Tuesday, February 16, 2016

The 2016 Grammy Awards: Red Carpet Review

I missed most of the Grammys last night, but I was looking forward to checking out all the red carpet fashions this morning. What a disappointment!! The vast majority of outfits were downright boring. Even by Oscar/Tony standards, most of these clothes were dull as dishwater. Look at the kinds of things that the “mainline” stars (i.e., anyone that I actually recognized) were wearing.

Adele wore a shapeless gown in basic black with limp hair and zero accessories. Oh honey, you can do so much better than this!

Andra Day’s gown was a lovely color but it was not well-tailored, the hem clumped rather than puddling or floating, and the poofy fur stole and matching shoes were just…weird. And not good weird. Great hair and makeup, though. 

Ariana Grande’s gown was pretty but predictable. Red flared column, spaghetti straps, train. Yawn.

Ashley Monroe’s gown was a gorgeous color on her but it hung like someone had tossed the entire bolt of fabric in her general direction and then snipped off the hem and a huge keyhole decollete. Blah.

Carrie Underwood’s gown was lovely (as always), but combined with her oddly slicked-back hairdo and overdone spray tan, she landed solidly in the “meh” category for me this time. 

Out of this whole batch, Demi Lovato probably came the closest to success, in my opinion. For most other red carpets, this look would have been a win. But it’s entirely too tame for the Grammys. She looks elegant, mature, and glamourous. But the Grammys are the place to be wild, cutting edge, and glam (which is NOT the same thing as glamourous). Cut loose a little, honey. Save this look for the Oscars. 

I’m pretty sure I’ve seen Ellie Goulding’s dress at several high school proms. Pretty, but far from couture. And what’s up with the 1980s flipped hair?

Kaley Cuoco’s look was a decent concept, but poorly executed. The vest-style top is baggy at the sides instead of hugging her body, and the pants are just a hair too long to hang properly. Plus, the whole ensemble has an unfinished look to it – it needs some kind of polish or accessory to complete the look. A statement necklace, fabulous bright shoes, or a fancy updo might have worked wonders.

Kasey Musgraves chose fun colors, but the cut and fabric of this gown are just fluffy and dull. It’s like a bad Muppet. 

Selena Gomez’s gown was another in the “pretty but boring” category. It’s a lovely color and I like the side cutouts, but the bodice is just a little bit droopy and again, the look is just too simple and bland for the Grammys. Save it for the Oscars. 

Taylor Swift’s look was a bit closer to what I expect for Grammy couture: not a tradition gown, and showing off her taut abs and mile-long legs. I loved the electric pink skirt that opened at the front to reveal modest, high-waisted briefs, and that ended in a huge soft puddle. But it clashed with the coral bandeau top, which was a bit too simple. A chunky necklace incorporating both colors might have been enough to tie the outfit together and make it work. Bonus points for her new short locks. 

Tori Kelly gown’s was one of my favorites, but not for the Grammys. It’s a gorgeous color, I love the wrap bodice, and the body of the skirt gives it beautiful structure without stiffness. But it’s Oscar, not Grammy. Step outside the box!

Now on to a few folks who did get into the spirit of the Grammys and step outside the box. A few of these were too wild and over the top, but a few hit just the right notes of outrageous but still fashionable. And who else to lead off that pack but Lady Gaga?
As terrifying as I found Gaga’s foot-high red satin platforms, they were a nice nod to the Asian-inspired cobalt blue wrap jacket with swirled black and silver embroidery and samurai-styled sharp shoulder details. The fabric held its shape without looking stiff or uncomfortable, and the bright orange wig and stark, angular makeup were a lovely tribute to David Bowie.

Bella Hadid channeled Morticia Addams in this plunging-fronted black gown with stark, sleek, middle-parted dark hair and a wrap skirt with long tails in front. Daring and edgy, as Grammy fashion should be.

Beyonce attempted to be cutting edge, but I found her look to be all over the map. The bodice (which did not fit as well as it could have) reminded me of the schoolmarm blouses that were all the rage in the early 80s, while the lace detailing and tulle skirt were reminiscent of a wedding gown. And her slicked-back hair against the full gown threw off her proportions. Not a successful look for her. 

On the other hand, I loved Bonnie McKee’s look. Her cropped metallic suit with wide-open front was softened by her feminine pale pink waved hair and adorable pink shoes, resulting in a look that was sultry yet flirty and revealing yet not over the top. A great Grammys look. 

I was fascinated by Skylar Grey’s gown. It began at the neck with a heavy fabric collar that descended into a semi-see-through bodice of painted faces that went down to her knees, with see-through fitted arms and a long, transparent drape falling from her shoulders to the floor. It was both covered up and revealing, with an exotic look that didn’t quite land in a single era or ethnicity. The tightly twisted, high bun was the perfect topper.

 Zendaya Coleman changed up her look significantly since last I saw her on the red carpet. Looking very boyish in this straight-cut double-breasted suit with a honey-blond mullet, she seems to be trying to prove that she’s not a Disney kid any more. It may not be the most successful attempt to send that message, but she’s definitely working the look and I respect her for it.

And here are the completely wild and over the top looks! This is why I love the Grammys’ red carpet: the insanity. The delicious, sartorial insanity.

Jacqueline Van Bierk wore a fabulous, futuristic, fairy-winged concoction that was right off the cover of a fantasy novel. Black leaves sprouted from her shoulders like wings, a long shiny cape fell from her shoulders and puddled on the floor, leather gauntlets sported bright pink feathers, and tiny leaves twined down the front of her transparent bodysuit providing just enough coverage. Topped with a black and pink ponytail fountaining from the top of her head and electric pink platform gladiator sandals, Van Bierk completely embodied the spirit of wild Grammy fashion.

 Joy Villa showed off all her assets in this strappy, spiky “bodysuit” over a g-string and not much else. Paired with studded leather gauntlets and topped off with a Vegas showgirl headdress, Villa certainly made a statement on the red carpet.

Manika looked like she had stepped directly out of a circus ring onto the red carpet, wearing a fringed, spangled silver bikini with a gauzy, near-invisible overlay and silver ankle boots. I’m only surprised she didn’t arrive riding an elephant.

And last, but by no means least, Dencia takes the cake for the weirdest (if also the most comfortable) red carpet look of all.

Her bedazzled Pepto Bismol pink “Hello Kitty” snuggie was complete with multiple stuffed Hello Kitty dolls sewn onto the legs and a diamond Chanel logo brooch. Her platform sandals appeared to be encrusted with multicolored shells and beads, her fuzzy platinum wig was topped with a pair of pink polka-dot hair bows, and she finished off the look with pink jeweled cats eye glasses. Huh?

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