The 2008 Image Index: Britney Spears

Image is a slippery creature, and one month’s style sensation is the next month’s tasteless trend. For those keeping score, we offer the 2008 Image Index, a sliding scale of the people, places, ideas and trends that moved up — and down — the pop culture barometer this year. — The Image staff UP: BRITNEY SPEARS At the beginning of the year she was a mess, having just lost custody of her sons and been hospitalized for mental-health issues. But all that melted away, thanks to a few well-chosen TV appearances, an MTV documentary, her new hit album “Circus” and a European comeback tour. Pop music’s favorite fashion train wreck is blond again, and looking better than she has in years, thanks in part to über-stylist Marjan Malakpour, who has been dressing her onstage and in photo shoots. We’re even digging Brit’s new ringmaster persona.
Peter Kramer / Associated Press
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