With 10 nominations, Taylor Swift was the biggest star on the red carpet at the MTV VMAS in New Jersey on Tuesday morning (Australian time) and probably the most expensively dressed in an eclectic field.
Music awards are always looser than acting ones when it comes to style. This year’s VMAs were no exception.
While there was no standout head-turning look, there were thankfully a lot of theatrical men and sex shop outfits.
Swift stuck with her current favourite look, underpants with a top, wearing a shimmering baroque-print Versace blazer dress with a sparkly bodysuit and Christian Louboutin suede boots.
She wasn’t the only one trying on the long boot and short short for size.
But while Taylor looked like a cool ringmaster, creative and in control, other results were more mixed.
Megan Thee Stallion must have enjoyed her Year 8 leatherwork class; she went heavy on the studs and light on the pant.
Tana Mongeau not only racked Taylor’s new signature, she stole Katy Perry’s glasses from 2012 and Britney Spears’ snake from aeons ago.
Adriana Lima’s hair had come straight from mixed netball, but her understated sheer dress and bodysuit was effortlessly sexy.
Not sure why, but I love Amara La Negra in this. Screams showgirl but in an oddly refined way, and the polished hair pulls it back.
Like Taylor, Ice-T went baroque with his bomber jacket but was let down by his grandad-goes-to-buy-bread shoes. Coco Austin looked like the shower curtain that clings to you in a roadside motel.
The only thing wrong with Gigi and Bella Hadid is they looked so perfect it was hard to say if they were human. Gigi’s corset top, relaxed metallic pant and structured shoe is what everyone should wear to music awards forever. Bella made her dubious suspender dress magical.
Camila Cabello went online to David’s Bridal and found a little something in the $150 specials bin that only needed a light dry clean.
Marc Jacobs rewrote men’s dressing rules for 2019. Elegantly gangster with the sharp tailoring balanced by the Joan Crawford shoulders and Dorothy red slippers. The gent next to him is texting his tailor.
Ava Max was Kiss Army meets a space stripper. Hideous.
Blac Chyna’s shoes were fun, and matched her cushion cover.
Lil’ Kim was like a human exploding party popper celebrating her escape from a modern-day gladiator ring.
Reality star Donna Lombardi came as a jazzy speed skater.
Brandon Lee had a touch of the retro Russian gymnast, a touch of the clean suburban ice dealer but fortunately hasn’t inherited the skank dressing gene from parents Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee.
Heidi Klum looked as good as she usually does.
The new Prince? Lil Nas X was brilliantly pantomime but also quite itchy, I suspect. He’s going to get a stack of wear out of those boots.
Justina Valentine went full-on nasty. Interpret that as you will.
Lenny Kravitz: double (boot cut) denim, cobweb singlet and white cowboy boot, and I’d still give almost everything to go to the disco with him.
Bebe Rexha was quite cool but the dress would have been better as a midi. Too Dancing with the Stars.
Whoever you are, Bad Bunny, this was unsettling and very interesting. Masks are hard to pull off. Is that a parachute?
I can’t even, Chanel West Coast.
Billy Ray Cyrus demonstrated what it looks like to lose Liam Hemsworth as a son-in-law by wearing the fashion equivalent of comfort eating.
Cardi B and Pepa from Salt’n’Pepa were excellent ambassadors for the business: Chokers, leopard print and a red dress that was beautifully appropriate.
It’s always hard to tell if Diplo is having a laugh. I sincerely hope not. Screen-printed Nashville style takes dedication.
Halsey went daring flamenco and it worked. Except the rainbow hair.
Johnny Venus and Doctur Dot of EarthGang were from another planet. I’d love those culottes for my next trans-seasonal holiday.
Kevin, Joe and Nick Jonas played it straight. Too straight? Their laser stares and Kevin’s janitor footwear say yes.
FKA Twigs looked needlessly complicated, in an outre version of Tarzan’s lap lap.
When you’re Queen Latifah you can get away with a fringed slacksuit.
Not for everyone and veered into costume dressing, but Normani aced this rainbow sarong and resisted busy accessories.
Young Bae came up with a solution for those days one leg is hot and one so cold it needs to be encased in pleather.
Quin and 6LACK were a dangerously good antidote to saccharine pop dressing. Terrifyingly cool.