Nobody forgets the first time they saw the Earth-shattering (Mars-shattering?) video for Britney Spears' "Oops!... I Did It Again," a crystallized moment in pop music history marked by Spears' descent in a shiny red catsuit. The outfit became instantaneously iconic and forever associated with the zenith of the Spears' career. But the one thing you may not have known about "Oops!... I Did It Again" is that that particular piece almost didn't make it to the video at all. In fact, the catsuit had to be constructed in one day before they started actually shooting.
Well, wait, how did that come about? According to a 2009 MTV News interview with "Oops!" director Nigel Dick, the original idea was all credited to our girl. Spears had very specific requests for the video, which included a "cute spaceman," no rockets, and, of course, the red jumpsuit. What Spears sees, Spears gets... but first they actually had to have the catsuit specially made for her measurements. "There was another catsuit, actually, which was fantastic, which I loved, and the night before, I was told that Britney hired this guy that worked with Michael Jackson," Dick said. "And so we’re going to use that catsuit. So that’s the catsuit."
The costume designer in question was Michael Bush, and you can get a sneak peak on Spears' last minute commission in MTV's Making The Video special on "Oops!... I Did It Again," the episode that preceeded the video's world debut. Spears goes to visit Bush, dog in tow, and puts in her request. "You know the first Austin Powers, Elizabeth Hurley, how her hair looked really big and the long extensions?" Spears explains. "Sexy, but not too over-the-top because the choreography is really hard and the song in itself is already sexy." And, of course, she wastes no time in saying that she wants to be red. Uh, duh, what else for the Queen of Mars?
"What time are you shooting tomorrow?" Bush asks. He laughs off the announcement that the team is shooting at 5:30 with, "Oh, that's a lifetime away, we have 13 hours." What a hero. The duo looked through some swatches together and the order was formally placed.
So was 13 hours enough? Well, obviously, you can see the end result in the video: sure enough, Bush worked on the catsuit overnight and got it to Spears the next day. There was only one slight hiccup, though: the suit was a little bit late to set. "There's only one thing missing, and that's Britney's red cat jumpsuit," Dick said in the special. They end up deciding to shoot Spears' weird Titanic exchange with the hot astronaut first, and the catsuit arrives shortly thereafter. Insert huge sigh of relief here.
It's funny to think that such a recognizable piece of fashion almost didn't make it into the "Oops!" video, so we have to give snaps to Spears' persistence and Bush's dedication. Make sure to revisit the behind-the-scenes special above to watch how it all went down.