Monday, November 19, 2012

The 2012 AMAs: Fashion Review


Let me begin with the disclaimer that I did not actually watch the American Music Awards last night. However, since I know that my fashion reviews are appreciated by some of my blog readers, I took one for the team and perused some online photos of the stars in their red carpet couture. Here is my review of some of the notable fashions. And since I’ve been immersed in 5-star ratings of late, I have given each performer a fashion score out of 5 stars.

Justin Bieber
This ensemble isn’t especially offensive. The pants aren’t overly baggy or hanging halfway down his butt, and all-black is (almost) always classy, but the low scoop neck showing a peep of tattoo is a bit tacky and what is up with the string of pearls? If he weighed more than 120 pounds he might have been able to pull it off, but since that baby-face still makes him look like he’s 14, it just wasn’t working for him. Final score: 2.5 stars.
Carrie Underwood
Carrie would look adorable wearing a sack, so it’s hard for her to make too severe of a fashion misstep. The royal blue of this dress looks smashing on her, and the zig-zag cut is interesting without being too wacky or distracting. I’m not a big fan of the Sharpie eyeliner and nude lips, but her mega-watt smile makes it work for her. Small deduction for the clunky shoes. Final score: 4 stars.
Carly Rae Jepsen
I’m not sure how old Carly Rae is, but I’m guessing well under 18, so kudos to her (or her stylist) for dressing her in a stylish, age-appropriate dress that manages to flatter a figure that hasn’t quite developed yet. It’s sparkly yet subtle, plunging without being inappropriately sexy, and feminine pink without being too girly. Not loving the mussed-up ‘do, but the subtle eye makeup and bright pink lips pull the whole look together in a fresh, innocent but not na├»ve look. 4.5 stars.
Brandy
In theory, this black-and-gold salute to ancient Egypt should have worked. But instead, it comes off as grandma’s old shawl tucked into a belt over a boring black sweater-dress. It’s lumpy and bulky in all the wrong places, and the weirdly finished neckline and zigzag gold hem make it look like mom didn’t have a chance to finish sewing it in time. Final score: 1.5 stars.
Linkin Park
I’m not sure if grunge is finally out or if these guys cleaned up for the show, but either way, they’re looking pretty good. Their facial hair is neatly trimmed, their hair looks like it’s been washed within the past couple of days, and they all seem to be wearing some semblance of a jacket. The guy on the right looks a bit like he just wandering in from changing a tire on the tour bus, but on the whole they’re looking stylish and appropriate. Final score: 3 stars.
MC Hammer
Crisp black and white is always a good choice for the red carpet. The snow-white suit, relieved by black cuffs and a single black lapel, impeccably shined shoes, and a modified version of the star’s signature parachute pants are the perfect mix of classic formality and personal style. Final score: 5 stars.
Luke Bryan
I have no idea who this guy is, but I like his style. Classic black tux with a long black tie over a crisp, deep navy shirt, just a hint of casualness in the turned-back cuffs, a bit of a scruffy beard, and the requisite big pearly grin. Bonus points for bringing back the tie clip. Final score: 5 stars.
Cyndi Lauper
If Cyndi Lauper isn’t dressed a bit wackily, she’s not Cyndi Lauper. However, she’s got a little too much disconnected wacky going on here for my taste. It looks like she let a 3-year-old cut her bangs - and her leggings - with safety scissors. I love the flared black leather jacket with the attached tartan drape, but the lack of pants is a bit disturbing. The bright red lips are as adorable as they’ve been for the past 30 years, though. Final score: 3.5 stars.
Tyler Glenn
This look came sooo close to being a big hit, but he should have taken Coco Chanel’s advice and, after he got dressed, taken one thing off. And that thing should have been the jacket. I love the bold purple shirt contrasting with his white hair and dark brows, and the studded collar adds the right level of bling. I’m not sure why, but I even really like the skinny, shiny, just-a-hair-too-short pants, and the black shoes with studs echoing the shirt collar. But the girl-cut silver jacket is a bit too early Elton John and spoils the effect. Final score: 4 stars.
Nicky Minaj
This dress makes my eyes hurt. The color is just painful. Plus, it’s too long and too bulky for her, and although the chunky, contrasting jewelry is the perfect proportion, I can hardly tear my eyes away from the dress to look at it. She manages to make the heavy eye makeup and cotton-candy pink lips work, but the painfully platinum, giant hair is all out of proportion. Final score: 1 star.
Lance Bass
Not many men could pull off a skinny, shiny, cobalt blue tux, but Lance does it with style and ease. From the casually open color of the black shirt to the artfully tamed fauxhawk, Lance oozes style and class while still being funky and unique. Final score: 5 stars.
Jordin Sparks
Jordin is a beautiful, young girl with a lovely figure, but you’d never know it to see her in this dress. It looks like her grandmother’s afghan, with angular stripes that do not flatter her hips, a plunging neckline with a modesty panel that’s a little TOO modest, and severe, slicked-back hair and minimal makeup. Her beautiful smile saved her from a complete failure, though. Final score: 1 star.
Will.i.am
As my mother would have said, “He’s just a mess.” Leather pants are hot; baggy leather pants are not. His droopy, zipper-front jacket looks like the lining of the jacket he was supposed to wear. Although the fanged hat is the absolute envy of my 3-year-old, it’s not particularly appropriate for the red carpet. And I’m not sure what the red stripes at his ankles are, but I think they might be the remnants of the restraints from when he broke out of the crazy farm. Final score: 1 star.
Karmin (Amy Heidemann and Nick Noonan)
Ladies first: Amy Heidemann’s dress is a beautiful shiny print fabric with just a hint of peplum, a big keyhole cutout that shows off a cute figure without being too cleavage-y, and a vintage 40s starlet hairdo that complements her retro red lips and catseye makeup perfectly. The coordinating cobalt nail polish and clutch are the ideal finishing touch. Final score: 5 stars.
And now the gentleman: Nick Noonan wears a coordinating deep blue tux made a bit more casual by a white cotton shirt (it's a pity the lapels weren’t just a bit crisper), and grey-blue suede shoes adding a retro touch. The hair and beard could have been a bit neater, as could the lumpy pocket square. Final score: 4 stars.
 
Bottom line? A few stars need to find a new stylist, including 1-star-ers Nicky Minaj, Jordin Sparks, and will.i.am. The perfect 5-star winners of the night were MC Hammer, Luke Bryan, Lance Bass, and Amy Heidemann, with Carly Rae Jepsen a very respectable runner-up with 4.5 stars. It’s not often that the men are the fashion stars at an awards show, but the men did themselves very proud last night.

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