberman pinscher wearing a high fashion ensemble by hugo boss.”

His name is “komissar” and his favorite food is children.

One thing I was thinking of doing in this post was to use midjourney’s “describe” feature to extract a text description of the dogs, then feed the description to ChatGPT, asking it to write a thumbnail about each of the dogs.

For example:

The bulldog’s name is Bumper, and he’s actually more into chewing on Carhartt hoodies than wearing fancy threads – he’s just standing in for a friend of his who couldn’t do the runway because he ate a bad rat and is projectile vomiting. Bumper’s playing along with the whole thing but feels really out of place.

By the way, when I title these images, I do not provide the full prompt so don’t be surprised if you try it and it doesn’t work for you. The options are where the action is. The full prompt for the dog images is:

a male irish wolfhound wearing fashionable design clothing by louis vuitton. photoreal, spotlit, dramatic, beautiful, fashion photo style, cover of vogue. –v 5

And since I summoned him from the beyond, here he is, wearing the fashionable louis vuitton:

Midjourney AI and mjr: “the male irish wolfhound…” That is either a nano-wolfhound or a really really huge suitcase.


  1. says

    If your cats had very little personality, they might have been dead.

    That could be it!
    I haven’t got any cats anymore, so I can’t test the hypothesis. No dogs, either.

  2. Owlmirror says


    I tried to specify “a female afghan hound…” and Midjourney’s stupid content filtering system kicked back that prompt.

    I note (Wikip) that the breed has more than one name — do any of these work? I note that image search for “Tāzī” certainly returns mostly images of dogs of that breed.

    The Afghan Hound is a Hound distinguished by its thick, fine, silky coat, and a tail with a ring curl at the end. The breed is selectively bred for its unique features in the cold mountains of Afghanistan. Its local name is Tāžī Spay (Pashto: تاژي سپی) or Sag-e Tāzī (Dari: سگ تازی). Other names for this breed are Tāzī, Balkh Hound, Baluchi Hound, Barakzai Hound, Shalgar Hound, Kabul Hound, Galanday Hound

    If you ask for a picture of a hound with a “thick, fine, silky coat, and a tail with a ring curl at the end”, does it also show pictures of an Afghan Hound?

    I note, perhaps irrelevantly, that the bulldog has five feet. Mutation? Or maybe the severed paw of one of its siblings?

  3. Owlmirror says

    Another prompt I’m curious to see what it would do with:

    Now Witness the Firepower of this fully Armed and Operational Battle Pope

  4. says

    a female borzoi dog about to enter a nunnery, nun’s habit. fashionable design clothing by hugo boss. photoreal, spotlit, dramatic, beautiful, fashion photo style, cover of vogue. –v 5

    Back to the question of the “decisive moment” – I think that this one matches the color registry, light, and poses of the others better, so if I were putting it in an article with the rest, I would use this:

    except I think this one is better, because of the clever way the AI haloed her with the holy light:

    Also, that helpful expression on her sweet imaginary face…

  5. says

    Naturally, that led me to think that a golden retriever would be more likely to hear the infrasonic dog-whistle of divinity than the more aristocratic borzoi.
    I’ll also note that, aside from an occasional leg-humping, there would be much less sexual scandal in the church if it was manned by dogs.

    There is a military church order in New Zealand, staffed by Aussie Shepherds, who enforce very proper controls on the flock.

    This one could not be let to die on some hard drive, unloved:

  6. says

    “Now Witness the Firepower of this fully Armed and Operational Battle Pope” photoreal, spotlit, dramatic, beautiful, fashion photo style, cover of vogue. –v 5

    I do not know why the AI chose to incarnate Christopher Walken as battle pope but it works for me:

    I am digging the bronze-age cast handle of his battle thingie.

  7. kestrel says

    Wow, the dogs are beautifully done. It must be a lot of fun doing these. I’d be tempted to print some of them out and have them framed.

  8. says

    For those of you who have read the Jim Butcher Dresden books, here’s a (fictional) Chinese temple guard dog. Note the size of him compared to the steps. “Mouse” indeed!

  9. says

    a hound with a “thick, fine, silky coat, and a tail with a ring curl at the end”

    Well, that’s not an afghan hound but it’s a pretty cool dog. I dunno. And, (I am not making this up) the AI also served me up this option:

    Gato bomb! It looks like a ring-tailed Maine Qoon.

  10. macallan says

    high fashion ensemble by hugo boss

    I’m almost kinda disappointed that it didn’t interpret that as SS uniform.

