After the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards, [artist id="3061469"]Lady Gaga[/artist] was no longer just another face in the pantheon of rising pop stars who occasionally hit the red carpet in a zany getup. She became, undeniably, a star.
In an evening packed with an all-star tribute to Michael Jackson, an elaborate Taylor Swift performance in a New York City subway station and headline-hogging stage-crashing moments, Gaga still stood out. It wasn’t just her blood-smeared rendition of “Paparazzi” that scored fans’ attention; it was her eye-popping, show-topping, OMG-inducing style. In the MTV special “The VMAs: Revealed – Presented by New 5 React Gum,” VMA insiders broke down exactly how her inventive fashion made for one of the most legendary debuts in the show’s history.
Ultimately, five game-changing Gaga looks were broadcast to viewers that evening, but the pop star and her team came ready to rock a bunch of outfits. “She showed up with racks and racks of clothes,” dressing room production assistant Katie Meath said. “We had five P.A.s carry everything up and we went back for another round.”
“I remember one thing. It looked like a black dominatrix outfit but there were spikes. There was a lot going on,” dressing room production assistant Anthony Deleo added.
Dealing with a gaggle of style choices, Gaga didn’t have the time to get tripped up by the backstage mayhem, and show organizers had to figure out a way for the star to hop in and out of her complex outfits with ease.
“The day before the show we had rehearsals. We actually had a stopwatch just timing ourselves. We really didn’t have enough time to take her to her second-floor dressing room,” said Ernesto Elias of MTV Music & Talent. “We created a quick-change room right off the side of the stage.”
Gaga took home the Moonman for Best New Artist but by wriggling in and out of her fashion-forward costumes within minutes and hustling back to her seat in time to make a series of unforgettable cutaways, she also nabbed the honor of staging one of the most memorable VMA debuts ever.
“We’ve seen it all, we’ve done it all,” VMA director Hamish Hamilton said. “There we all were … kind of mesmerized in Gaga-dom.”
The 27th annual MTV Video Music Awards will be broadcast live from the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles on September 12 at 9 p.m. ET.