Without the formality of a show like the Oscars, the VMA Awards allow our favorite stars a night of creativity and fun when it comes to red carpet fashions. We get everything from gorgeous and sexy, to misguided and batshit. Since the program is an awards show, here are my own fashion awards for the night–
Best Shameless Self-Promotion: Nicki Minaj
Nicki Minaj was in full Anaconda mode following the music video release that shattered records with almost 20 million views in 24 hours. Clad in a Saint Laurent sequined snakeskin ensemble, Minaj kept makeup and accessories light — a sweet reminder that she has a gorgeous face, even without bubblegum lipstick. Get it girl.
Best I Woke Up Like This: Beyoncé
Beyoncé was late and looked fancier than most–because why not. The Nicolas Jebran Couture gown isn’t my favorite thing she’s ever worn, and her earrings are verging on cartoon-big, but her soft waves are gorgeous and her skin in glowing. HOWEVER, the custom Tom Ford bejeweled leotard she performed her 16 minute long BEYONCÉ medley in was truly flawless.
Boobs: Kim Kardashian
Kim Kardashian wore a beaded Balmain (no surprise) mini that showed off her butt and boobs, which, to be fair, is understandable given that she is often between her much taller younger sisters Kendall and Kylie in photos. She looked gorgeous, and honestly, it’s not like Kim requires a special occasion for this amount of cleavage.
Best Effort to Try Something New: Taylor Swift
A bold departure from her old-country-singing-blush-toned gowns, Taylor Swift wore an alphabet printed blue onesie by Mary Katrantzou. I love Katrantzou’s surrealist-inspired prints but this did not do it for me. Taylor’s got legs for miles (see: her obsession with ModelFit on Bowery) and seemed to be having fun in the piece, but I’d have preferred a mini-dress or a less random seeming pattern. Still–if Taylor the pop singer wants to experiment with new styles, bring it on.
Best Timeless Glamour: Rita Ora
Rita Ora’s apple red Donna Karan Atelier gown slit up to her hip on one side was old Hollywood glamour at its best. Simple, sexy, and classic. Very Marilyn!
MILF-in-Chief: Gwen Stefani
Gwen Stefani wore a matching hot pink and black bustier and pants that looked like they were literally made for her–because they were, by her own line, L.A.M.B.
Best Please-Let-Me-Look-This-Good-When-I’m-45: J.Lo
J.Lo’s Charbel Zoe gown had more cutouts than not, and she rocked it–leg-slit, sparkle, and all. Here’s hoping she wore sunblock.
Best “Can-Be-Tamed”: Miley Cyrus
Miley wore a two-piece leather getup by Alexander Vaulthier — sleek and mature. Leather outfits have been and are still stylish, and Miley’s hair–a simple crop in lieu of last year’s nubby side buns –looked adult and sophisticated paired with her simple silver heels.
Best WTF: Amber Rose
Amber Rose looked like she was wearing a tangle of Swarovski jewelry I liked in my tween years, and it made J.Lo’s dress look conservative. It just looks so uncomfortable!
Best Throwback: Katy Perry (with Riff Raff)
Katy Perry paid homage to queen of the early aughts in head-to-toe denim, throwing it back to Brit and J.T. circa 2001. She tweeted in advance: “WE’RE GOIN FOR DA BEST WORST DRESSED TODAY #THISISHOWWEDOVMAS.” Nailed it.