TheMoment.Blogs.NYTimes.com: Job security is an issue for all of us - even Britney Spears got the memo. Love her, hate her, say what you want about her (to crib a line from her latest single, “If You Seek Amy”), as her “Circus” tour criss-crosses the country, few can argue that the artist-formerly-known-for-all-the-wrong-reasons has got back down to business. Among the most revealing aspects of her latest reinvention are her barely-there stage get-ups - and I’m not talking about her lack of pants. It is certainly Spears’s most ambitious relationship with the runway to date, due in no small measure to her close collaboration with Dean and Dan Caten of the label Dsquared, the identical twins who have dressed the likes of a touring Madonna and are known for a strict allegiance to all things pop. Here, brother Dan opens up on dressing Britney’s big top. She performs tonight at the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, N.Y.
I have to ask: What’s your favorite song off of “Circus,” if you had to choose?
The title track, “Circus.” It’s the song I sing all the time!
So how did this collaboration come about?
It was a long time in the making. We wanted to do something with Britney for - we were right, she was right. We were going to do some other things with her in the past, but this one just kind of seemed - well, everybody pointed this way.
The theme is obviously a take on an old-timey circus. Is this a process that you work out with Britney and her camp, or is this something that you and Dean decide privately and then pitch to her and her team?
More or less, we worked with the circus character arc of the show. We figured out how to expand on a circus theme - that was our first input. Then we tried to play with the circus theme in other ways and make it a little bit more twisted. We tried to put a little bit of a sexual, sadomasochist twist on it. The hooded guys, her backup dancers, were kind of like her sex slaves. If you listen to the songs she chose for this tour, they’re a little bit more erotic. So it was kind of like playing on that kind of feel - “Piece of Me” and stuff. The outfits start from the traditional circus ring at first but move to a little bit more of a hard-core sexual vibe. I mean, there’s a leather wrestling match!
Was the sky the limit here, or does Britney run a tight ship?
You have to remember, we’re doing costumes for the stage - there’s a lot of limitations of exactly what the performers can do. Sadly, ideas do get chopped because they are too difficult. You have to keep in mind that they have to move and they have to do stuff. Especially with the more extreme stuff, you have to consider a safety element and a functional element - everyone has to see properly, for example. They could fall and they could hurt themselves, and no one wants that. You have to think a bit about everybody’s needs.
The clothes have got to be durable, I imagine.
Yeah, so that blows a few ideas. (Laughs). But, it’s always fun, though. It’s really great to see when it all comes together. And on stage, it all looks so much better anyway than when we’re preparing everything. But, yes, some things had to be tamed down for the show. And it also has to be put on the road. They have to wash the clothes and all that, so we also have to make sure we don’t make anything too delicate.
How would you characterize Britney’s relationship to style? Particularly when it comes to performances, I know certain pop stars are known to be total control freaks - they want to make sure every sequin matches their vision. Other artists are easier: “Dress me. I’m just the singer, do what you want with me.”
But you know what I like about Britney? She’s easy. It’s not that she didn’t have an opinion, but sometimes it’s difficult when an artist has a strong opinion, because maybe you disagree with their opinion. It’s nice when artists have the attitude “Yes, I’m the singer, but you should be the one that knows about styling.” When they ask you something, it’s nice when they respect and understand where you’re coming from. So, she was really easy on that level. She asked us, “Well, what do you think?” or, “You like it like this?” And then we would explain, “Yeah, this looks great like this” or, “The pants should fit a little higher.” The look is a little bit more ’50s, a little bit more retro than what Britney usually wears. We explained to her how certain fits can elongate your body. She is great listener and very open to direction. What’s really important on stage is that you’re making a silhouette and that there should be shape. Even if the audience can’t see Britney from close up, they must be able to see her from far back. It was important that you could read her from, like, 200 feet back.
Tell me a fantasy look for Britney you have dreamed up somewhere in the back of your head.
I like when she’s kind of soft and kitten-y, and kind of blond and that kind of thing. I wouldn’t say pinup girl, but kind of like vixen-y. She’s very sexy and very kind of - the blond, blue-eyed and then the rest. It’s nice to have a little bad.
A favorite concert that you’ve been to in the past?
Well, I guess I’ve got to say, I love the Madonna one that we did - the Drowned world tour. Actually, you know what? The first Blonde Ambition tour I loved. The “Vogue” thing - that was a memorable moment in my lifetime. (Laughs.) And I think we saw that tour 10 times. We were big Madonna fans. Following that, working with Madonna on her Drowned world tour was pretty cool. Seeing your stuff up there on her was kind of cool. That’s a kind of emotion that you can’t live down.
Anyone else you would like to dress for the stage?
(Laughs). I’m trying to think. Anyone out there that should give us a call? We would love to dress other pop singers. I prefer it when somebody like us a little bit and comes to us. (Laughs). We don’t want to knock on anybody’s doors because you can’t force anyone to like you. But, I think we’ve been pretty lucky with the music industry. We’ve worked with a lot of people already. So, I think we’ve kind of lucked out.
A fan from Pop Prodigy, bombb, was at Club DV8 last night and KIIS FM was broadcasting live from there. He asked if Britney would be at Wango Tango for real and they said on the air that she will open the show performing a Circus/If U Seek Amy medley!
Update: So Ryan Seacrest announced the artists to perform on the show this morning and no Britney. Once again, they used her name for promotion. Sick, sick, SIIICK!
Is she a surprise performer? Don't hold your breath...
JoJo from KIIS FM reportedly hinted at a possible appearance by Britney at this year's Wango Tango. KIIS FM also added a new ad to their official site and Wango Tango is written very Circus style, if you know what I mean. According to the site, artists participating in the event will be announced on Monday at 7AM. Exciting!
