Driving the term “damage control” to bold new limits, the latest Britney Comeback Campaign is an all-encompassing media blitz, an operation involving cooperative efforts from radio, television, a fiercely loyal online fanbase, and nearly every cultural publication under the sun. Even members of the fashion industry, apparently willing to overlook the Chanel Incident, have stepped up to play a significant role in the Rebuild and Relaunch of the Britster.
As many have noted, Ms. Spears donned garments from avant-garde visionaries such as Rodarte and Balenciaga for her Circus album artwork and promotional shoots. Now, with Britney and her handlers clearly favoring camp over concept, outrageous Manhattan-based fashion duo The Blonds have been chosen to costume the star for her next Circus visual incarnation. Their marvelously over-the-top designs upstaging Brit herself in the upcoming “Circus” video, NYC glitter queens Phillipe and David — courtiers famously championed by Christina Aguilera and Rihanna — will also provide the singer with a full wardrobe of similar theatrical garb for her 2009 tour.
In early December, just in time for Circus‘s release, Britney will world premiere her new video for the (admittedly fabulous) title track. In the available preview of the (what else?) circus-themed clip, Britney shows off the Blonds’ handiwork, all dolled up in their signature sequins and feathers. Her brief tryst with Mulleavy-honed designs notwithstanding, we doubt anyone will accuse Britney of hijacking highbrow fashion this era — not after they lay eyes on the candy swirled and bejeweled costumes she will be wearing. Just like the Blonds’ design philosophy, her public image is built upon brilliant rubbish and tongue-in-cheek artifice.
Because no matter how you dress her up, this is still “Britney, bitch” — the former poster girl for midriff baring tops, dirty schoolgirl skirts, and the “whale tail”. Following her Lolita Complex came the epic, public fall from dignity — the period where Britney bypassed even the lowest of sartorial standards and showed up barefoot at truckstop visits and pantiless in the back of limos. When you consider her mental and physical whereabouts earlier this very year — in a psych ward — the immenent sparkly Blonds-sponsored kitschfest Britney has planned seens downright palatable, even ennobling.
Thankfully for the singer, the worst of the dark days are behind her: if they are not a distant memory, they are at least a retreating threat. Britney’s ready to forgive, forget, and move on, and wants her merciful public to do the same. With reliably catchy music and an arsenal of zany outfits at her disposal, maybe we can.
So far, the “Circus” video looks like it will serve up playful and appropriate pop caricature; it is a distinctly — and perhaps wisely — more commercial affair than Britney’s grim, near-naked romp in last year’s “Gimme More”. Fittingly, it’s the long overdue, skin-deep comeback clip we’ve expected from a singer we love precisely for and in spite of her featherweight substance. After all, it’s really is the Blonds that have the most fun.
Check out a thirty second preview of Britney’s “Circus” video here.
Take a peek at which Blonds’ designs made Britney’s cut here.
Do you find Britney’s Circus era image rebirth convincing?