Britney Spears returns to rock Planet Hollywood’s Axis Theater soon, performing on August 16, 19, 23, 27 and 30-31, plus September dates. In the dynamic show, she shows off her toned physique and many flashy, colorful costumes. They were designed by Marco Marco (Katy Perry is among his other starlet clients) and are maintained by Tisha Yates. Yates previously worked with Spears on her Circus Tour in 2009 and now serves as her head of wardrobe on-site.
“Every day we spend at least six to eight hours re-stoning the costumes from the show before,” she says.
Marco Marco worked with Spears on the costume design process and making her visions come to life before the show’s December debut. He admits the process was long and evolving, as there are there are seven acts with four looks each. Here are three showstoppers we love.
You better work
Naturally, Spears has to make a splashy, sparkly entrance for her Vegas residency. One way to do that? Wear a recreation of the most scandalous, talked-about outfit of her whole career. The sheer, flesh-colored bodysuit dotted with crystals is reminiscent of both Spears’ infamous 2000 MTV Video Music Awards performance outfit, as well as her “Toxic” music video. It’s a stunner—but she doesn’t wear it while performing “Toxic” in the show, saving it instead for the “Work Bitch” opener, “Womanizer” and “3”.
“This is your signature Britney Spears costume,” says Yates. “A nude fabric with rhinestones. There are two versions she alternates between: a body suit and a crop top.”
I’m like the ringleader, I call the shots
Yates revealed that Spears’ personal favorite show costume is indeed the one with the biggest wow factor. The circus ringmaster-style corset features black and white stripes, a tiny ruffled skirt and chain metal straps. Up close, it’s intricacy is jaw-dropping, with thousands of different colors of hand-placed Swarovski crystals. “This is a custom piece and one-of-a-kind,” Yates says. “It’s very hard to make, especially with the fading detail of the stones.”
Keep on dancing ‘til the world ends
While singing her last act of “Toxic,” “(You Drive Me) Crazy,” “Stronger” and “Til The World Ends,” Spears dons a black corset leotard nearly covered in gold, black, clear and red crystals. The ultra-sexy costume matches well with the high energy of these crowd favorites.
And 7 more juicy tidbits…
- You might remember Spears wearing danceable sneakers in videos like “Stronger” and “(You Drive Me) Crazy”, and she carries that look into “Piece of Me.” “She totally loves Skechers,” says Yates. “They are more comfortable, so we will add little touches, like neon and rhinestones. I run up to Miracle Mile Shopsand get her pairs all the time.”
- The backstage quick-changes are frequent—and funny. “She has a lot of changes,” says Yates. “My number one go-to is have heavy duty needles already threaded in case of a zipper break. I have that on hand and I will jut sew her into it. If we have 30 seconds of change time, that is good for her because it’s often less. As far as dressing her, we have so much fun in that quick change.”
- The striped “Circus” corset costume one is the oldest design from the show’s early planning. “That’s the only one that made it through from the beginning all the way to the end and nothing happened in between,” Marco says.
- Spears is a designing woman. “She is a great designer herself and has a lot of say in what she wears,” says Yates. “She is almost a designer of her own costumes, and then I just make that happen. She will suggest a corset instead of a bra top, I’ll go grab some choices from the mall, we rhinestone them up and then it’s ready for that night.”
- For extra security, Yates changes and re-sews new zippers into all the costumes every four shows.
- Yates is currently working on a new costume with red crystals that plays up under red lights. “It started as a top by bebe, a brand which fits her great,” she says. “We cut it and we rearrange it and then I make a legging and suddenly it’s a catsuit.”
- As I expressed my teenybopper-style disappointment that there was no schoolgirl outfit homage to “…Baby One More Time,” Yates hinted coyly, “You might see it in the future.”