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What Will Kesha, Britney Spears and Others Wear at Billboard Music Awards? Designer Michael Costello Weighs in
At the 2016 Billboard Music Awards, all eyes will be on the likes of gorgeous stars such as Ciara, Britney Spears and Kesha, who will give her first TV performance amid her legal battle against Dr. Luke.
While it is unclear what—and who—they will be wearing, designer and Project Runway alum Michael Costello has designed several outfits for the singers.
“Kesha was going for a goddess feel,” he told E! News exclusively. “She wanted to feel really effortless and really elegant.”
Costello said the two met Friday.
“We spoke about what she wanted and she looks great,” he said.
“Nervous and excited for tomorrow eeeeeeeeeeee,” Kesha wrote on Instagram Saturday.
The singer has performed sporadically but not on television since she sued Dr. Luke in late 2014. She claims he committed sexual assault and battery against her and is also seeking to invalidate their recording contracts. Luke has denied her allegations. Kesha has occasionally opened up about her turmoil on social media, including last week, when she also shared what appeared to be topless selfies and a message against body shamers.
“Her body is really on point right now,” Costello told E! News. “Her body is proportioned really beautifully and she has a really great attitude. I think we’re going to see a really beautiful softer cleaner side of her. I don’t know what she’s going to do with her hair and makeup but I suggested doing clean and effortless. I think she’s going to look elegant and classic, like a return to old Hollywood glamour.”
Luke’s record company had rescinded its approval allowing Kesha to perform at the Billboard Music Awards, then gave permission again, after the singer had wrote on Instagram that her performance “never had anything at all to do with Dr. Luke.”
Ciara is co-hosting the Billboard Music Awards with rapper Ludacris. Costello told E! News she is “going for a lot of skin” for her outfit.
“I think we might see a really nice pop of color and in one of the sketches, there are a few peekaboo options that were in black, that had some cut-outs, so I think that’s the vibe Ciara wanted to go for,” he said. “Very sleek but with peekaboos here and there.”
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Spears, who has been performing in her own Las Vegas residency show Britney: Piece of Me for more than two years, will take the stage at the Billboard Music Awards to perform a medley of her hits. Costello told E! News a “really beautiful dress” was designed for her.
“We’re hoping she does wear it,” he said. “We met with her and the team and they loved what we created for her. It is a two-piece.”
“We were told she was doing something really big with the show and so when we thought about it, we wanted to make sure it was something that was very her, something classic to the iconic look she has and stay true to Britney but also bring in what we’re trying to push for red carpet looks this season, which is, in collaboration with Tide, making our red carpet looks easy to care for and washable,” he said. “She wanted to look very classy and she wanted to look very memorable.”
Costello has teamed up with the laundry detergent company to create pieces that are easy to care for and wash at home.
He also told E! News Spears wanted something in white, red and black.
“Those were three of the colors we did for her,” he said. “There was one transparent gown that we did a lot of hand beadwork on, lots of sequins and crystal appliques and crystal beaded handwork. I hope that’s the option she wears. We also did a silk jersey two piece look for her which is a crop top and a pencil skirt.”
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Meghan Trainer is also set to perform at the Billboard Music Awards.
“Meghan Trainor has a really beautiful curvaceous hourglass figure and she doesn’t like to take away from her body, she really likes to accentuate her curves,” Costello told E! News. “So when we’re working with Meghan, we like to choose fabrics that have a really nice stretch blend that will hit her in the right areas.”
“She opted for a longer sleeve option, higher neckline, and I won’t be surprised if we see her in something shorter for the red carpet this season,” he said. “Maybe something multi-color—she does like a little glitz and glam—so we’re trying to figure that part.”
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Fifth Harmony is due to perform as well, with Ty Dolla $ ign.
“We did their performance pieces,” Costello told E! News. “We worked really hard and one-on-one with the girls to create these really beautiful iridescent fabrics that changes colors. We’re using a really cool sequin fabric that moves back and forth and changes colors, so when you touch it one way, it looks a different color than when you move another way. I know they’re planning on playing with that during their performance.”
Costello also said Jennifer Lopez “asked for something that was very sleek, very daring, sophisticated, and a low back.”
“We did make one guaranteed dress for her to wear for the carpet,” he said, adding that his team also designed an outfit with “a plunging neckline with a super high slit.”
“I’m excited to see if that was one of her options,” he added.
The 2016 Billboard Music Awards air live Sunday on ABC at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.