One of the looks we've been seeing all over the red carpet this season is a long see-through lace gown worn over various types of undergarments. This was definitely one of the most popular styles last night, seen on Hannah Davis, Kat Graham, Idina Menzel, Gigi Hadid, and Teyana Taylor.
Davis' cobalt blue lace overlay covered a strapless black bra and high-cut panty set, with long, slightly belled sleeves and a flared train. Feminine, elegant, and not too revealing, the graceful lines of the lace and the undergarments were sultry without being tacky, and the gorgeous color set her dress apart from the mainstream black version.
Graham's fishnet-patterned overlay was low cut in front and had oddly flared sleeves and a high slit in the straight skirt. She was braless and wore a low, straight-cut panty that created an unflattering line at the widest point of her hip. Her ding-toed stance did not help the line of this boring, droopy dress.
Menzel's strapless column featured a black and silver starburst over the leotard-style undergarment, and the skirt flared into a long, graceful train. It created beautiful lines and looked less bare than many other versions.
Hadid's white lace column wasn't quite as see-through as some, which I really liked. I also liked the variations of zig-zag patterns in the lace and the to-the-waist ruffle on the bodice, although it was worn a bit too low. But overall, this was a great variation of this look.
Another extremely popular detail seen on many attendees was the extremely plunging neckline, worn by Lady Gaga, Milla Jovovich, Bailee Madison, Bebe Rexha, Hailee Steinfeld, and Olivia Munn.
Gaga opted for the shirtless tuxedo look, with a tailored white tuxedo jacket, wide-legged pants (slightly too long, but otherwise gorgeously cut), and a huge white picture hat. I loved the feminine touches of the hat and the satin underlay of the lapels. A nice twist on an old favorite.
Jovovich's plunging neckline was mirrored by a deep and wide front slit in a beautifully textured black column with just a bit of peekaboo paneling at the waist and in the sleeves. The long straight lines gave her beautiful height and the stark black worked well with her coloring. A very striking look.
Rexha's neckline was too wide and insecure-looking, but I did love the way it wrapped into the waist, and the waist-high slit paired with over-the-knee suede boots was the perfect complement to the fabulous jungle print. A slightly narrowed neckline and this look would have been perfect.
Steinfeld's turquoise romper tucked the deep vee into a wide leather belt, and appeared to continue into an endless loop forming the skirt/shorts and wrapping back up into a capelet, which was a great touch. Her long, wavy hair cascading to cover some of the exposed skin softened the look and made it work for me. This is a great example of taking a popular trend in a unique direction and using really creative design techniques. A terrific look all around.
I don't often critique the men on the red carpet, because so many of them are often so generic. But despite a somewhat generic pattern of skinny-legged tuxes, the men generally did well last night in creating some unique looks worthy of commentary.
James Bay put the "skinny" in "skinny pants" in these impossibly slim black velvet trousers, paired with a short black and silver brocade jacket, plain black tee, and wide-brimmed hat. I loved the combination of textures in the fabrics, and although the hat was a bit small, it was an interesting and funky touch. Nicely done.
Mason Cook opted for a more traditionally cut tuxedo, with slim but not skinny pants, worn with a black dress shirt and narrow black tie and pointy-toed dress shoes. The beautiful but not-too-bright teal color brought it to the next level and created some personality. A great classic and youthful look with just the right touch of pizzazz.
Naill Horan's gray suit with perpendicular pinstripes (I'm sure there's a name for this pattern of fabric but I'm not sure what it is) had a nice, subtle sheen, and it worked well with the plain white pocket square and open-necked white shirt. But the brown shoes were a big fat miss. Tsk tsk.
Similar to James Bay, Tim McGraw also sported impossibly skinny skinny pants paired with a silvery-black brocade jacket and a hat. However, McGraw stuck with his country roots with jeans and a cowboy hat, and his tuxedo jacket featured a narrow satin shawl collar and matching cuffs on the pushed-up sleeves, worn over an open-necked placket shirt. A great look, combining country sensibilities with formal touches.
Shawn Mendes went more casual, with a black leather biker jacket over looser-fitting black dress pants and a textured charcoal gray shirt. Impeccably polished boots and swept back hair completed the look nicely.
Co-host Jay Pharoah went for class in this polished deep blue suit with notched satin lapels, white dress shirt, and narrow black satin tie, finished off with perfectly shiny pointy-toed dress shoes. A very elegant look.
Sting mixed casual and class with slim-fit dark pants and casual jacket over a gray tee with black sneakers. Not a bad look, but shame on him for forgetting the sometimes-always-never rule of jacket buttons. Never button the bottom button unless the jacket is hanging on a hanger, not on you!
Ty Dolla $ign (how it pains me to type that) started with a simple base of black skinny jeans and a basic black tee, but then dressed it up with million-dollar dress shoes and a fantastic shiny leather jacket with broad, short lapels and patterned front inserts, topped off with a Smokey Bear hat and cool round shades. Classy and unique.
I'm always interested to see how groups make their looks work together (or don't). This year's groups, for the most part, did a nice job of creating unique individual looks that were still unified in some way among the whole group.
Green Day's wild hair and guyliner alone tended to unify them, but so did their choice of interesting textures and fabrics used in similar cut suits and a black and white palette. From black on black, to black velvet paired with a black-and-white patterned shirt, to shiny silver lame over black, each of these three personalized their look while fitting into the style of the group as a whole.
The Chainsmokers went with the popular style of skinny-cut tuxedos, but personalized them with contrasting colored print shirts, which was a nice touch.
The three members of Forever In Your Mind didn't do such a good job of coordinating their looks, outside of wearing black, slim-cut pants. A psychedelically-patterned colored sweater on one, a black-and-white polka-dotted shirt on another, a shiny tux and formal shirt on the third, along with a mixture of pant lengths just didn't create any sense that these three belonged together.
Fifth Harmony's red carpet look was nicely unified, with all black (okay, technically I think the middle dress is navy, but it's close enough to count) dresses in varied cuts and textures, with lots of wide diagonal swaths and tall strappy sandals. Each look suited the wearer's figure and personality, yet they all worked together.
Finally, there were some hits and misses worthy of mention. Some of these hit the mark and some didn't, but at least their wearers all took a risk and went outside the mainstream trends.
Cam's bright yellow column was a bit conservative by AMA standards, but the halter top was beautifully draped and fitted, the waist detailing was lovely and unusual, and the cascade of the skirt with just a peep of gladiator sandal was right on target.
Ciara's gown seemed an odd pairing of a thick black turtleneck with puffy shoulders with a 1980s bi-level and bi-color bubble skirt. The proportions were all wrong and looked clunky and heavy instead of airy.
The shimmer of Skylar Grey's pants and bodice added a bit of extra opacity so her outfit didn't look too exposed. I loved the open shirt worn as a jacket and the black button detail on the pants. I would have preferred a button or two more buttoned up in her undershirt, but she made a good choice to wear just a tiny chain necklace and allow her neck tattoo to be her main chest adornment.
I adored Jeannie Mai's cleverly-patterned white gown with red and black "tiles" down the front. It was as if she had a narrow column gown painted onto her flared white gown with a train. An unusual, fun, and eye-catching look.
Keke Palmer could have used a bit more coverage and support under her two-piece mesh dress, but I still liked her look. The fabric draped and moved beautifully, the detailed neck insert was lovely, and the puffy pale pink faux fur coat and pink sunglasses added a touch of color and femininity that softened what could have been a too-severe look. Not perfect, but very different and fun.