NEW YORK — For every special occasion, the age-old question of what to wear arises, bringing with it even more questions: "Is the event casual or formal?," "What's the weather like?," "Will I be able move around easily?" and, of course, "Does this make me look fat?"
For multiplatinum pop diva Christina Aguilera, the MTV Video Music Awards is just like any other special occasion in that all the usual questions apply. But when you factor in nine superstar performances, dozens of celebrity presenters and tens of millions of viewers, the search for the perfect VMA outfit gets a little bit more involved.
"We've got dresses by Roberto Cavalli, Christian Dior, Julian MacDonald, Versace, DSquared2," stylist Trish Summerville said as she perused racks of size 2 dresses awaiting Aguilera's approval in the singer's midtown Manhattan rehearsal studio. Stacked neatly below the dresses were 24 pairs of towering high-heel Giuseppe Zanotti sandals and thigh-high leather Vicini boots, and laid out casually on a nearby coffee table were a dozen glittering pieces of bling.
"Christina loves sexy, body-fitting clothes," her longtime fashion consultant said. "She loves pink, she loves detail — like chains or stones or lacing. But she doesn't care about designer labels. She'll try something on first and then look at the label. It's all about how it fits her and how it makes her feel."
And it's taken a week of nonstop coast-to-coast shopping on Summerville's part to assemble the variety of fashions that will make Christina feel just right at this year's awards show.
"For a major event like the VMAs, we don't look for just one dress, we look for several. And they all have to fit their purpose," Summerville explained. "There's a red-carpet outfit to start out with, then there's Christina's performance costume, which we have custom-built by an L.A. leather tailor named Florisse. Then there's another outfit just for sitting in the audience during the awards, maybe another change for doing press interviews after the show. And of course the all-important after-party dress."
And all of them are to be selected just two days before the big VMA dance. At past awards shows, Christina has raised eyebrows and quickened pulses with her barely there outfits, but the self-proclaimed Dirrty girl has no master plan for her VMA grand entrance.
"It depends on what mode I'm in," Aguilera teased. "I'm an artist that everyone knows loves to change characters a lot. I don't like to play it safe. So this time around I might go for something people might not expect. I could come in a nun's outfit ... and that'll be great!"
Catch all the sizzlin', star-packed VMA action direct from Miami on August 28. MTV News' preshow kicks things off at 6:00 p.m. ET/PT, followed by the big show at 8 p.m.