Britney Spears has been hard at work promoting her latest album (and managing to look perfectly polished in the process), but while she’s been busy hitting the pavement, we’ve been hard at work watching the fierce video for her hot new single Work B*tch—over and over again. So we went straight to the source to get all the glamorous details behind the elaborate costumes designs, styled by B. Akerlund. “B. Akerlund's costume designs always give me a sense of empowerment,” Spears told InStyle.com exclusively. “The outfits for my ‘Work B*tch’ video were strong and still so sexy.” In the video, Spears sports an array of intricately designed looks, ranging from a custom-made metal mesh bra and hot pants, to a hot pink and electric blue cutout gown with a crystallized thigh-high slit. How did Akerlund come up with each outfit? “I was really inspired by the song and I wanted something sexy and edgy,” says Akerlund, who has also styled Lady Gaga and Fergie. “Britney was very involved in the fashion and had a strong vision in what she wanted to do. The outfits are sexy, yet they have a soft, romantic feel in the hardness, which I think works with Britney as an artist. We collaborated on everything and she looked great because she also felt great. She owned it.” Get all the behind-the-scenes details on each look in the slideshow below, and be sure to pick up Britney’s new album, Britney Jean, when it hits stores Dec. 3.
1. Zest Corset from Murmur by Andreea Badala and L.A. ROXX Panty
“This is old-school lingerie which I quite love,” B. Akerlund tells InStyle.com of the textured suspender corset, by Zest Corset from Murmur by Andreea Badala Pre-AW12 collection, and L.A. ROXX zipper front leather panty.
2. Michael Schmidt Crystal Metal Mesh Bikini
“I knew that Britney always loves a hot pant and a bikini,” says Akerlund of her metal mesh bikini with Swarovski crystal embellishment, a look that was custom made for her. “We designed it to elongate her and make her look good--and she certainly did!”
3. Marlies Dekker Gold Metal Bra
“This look is super sexy and risque, her outfit was a little see-through on the sides,” she says of her gold metal bra, designed by Marlies Dekker and pencil skirt.
4. Strap Harness Bustier and Chain Shorts
“This is something that Britney styled herself,” says Akerlund of the handmade adjustable strap harness and bustier that she paired with chain shorts. “I second-guessed her for a second but like most artists she knows her body and she looked amazing. I’ll definitely give her credit for styling that one!”
5. Bordelle Lady Citron Bodice Bra
“They’re actually my personal pants that she ended up wearing!” says Akerlund. “I think she looks really strong in this outfit.” The black satin pants were paired with this sexy Bordelle Lady Citron Bodice Bra, featuring panels of silk satin and lace.
6. Manish Arora Crop Top and Satin Pants
“This was a Swarovski crystal archive piece,“ says the designer of this Manish Arora embellished crop top with cutout details, which she paired with wide leg satin pants and Giuseppe Zanotti stilettos.
7. Custom Dress and Pony Fetish Stilettos by Scarlet Fever
“This dress is custom made for her-- I actually had it made for her two years ago for the ‘Hold it Against Me' video but we never ended up using it. She loved it, it was kind of fun how it circled back. The shoes are awesome they have little lockets on the back with a key--I had to lock her into the shoes,” she says of the Pony Fetish Stilettos by Scarlet Fever. “I kept on saying to myself ‘ please don’t loose the keys’ because we wouldn’t have been able to get the shoes off of her!”
8. George Chakras Cutout Gown
“This dress was really amazing because it had mesh cutouts, then there’s pink strips on it with layers of chiffon,” she says of the George Chakras-designed hot pink and electric blue cutout gown with crystalized thigh-high slit, which Britney wears in the final scene of the video. “We completed the look with pink leather bikini gloves.”