Yesterday was one crazy day... So we got in Montreal quite early to go get our tickets for Britney's VIP party at Tribe Hyperclub on Rue St-Jacques. We were almost first in line, waiting in the cold for about 2:30 hours. During that time, we were interviewed by some local newspaper, it was cool. We still waiting outside when they started installing the red carpet, lights and all to be ready for Britney's arrival. Then that doorman came out saying it was a pick and choose and not first in line, first served thing. So they proceeded with selecting people and my we were among the first fans to be chosen. That's when we freaked out, seriously. So we got in and we hear this guy say "I think we picked all the hotties already... Can someone else go outside and see if they're more cuz for me... the rest is blah." While I felt flattered to be among the 'hotties', I felt bad for the other fans waiting outside... Anyway, we got our VIP bracelets and we were out and on our way to the Bell Centre.
We got there but still had a few hours to wait before the doors would open so we just went shopping around and stuff. When we got in line in front of the side doors, we could see them still fixing the stage and doing sound/light checks. That's just to tell you how on a rush they were... The doors were to open in 5 minutes and they were still testing things out. But everything was fine, the full stage was up... It was all there when we finally got inside.
So we bought some tour merchandise (yes, again... I must own every product now), had a drink and proceeded to find our seats, which were amazing.
Met some fans of the site and all, said hi and everything. It's always special to be recognized by people, seriously. Thank you for taking time to say hi.
The show started on time with The Pussycat Dolls and they were on fire once again. One thing is for sure... The crowd in Montreal was sooo amazing and much better than the one in Toronto (sorry you guys in Toronto but it's true). Everyone was already in for the Dolls and people were up the whole time, singing alone, yelling, clapping... It was insane. The Dolls even said we were an incredible crowd, maybe the best so far. They couldn't believe it and they said Montreal fans rocked big time and that they had missed Montreal.
Their set was awesome once again, they interacted with the crowd even more. Whenever Nicole would say Britney Spears, everyone would go wild. It was great.
The artists from The Bigg Apple Circus came out, did their thing and then, usually, that's when the show starts but not this time... People from GEG, the promoters for Montreal's show, came on stage and announced they had a surprise for Montreal fans. They said the concert at the Bell Centre was the best and fastest selling concert for the whole tour and because the demand was so great, Britney and her team had decided to add another concert in Montreal on May 5th and that we were the very first to know. Everyone went wild, once again. I did too... Cuz I'll see her again in May. Crazy huh...
And then, it was time... The Ringleader was about to take the stage.
Ok, I can't tell for sure because I haven't seen all shows so far but this one must have been the best. I have this feeling. It was just perfect and Britney was on TOP FORM. Her dancing was more intense, she interacted with the crowd, her mic was on and some parts were live (as it was in Toronto). You could tell the crowd was giving her mad energy. She was really into it, smiling all the time. We could hear her say 'whooo' and everything. It was perfect, it really was. One thing I noticed is a new dance break during Baby One More Time. I don't know if I just forgot this part about the Toronto concert or if it was really new... Either way, it was sick. Loved it.
Best crowd, best show. The night was already perfect and it would soon get even better.
So we got out of the Bell Centre and made our way to Tribe Hyperclub. We got in line with the rest of the people who had VIP access and we waited for her to get there, which she did surprisingly fast. The press was there, the security was tight again and loads of fans were waiting outside, hoping to get a glimpse of her.
The tour buses arrived, followed by Larry and then, the black SUV in which Brett, Felicia and Britney herself took place. She got out, looking sexy as hell in gray leggings, high boots, black coat and top and sunglasses on. She walked the red carpet quite fast and then she go in the club. I was in shock, seriously. It came to my mind that I should take pictures but I just couldn't... I was just starring at her and couldn't believe how radiant she was. Plus, security were checking on us and lets just say my professional camera isn't very discreet... Minutes later, her dancers arrived on the scene and they were just so cool. They seem all really close and you can tell they're nice people. They were taking pictures of us, waving and all.
After a while, we got inside, passed security, had our digital cameras taken away. Once in the club, I started looking around right away, looking for Britney. That's when I saw the elevated VIP space she was in with all her entourage.
She addressed the crowd saying something along the lines of 'Hope you have fun tonight dancing and all. I'm happy to be here. Peace!" To which, of course, fans went crazy.
So she was there, in the back, having a total blast, laughing and just enjoying herself. She was hidden by the dancers at some point but we could see her dance with Brett and some of the dancers.
To give you an idea, her dancing in the club was pretty much similar to what we saw in dance rehearsals. Nor barriers, nothing... Just her having a good time. She made hilarious faces and moves and spent most of the time with Brett. She had her sunglasses on the all time in good Britney fashion. On the other side were Larry and other people. I heard fans saying Jamie Lynn was in town yesterday but I didn't see her, so I wouldn't know...
The dancers just cracked me up. Their moves were hot, they had fun and they kept throwing napkins at us.
After about an hour, they were all leaving already... Britney was on her way to board her private jet on her way to New York.
Security gathered around the entrance, closed a black curtain and she was out. We went out trying to see her but the security around her wouldn't let us. She jumped in the black SUV and she was out.
She stayed for about an hour and it was just amazing. Man, I was in a club with Miss Britney Spears... I still can hardly believe it. I was partying with Britney man... She was so sweet, so lovely and so down to earth. That's a moment I'll never forget.
Over the past few months, I've been to NYC for the release of Circus, was there for her GMA appearance, saw her twice on the tour and was at a club with her. I just feel really blessed. I think I love her even more now. I really do.