Wow, it seems like forever since I’ve posted a red carpet review. And this one is certainly a doozy. The stars really….well, “outdid themselves” isn’t quite the right expression. “Let it all hang out” might be more literally applicable. It was a veritable ocean of skin and cleavage and sideboob out there on the red carpet.
Let’s start with the worst offender: Miley Cyrus and her silver-duct-tape-and-part-of-a-chandelier look:
Miley has a beautiful figure. And when she’s not wearing a goofy, lascivious expression with her tongue wrapped halfway around her head, she also has a beautiful face. But the weird Star Trek alien princess look is too over the top, even for the VMAs. We get that you want to be considered an adult, Miley. We even get that you want everyone to know that you’re comfortable with your own sexuality. But we still don’t want that sexuality rubbed in our faces quite so blatantly. Toss a sheer little frock or skin-toned leotard under this and it could have been cutting-edge couture without being gross. The diamond loincloth is actually lovely, and the silver boots are fabulous. Even the funky tiara kind of works. Maybe Miley needs to reverse Coco Chanel’s advice, and after she finishes getting dressed, put one thing back ON.
Miley could have used Nicki Minaj as an example of being very sexy and showing some skin without going totally overboard.
Nicki’s gold, figure-hugging gown was cut down to her navel and had peekaboo skirt panels all the way up her thighs. It might have been over the top at the Oscars, but here at the VMAs, it hit just the right notes. Her sleek, shiny raven hair and understated makeup kept the look not too outrageous. She looked stunning and sexy. This ensemble was an absolute win for her.
Serayah had another skin-revealing yet somehow relatively conservative look.
Worn over a very modest white bikini, her all-white ensemble was shredded all over, covering yet revealing at the same time. I loved the way the fabric strips were echoed in her high, white gladiator sandals. I would have loved to have seen a pop of either color or sparkly metallic or gems in a clutch, choker, or earrings, but with her beautiful coloring, sleeked-back hair, and exotic eyes, she still looked stunning in the pure white.
Kat Graham chose to go with a very different look – more casual and less revealing, but still totally eye-catching.
Her brightly patterned strapless minidress was kicky and fun, and paired with her cute curly retro ‘do, sky-high black stilettos, and floor-brushing tasseled bag, she looked ready to party.
Demi Lovato also went with a cocktail dress rather than a gown.
I liked the dress itself, with the graceful art deco lines and the plunging neckline. I loved the matching shoes. I even loved the matching retro frosted pink makeup. But the color was all wrong for her, making her look faded and drab. The exact same dress in fire engine red or emerald green would have been absolutely stunning, but the pale pink just didn’t work on her.
For the ultimate in conservative and covered up, yet completely sexy, Selena Gomez showed us how to do it right.
With a slight sheen and texture to the fabric, figure-hugging silhouette, almost-see-through sleeves, and a racy leather placket on the just barely zipped-down zipper on the bodice, Selena shows how to show it off without showing it. The unrelieved black from her hair to her shoes to her nail polish to her jewelry added a touch of class. This was a fantastic look all around.
Taylor Swift also opted for a surprisingly toned-down look, which unfortunately didn’t work for me.
It certainly wasn’t awful; the shoes were fantastic, her hair and makeup were great, and I even liked the fabric. In fact, I really liked the long-sleeved, midriff-baring top. I guess it was just the pants that ruined the outfit for me. High-waisted, flood-length metallic sweatpants can’t even be pulled off by Taylor Swift. A full miniskirt, a long pencil skirt with a deep slit, even a pair of tight Mary Tyler Moore capris would have worked. But the bagginess and awkward length just fell flat.
A patterned metallic look that worked much better was the gown worn by Keltie Knight.
The body-hugging, clingy silhouette and broad V-neck were sexy, but balanced by long sleeves and no leg showing. The skirt had a great is-it-or-isn’t-it see-through look, with a black brief seeming to show through just a bit. I loved the 1920s-style feather pattern on the skirt and the narrow gold belt. I didn’t love the overdone bronzer and nude lipstick, but did appreciate that the colors were in keeping with the palette of the dress, unifying the look. Overall, it was a look that really worked well.
Rocsi Diaz was a good example of almost but not quite.
Let me start off by saying that I WANT THOSE SHOES. The narrow metallic toe strap, the tiny black ankle strap, and the fabulous black and white butterflies covering the heels were just fantastic. And her gorgeous shiny hair and absolutely perfect makeup could not possibly have been any better. But the dress…the concept is terrific, but the execution is just a tiny bit off. Asymmetry is wonderful and eye-catching, but if it makes your boobs look uneven or mismatched, it doesn’t work. The concept of a simple, snug-fitting pencil skirt with an unusual top is a terrific one, but a skirt should never be so tight that it shows you belly-button or has crinkles between your thighs. That’s not fitted; that’s badly fitted. If the cutout over the cleavage had been slightly narrower to balance the bust, and the skirt had been merely snug instead of tight, this would have been one of the best looks of the night.
Vanessa Hudgens’ was another almost but not quite look for me.
Like Diaz, the concept was great, but the execution was a bit lacking. The “woodland nymph” concept is a great idea for her, with her exotic pixie face and that gorgeous long mane of wavy hair. I loved the gems tucked in her hair and the forward-arching drop earrings; I loved the huge stack of gold bangles and the oversized butterfly ring. I even loved the long ivory crescent moon necklace. But the long mop of hair was competing with and drawing focus from the necklace. And as much as I loved the 3-D flowers on the skirt, the look was too busy against all the jewelry above. Just a few carefully placed flowers would have toned it down beautifully. The dark champagne color blended into her skin, which normally wouldn’t work for me, but with all the other details going on, that actually made a smooth canvas for the woodland theme that I really liked. So not a perfect look, but very, very close. A little bit less would have been a whole lot more.
There were a number of outfits that weren’t terrible but were just kind of blah and unmemorable for me.
Brandi Cyrus wore a black lace and spangles minidress that just left me flat – cute shoes, though.
Zuri Hall’s plain white cocktail dress was more suited to the junior prom than the VMAs. Not horrible, just too bland and boring for this event. But I do love the Tiffany-blue snakeskin bag.
Tori Kelly’s romper was another not horrible but boring look. It wasn’t particularly flattering, it didn’t have any eye-catching details, it was just kind of…there. At least her wild mop of blond curls screamed VMAs.
Kelli Osborne tends to be hit or miss on the red carpet, and this outfit is a definite miss. The double-breasted top is begging to be fitted, not baggy, and the pinstripes on the skirt (or possibly pants) going in multiple directions break up the lines and look wrinkled and badly fitting. It’s not the worst thing I’ve ever seen her wear, but I can’t like this one because I know she can do so much better. She is wearing great shoes, and judging by her big crimson grin she’s having a great time, and that’s really what matters most.
And last, but not least, Jillian Michaels (nope, I don’t have any idea why she was at the VMAs, either) wore an outfit that should have been terrific but for some reason just fell flat. I actually like the red satin capris, and the matching red satin lace-up sandals are to die for. But I think the complete monotone palette from the waist up is what brings the boring. Her golden hair, golden tan, and gold mesh crop top all blend together to vanish into the background. As tacky as it might sound, a matching red satin bra under the gold top might have broken up the expanse of gold enough to pull the look together.
But please don’t tell Jillian I didn’t love her outfit. She’d break me in half.