  11. says

    What, no wimples?

    I don’t make the rules!
    Maybe I’ll do it again later with “wimple” specified. But it could be that only border collie nums wear wimples. I just don’t know.

    a female black and white border collie dog in a nun’s habit and wimple. photoreal, spotlit, dramatic, beautiful, fashion photo style, cover of vogue. –v 5
    Woop! There it is:

  12. says

    Reginald Selkirk@#15:
    Miss Coleman is a perfect clothes-hanger for fashion; I’m sure every big house’s PR department has some of their people trying to get hold of her people, etc.

    The Balmain piece is splendid sublime and, (as they intended) will wind up in a museum someday. I just hope some future Kardashian doesn’t try to stretch it all out of shape with their silicone-bloated carcass…

    Seriously, though, for a fashion house, Zendaya is a supernova of the same magnitude as Audrey Hepburn.

  13. says

    I’m almost kinda disappointed that it didn’t interpret that as SS uniform.

    Surprisingly, Midjourney accepted that prompt but what came back is not a proper SD uniform. I assume there were not many of those in the training set.

    As an apology to the nonexistent dogs, I asked for a dobie in a Brunswick Hussars’ uniform. It also pooched that, but the results were pretty good anyway. As an experiment, I tried this:
    a male doberman pinscher dog wearing a brunswick hussars uniform from 1812 with braided dolman pelisse. wearing a shako. photoreal, spotlit, dramatic, beautiful, fashion photo style, cover of vogue. –v 5
    which should have produced the distinctive deaths’ head shako that the SS later appropriated. No dice. I got back a picture of an embarrassed-looking dog wearing something closer to a French kepi than a busby. Bah!

    Dogs often suffer misery on the champs d’honneur – you can tell by his forbearing expression.

    This is what the poor pup should have been wearing:

    Poor silly Prussians ought to know silver tones go with black, not gold tones. The SD uniforms from the 1930s at least fixed that much. But now you can understand why the dog has such an “oh, derp” expression.

  14. Tethys says

    A Weimaraner Valkyrie in Iris Van Herpen?
    I would call the ring curled floofer a Newfoundland, who could pull off McQueen.

    Poor Dobie is being such a good boy about that hat. I’m sure there is a huge data set of embarrassed dog photos on the internet for the AI to learn from.

    It’s doing a great job rendering textures to those fabrics. The hat looks like it’s a golden silk, with a cap of black velvet, embroidered gold braid and a gray dandelion puff emblem.

    House Von Doberman

  15. Reginald Selkirk says

    @8: At first I thought it was just the randomized pseudo-text that Midjourney seems to enjoy. But then I realized “VOPE” is a combination of Vogue and Pope.

  16. says

    There was a Van Herpen show at the Carnegie in Pittsburgh, and Anna and I went, wandered around muttering, “daaaaaaaaamn” in hushed tones.

  17. Pierce R. Butler says

    … cats … have relatively little personality.

    They’re just too subtle for some people.

  18. says

    They’re just too subtle for some people.

    There is a true story I could tell, about the 60+ cats I have had, and where they are buried and why. I may never be able to tell it, though. I’ll think about it.

    But let’s say that you’re both more right than you can imagine, and more wrong than you want to imagine.

  19. says

    I thought that wimple (fun word to say: wimple, wimple, wimple) dog looked great. It somehow adds dignity.

    Aussie shepherds are made of purpose and dignity, like a golden retriever is made of pure love and happy. That’s why I took midjourney in that particular direction, and I agree with you that the AI nailed it.

    You know that if an Aussie Shepherd decides to save your soul, it’s gonna get saved, come fire, hell, nuclear war, high water, or your own reluctance.

    I should probably post the video of the nobel laureate Aussie Shepherd, but I can’t recall if I did already (memory deficit due to hippocampus damage) Ugh, I’ll maybe do a posting about those rather amazing dogs.

  20. Tethys says

    wandered around muttering, “daaaaaaaaamn” in hushed tones

    Both Weimaraner and the ruffled Van Herpen cape are suitably shiny, thanks!

    Her constructions are amazing, fluid yet often almost metallic. I’m always intrigued by how she convinces fabric to assume such sharp sculptural forms.

  21. chigau (違う) says

    I have crossed a line
    I am arguing with the ”Customer Service Chat Bot” at Amazon
    and attempting to use sarcasm

Leave a Reply