While the performance was undoubtedly visually stunning, a lot of people thought the costumes were in poor taste. They were offended that KayPers seemed to be paying tribute to an antiquated Japanese tradition of, in essence, high-end prostitution.
However Johnny Wujek, the singer’s stylist, has finally spoken out about the true inspiration behind the colorful kimonos!
"Katy and I both love Japan. The people are so kind, there's so much there visually. Just walking around [in Japan], you feel something. We wanted to try and encompass that in the performance somehow, almost a tribute."
Unfortunately, they apparently didn’t realize they were paying tribute to a dark history Japanese culture might consider shameful.
But evidently neither did the person who helped the crew assemble the costumes!
Johnny also explained how the outfits came to be:
"We had the most amazing woman helping us from this store in Pasadena, Kimono no Kobeya. She oversaw everything we were doing and made sure that it maintained all of its authenticity. My assistant, Sam, found her when she was in downtown L.A. There were two women wearing these gorgeous kimonos, and she chased after them and asked where they got them. It was this woman and her store! All of the dancers wore original geishas [dresses], and Katy's version was a little more modern. For her we took a stunning real kimono and reworked it more into a gown."
While we’re sure Miz Perry had nothing but honorable intentions with the garb, it's easy to see how her theme of choice was misconstrued.
This definitely isn't the first time something like this has happened, and we're sure it won't be the last!