Hosting MTV’s Video Music Awards for the first time, Katy Perry changed her outfit no less than 10 times, proving the music gongs are just as much about fashion − dress code: the more flesh the better.
She was hardly the only star going large with their look, with America’s Got Talent judge Heidi Klum − apparently underwear-free − showcasing eye-popping cleavage in a metallic sheer gown with keyhole cutaways.
Model Hailey Baldwin also brought her confidence but left some foundation garments at home. She arrived in a plunging gold jumpsuit but switched it up later for a peek-a-boo black bodysuit worn with knickers and thigh-high boots.
By comparison, Miley Cyrus − she of the infamous 2013 VMAs twerk − was restrained. She went edgy retro, making her entrance in a powder-blue jumpsuit as a tribute to Elvis Presley, and performing Younger Now in hotpants with a rockabilly pompadour.
Purely by dint of effort, Perry was the sartorial queen of the night.
She walked Sunday night’s red carpet in an asymmetrical Stephane Rolland dress, but on stage abandoned couture for looks including a spacesuit and a costume paying homage to Games of Thrones’ Daenerys Targaryen − complete with small dog dressed as a dragon.
The night’s biggest winner was rapper Kendrick Lamar, who took home six gongs including Video of the Year, but Pink who stole the show accepting the Michael Jackson Vanguard Award honouring her 17-year career.
She used the spotlight to tell her daughter Willow, in the audience, about body image. “Baby girl, we don’t change,” Pink said. “We take the gravel in the shell and make a pearl. We help other people to change, so they can see all kinds of beauty.
“You, my darling girl, are beautiful and I love you.”
1. Hailee Steinfeld
Flashy but classy − that’s a hard double act to pull off − the actress and singer was fabulously Grecian in Atelier Versace.
2. Millie Bobby Brown
Yep, the actress is only 13. But she carried off an edgily-perfect Rodarte dress and Stuart Weitzmann boots with a veteran’s sensibilities. Bravo.
The NZ star went soft on us, abandoning her signature androgynous style for a lilac feathered Monique Lhuillier princess gown.
4. Katy Perry
Matching her new serious music, Perry farewelled bubblegum fashion with grown-up, architectural Stephane Rolland. Lady, severity suits you.
5. Demi Lovato
The star made sheer look intriguing, not tacky, and her sequinned harem pants were the night’s sexiest foil for leggy minis.
1. Miley Cyrus
She honoured rock royalty, turned heads, and pushed the envelope − tick. But Miley, it wasn’t a Leaving Las Vegas costume party.
2. Jared Leto
The sartorial gap between the glittery space shuttle-style cape and the old kicks and torn jeans felt inauthentic. But it was fun.
3. Nicki Minaj
In pink latex, silver bling and platforms, the singer looked like she was auditioning for a spot on Barbie’s speedskating team.
4. Heidi Klum
The model found the one dress that would make her famous body look better than ever, but kind of trash her brand at the same time.
5. Farrah Abraham
The Teen Mom starlet teamed an innocuous white slack suit (perfect for soccer runs) with gold boots (perfect for podium dancing.)