On Sunday, Feb. 2, two music icons took the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, Florida, by storm with an indelible performance I don't think we'll ever recover from — oh, and there was some football at some point. Quite frankly, any touchdown scoring paled in comparison to the sheer artistry of Jennifer Lopez's Super Bowl halftime outfits and, well, everything about the show she and Shakira put on. I mean, do you know what it takes to pull off three costume changes, leather effing chaps, a sheer bodysuit, and holding yourself up on a pole with just your legs in the span of less than 10 minutes? No, you don't. Unless you're J.Lo and her team.
Beginning her performance perched on a pole structure, equally reminiscent of both King Kong on the Empire State Building and her Hustlers character at work, Lopez stunned. She started the routine in a studded, black leather moto vest and a billowing, hot pink, satin skirt, which she then ripped off like a bandaid to reveal skin-tight leather chaps. The inspiration comes from a 1991 Vogue shoot with Marlon Brando, Lopez's stylists Mariel Haenn and Rob Zangardi told The Hollywood Reporter. The entire look — and Lopez's two subsequent looks, as well as the costumes for her 130 dancers — are custom Versace. According to the brand, this leather creation, covered in thousands and thousands of studs and Swarovski crystals, took about 900 hours to make, with the embellishments reportedly eating up 400 hours alone.
A swift costume change revealed Lopez's next outfit: the embodiment of the most beautiful chandelier you could imagine. Haenn said this layering technique was a must when she and Zangardi began working with Versace on the concepts for her looks. "Because Jennifer never leaves the stage, we knew when designing the costumes that everything needed to be layered or added on,” Haenn told The Hollywood Reporter. “While we do a lot of quick changes on tour, for this performance the longest change is just seven seconds. Simply getting stuff on and off is something we’ve had to rehearse and refine over and over again to make it look seamless."
The nude-illusion bodysuit was the product of more than 700 hours of work and features several sheer panels and a mosaic of crystals and reflective plastic elements across her torso and the sides of her legs. The Hollywood Reporter reports that the suit consists of 12,000 sequins, 15,000 Swarovski crystals, and 800 pieces of metallic leather. "Versace took over an entire leather factory in Italy to create the leather pieces," Haenn told the publication. "In total, over 30 tailors and seamstresses were involved in the process and it took thousands of hours of handwork."
Closing out her performance with her iconic song "Let's Get Loud," Lopez honored her Puerto Rican heritage, draping an enormous, feathered version of the country's flag around her. The cape was covered in jewels, featured the American flag on the other side, and was worn over Lopez's metallic fringe bodysuit, with the fringe made of chain strips and chainmail pieces "to really accentuate the moves of the choreography," said Zangardi.
Zangardi also spoke to just how many hours, alterations, and split-second decisions went into Lopez's and her dancers' looks, not just after fittings, but immediately following dress rehearsals. "We decided to cut the sleeves off of the motorcycle jacket on Thursday, because it made the quick changes faster and [we] replaced the panels on the side of hips to allow for more movement," he said. "The performance is so energetic, with her sliding on the floor and being flipped around, that after every rehearsal, we’ve had to repair and remake costumes for both her and the dancers, wash them, and replace crystals every night."
To the layperson, such attention to detail, creativity, and so many hours of work in such a short amount of time might seem damn near impossible. But as Haenn, Zangardi, Versace, and the entire team of people behind these looks demonstrated, when someone like Lopez can make the impossible happen on stage, you make the impossible happen, too.