In the fallout of Miley Cyrus's provocative, headline-making performance at the MTV Video Music Awards on Sunday, a new star has risen over the horizon: that manicured foam finger. Stylist and fashion host Lisa Katnic shares the journey of the finger's rise to prominence from editorial rejection to poking Robin Thicke's crotch on national television.
"I actually made [Miley's foam finger] a year ago for an editorial, but it didn't make it in," Katnic told Y! Music this week. A similar one with a tribal tattoo did however make the monster truck-themed shoot that was made in conjunction with an episode of Katnic's own fashion web series, "LisaTV."
Dejected, but hopeful, the foam finger made its way to the set of Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines" where Katnic was hired to style the sexy background models. Yes, she is also responsible for creating those repeatedly-spoofed white and clear vinyl outfits. Katnic pointed out that the foam finger did indeed make it into the video this time, after happening to bring it to set on a whim. You can see the finger covering a nude model's chest for a brief moment. Not bad for a first gig.
Now things are starting to make sense. With Cyrus performing "Blurred Lines" at the VMAs with Thicke, her jaw-dropping nude vinyl outfit and seemingly random foam finger is not so random after all. Clearly, the look took on elements from the "Blurred Lines" video, with its nudity and use of vinyl. What Cyrus's main stylist Simone Harouche's idea seemed to be was to fuse the video's looks together to create a shiny, flesh-toned hybrid ensemble for Cyrus's VMAs performance, foam finger included.
And the rest is history. The finger hit its peak on the VMAs stage and national television, facilitating Cyrus with some varsity-level gropes to herself and Robin Thicke. What you didn't see was that like any good manicurist, Katnic also made some fun nail options for the hand, including a french manicure and some gold glitter ones with rhinestones and piercings! But Miley liked the original nails the best, so kept them red. She kept the foam finger as well, taking it home after the awards show.
But something was a little off about the foam finger, so Katnic cleared the air for us. "The foam finger was actually made for the left hand, and when Miley was rehearsing, she was wearing it on her right hand since she's right-handed," Katnic revealed to us. "So you'll notice the thumb is on the wrong side. We thought about if we should move the thumb to the other side, but was like, 'no, it'll be fun for the superfans to notice,' and kept it as is. Miley thought it would be funny to!"
There was another detail that angry internet commenters in particular latched on about finger: it only had four fingernails instead of five. But as Katnic pointed out, "If you make a #1 finger, your thumb covers your middle fingernail, duh!"
What else did we miss from Miley's lush, Todd James-inspired teddy bear world from the VMAs? Plenty. "I was watching backstage, so didn't see what the broadcast show looked like until the next day. Obviously they wanted close-ups of Robin and Miley, but it was really disappointing to see what the cameras missed," Katnic said. "One thing was Amazon Ashley (the 7' tall burlesque model on stage) had her own outfit change to become this incredible sparkly cheerleader."
There's no denying that of all the performances at this year's VMAs, Miley Cyrus was having the absolute most fun on that stage. Even with the hurricane of criticism that is currently swarming the former Disney star about her shocking performance, Cyrus was the only one that seemed to really capture the fundamental, free-wheeling essence that the VMAs was founded on, with no diva antics about it.
"Honestly, of any person I've worked with, she's the nicest, most genuine celebrity I've met," Katnic gushed. "She's not the type of person where when she walks into the room, everyone hushes. She can talk to anyone, and is just relaxed and cool and truly real. She's 20-years-old, hot and having fun. What college-age person wouldn't?"