Britney's fashion foreshadowing

EntertainmentAnna Nicole SmithCrossroadsFrances FarmerHealthPhil McGraw

Fashion historians use clothing to understand different cultures and ancient civilizations. And clothing does speak volumes about the wearer.

Perhaps her clothing choices can explain what went wrong -- and when -- with Britney.

How did the darling Mouseketeer and Grammy-winning singer end up a tabloid train wreck, infamous for shaving her head, not wearing panties and laughing while being strapped to a gurney?

Last Thursday night, after months of not showing up for legal depositions in a bitter child custody case and driving through red lights (and over people's feet), Britney refused to surrender her kids to the cops under a court order and was taken by ambulance to Cedars-Sinai hospital. She was reportedly going to be held for a three-day mental and physical evaluation.

But by Saturday she was out on her own recognizance, after a surprise and reportedly unwanted visit from Dr. Phil. The latest sighting of the Popped Princess? She was seen at the Daily Grill in Palm Desert on Sunday morning, smiling and having a mimosa with her new constant companion, one of the paparazzi who constantly dogs -- not to mention profits from -- her every move.

Britney, Britney, Britney ...

This is like Frances Farmer's saga and the Anna Nicole Smith story rolled up into one ongoing reality TV series.

There are countless theories as to what went wrong in Britney's life.

We in the press have blamed her upbringing, her career, her mom and dad, her friends, publicists and managers, the music industry, Hollywood, too much money, bad influences, lack of a proper education., etc., etc. There are even some who suggest she may suffer from a bipolar disorder or manic depression.

Certainly her fashion choices illustrate a person who was formerly guided by experts and then fell into the wrong hands -- her own.

Check out the Red Carpet Rewind gallery to examine Britney's schizophrenic style history: the virginal girl next door, the not-so-innocent girl next door, the movie starlet (remember "Crossroads"?), the Vegas stripper, the slutty cowgirl, the tacky bondage babe, the unhappy homemaker and today's paparazzi-loving party girl who laughs when she's being strapped to a gurney.

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