Britney Spears: from teen pop idol (above, photographed by Patrick Demarchelier) to 20-something sophisticate (below,
in Luca Luca) more quickly than you can say Its about
Spears has said that some of the clothes chosen
for her have not been ‘grown-up’, so recent months have seen more plunging
necklines and more elegant dresses.
Sporting a dress designed by Luca Lucas
Luca Orlandi at the Crossroads première in Japan
(left), Britney Spears shows that shes more than confident
to cultivate her image as we deconstruct the fame
TIMES we've seen Britney Spears move on from Mouseketeer ears to
the midriff-baring Catholic schoolgirl uniform of Baby One
More Time to more sophisticated apparel such as Versace, Roberto
Cavalli, Dolce & Gabbana, Balenciaga and most recently, at the
Crossroads première in Japan, Luca Luca.
The Spears phenomenon has really taken shape over
the last year. While adored by teenage fans, a group served by the
likes of Jessica Simpson, Britney has moved with the times and the
ageing of her original fan base. And she has found a larger group
by extending her reach from music to movies. If her aim was to have
the level of fame of Madonna or Marilyn Monroe, then she has arguably
not be unfair to refer to Britney Spears as a phenomenon. Some parents
have been outraged that their grade-school daughters are picking
out crop-tops as the thing to wear, highlighting the pop stars
appeal. Even a computer virus bore her name. Not too long ago, she
appeared in a Lucire article about an endorsement deal with
Skechers (there are now Britney Spears roller-skates), which follows
on from Pepsi, Youtopia, Enroute and a part-ownership in web site
Sweet16.com. The latest this week has been a THQ video game for
PlayStation 2 called Britneys Dance Beat, featuring
her songs, DVD content and a digitalized Britney with apparently
authentic (according to the press release) dance moves.
In 2001 and 2002, the sophisticated Britney Spears
has emerged, with a greater say in what she should be dressed in,
and determining and now co-writing some of her songs. The pop star
that exploded on to the scene in 1998 has grown up.
Explains Selda Gulcan at Luca Luca, [Originally,]
Kurt and Bart, her stylists, asked for the dress for the Europe
and London première[s]. Instead, having chosen something
flashier for London, Spears opted for the dress for Japan, on the
basis that Britney really loves it and definitely wants to wear it. Gulcan lends weight to Spears growing independence of choice.
Her music has reflected this. The Britney
album points to a more mature star comfortable with her identity
and sex appeal. (And like her first two albums, it went platinum.)
And what should she be dressed in? Spears has
been reported as saying that some of the clothes chosen for her
have not been grown-up (Fashion Magazine, November
2001), so recent months have seen more plunging necklines and more
elegant dresses. There have been covers on the aforementioned Fashion,
Vogue, Allure and Harper's Bazaar. Lucire might be right
in predicting slightly more restrainther Luca Luca dress is
an elegant progression on what she has chosen at various American
Music Awards, MTV and Grammy ceremonies.
When we enquired with Lucire editor-in-chief
Simone Knol, she said, I think it's time that she started
to dress a little more grown-up. By that I don't mean plunging necklines
and baring lots of flesh. She would look very good in more sophisticated
outfits rather than some of the frightful outfits she has worn in
However, fans can probably expect to see the provocative
outfits on stage. As she told the Associated Press, I'm on
stage, I'm performing; Janet (Jackson) wears clothes like that,
Destiny's Child wears clothes like that And I was always
pinpointed. I never understood that.
I suggest she gets a dresser who actually
likes women rather than the two men who dress her now. Failing that,
a full-length mirror wouldn't go amiss! advises Knol.
The other answer to Spears lament is her
fame and her success at having differentiated herselfthe two
ingredients of a great marketing campaign. It is the irony of the
southern, Christian girl who dresses against the stereotype.
an example? There is that southern down-home appeal about the Louisiana
native wholl celebrate her 21st in December. We now know that
singers from that state arent all into bluegrass. She has
not denied her Christian roots and is one of the few celebrities
to have made virginity a virtue, even if some associations have
started an anti-Britney movement (fuelling her fame further).
Going on the net, there are plenty of anti-Britney
pages, one slamming the singer for not singing live. Search for anti-Britney
in Google and there are c. 15,300 results. Detractors and
misquotes by the press are part of the territory, upsetting observers
and forcing the opinions to be posted online.
Other criticisms we found include one that teenagers
have more power than any of their earlier counterparts, yet play
to the dumb-blonde act allegedly perpetrated by Spears.