Katy Perry DNCAaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images

The road to the White House is paved with… sparkle? Longtime Hillary Clinton supporter Katy Perry took the stage during the Democratic National Convention in a shimmery striped bodycon column gown that was decidedly less quirky than her other politcal performance outfits, and we’ve got the exclusive scoop on the planning of the look straight from her stylist Leslie Fremar.

“I have a closet filled with Hillary-themed dresses,” Perry said before her performance
of her new single Rise, an anthem for the upcoming Olympics in Rio and her 2013 hit “Roar.“.

It’s true: Perry how to pack a patriotic punch on stage. She’s all about graphic nail art and all-over red white and blue (remember that extra-dramatic turban at the rally for Clinton in Iowa in March?), but this serious moment called for a change.

Perry opted for a Michael Kors gown from the designer’s archives. “There was definitely a nod to a flag,” Fremar tells PeopleStyle. “She was wearing stars and stripes, but she wasn’t wearing an American flag, literally, and that was intentional. We were trying to make it a little bit more serious but still playful.” Fremar and her team completed the look after just two fittings before the DNC.

The fact that Kors is an American designer did come into play with the outfit choices. “When we were looking at different options, we were trying to support an American brand; That was especially important in this arena,” Fremar explains. “But, if she found something that she loved that wasn’t from an American brand and she was comfortable in it, that would’ve worked too. I think that it worked out very nicely that we could support an American company.

Of course, the ensemble wasn’t complete without a touch of Perry’s whimsical personal style, which Fremar gave a high-fashion twist. Her necklace, worn as a choker, and her ring, are vintage Bulgari circa the 1970s, according to 1stdibs.com, who has similar pieces of jewelry on their site. “This isn’t costume jewelry,” Fremar says. “This is major.” And her “dainty” Jacquie Aiche earrings helped keep the look “young and fresh,” according to Fremar.

So why did Perry steer clear of her signature poppy patterns and latex minis? “I don’t think she wanted to come out in a costume. She wasn’t sure if she wanted to wear a gown or a cocktail dress, but she wanted it to feel like she was wholeheartedly supporting this cause as herself, not as a character,” says Fremar. “She was thoughtful; She didn’t want it to be comical, but elegant and sophisticated.”

Mission accomplished!

–Catherine Kast

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