From cupcakes to beach balls, Katy Perry takes us behind some of her most memorable looks
Katy Perry is ready to play.
The pop star won't just be waking up in Vegas, she'll be spending a lot of time there as part of her new residency PLAY, beginning Dec. 29.
The show features nearly two-dozen of her greatest hits and invites casual fans and devotees alike along for the ride. "We really went down the playlists and said, 'What's the top 20 songs that everyone in the world are listening to?'" she tells EW. "And that's our set list. All the songs have been revived. We've given them a little botox."
The residency will also offer VIP experiences, as well as a museum looking back at the last 13 years of Perry's career. She describes the experience as Honey, I Shrunk the Kids meets PeeWee's Playhouse.
Since the show and museum experience will feature many of Perry's biggest songs and their accompanying iconic looks, we asked her to walk us through some of the most eye-catching outfits from her career.
Super Bowl Beach Ball
Perry memorably donned this beach ball-inspired look during her 2015 Super Bowl halftime, alongside the show's biggest breakout star, Left Shark.
The ensemble was originally made out of latex to more closely resemble a beach ball, but the threat of a potential wardrobe malfunction led to a redesign. "I had to slide down a fireman pole to get off of the massive lion [I opened the show on] to get down to that ground," she explains. "Nobody saw that. But as I was sliding in rehearsal, holding on to the pole, my whole outfit came undone because it was like latex meets metal — and friction! So I was like, 'Well, we're not going to have that on the Super Bowl.'"
Especially given the potential costume incident, Perry was thrilled that Left Shark became the viral moment of her show. "I'm just grateful it was only that," she says with a laugh. "The Super Bowl is a content creator for the next day for the internet — best meme wins. If a funny shark dancing is the best one, then phew, thank my lucky stars."
This fruity dress was one of Perry's first ever bespoke costumes, designed for her to perform "I Kissed a Girl" on the 2009 Grammys. At the time, much of her aesthetic was fruit-based. "Strawberry, it was a play on words like Straw Perry," she says.
The outfit was inspired by the most iconic of fruit headdress wearers, Carmen Miranda. "She was a style inspiration my whole twenties," Perry says. "It was pin-up girls and Carmen Miranda and Betty Boop."
This sweet dress, complete with fully spinning peppermints, was for Perry's California Dreams tour. Her hair got caught in the spinning candy multiple times (so much so, it necessitated some changes to avoid causing her a neck injury). She had two of this look, as she does with many of her tour costumes, so that she can switch on and off between them each night while one gets cleaned.
Costume designer Johnny Wujek conceived of the outfit, and he'll also be doing some of the costumes for PLAY.
Another look from her California Dreams tour, this frosted ensemble was a twist on Perry's appearance in the "California Gurls" music video. She wore a bedazzled leotard, complete with an angry gingerbread custom-made from the video and then a removable tiered cupcake skirt.
Looking back, Perry laughs, realizing how much food has played a constant role in her aesthetic, moving from fruit to candy and cupcakes — to fungi, with PLAY, she teases.
Perry strutted in this purple ensemble during her Prismatic tour. The Egyptian-influenced design was part of a number where she rode on an enormous puppet horse. "There's a lot of magic references in the song; there's a lot of magic in Egypt," she explains. "I ended up going to Egypt for my 35th birthday and spent a week there, and my mind was blown."
A cross between Jane Fonda's iconic Barbarella and Star Wars' C-3PO, this gold ensemble for the Witness tour is what Perry refers to as her "robot look." Despite its appearance of plated metal, it's actually very light and was molded to fit Perry's body to a tee.
Zaldy, known for costuming artists like Perry, Lady Gaga, and Britney Spears, designed this one — and he's also returning to create some of the PLAY looks.
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