Now, on to the reviews! I have grouped most of the looks into categories.
Ladies in Red
Any red carpet event always has plenty of cleavage on display, and last night was no exception. Although it was mainly plunging v-necks, there were a few other styles of cleavage-baring gowns in parade. This category includes Celine Dion, Jennifer Lopez, Kristin Cavallari, and Tinashe. Dion was stunning in an emerald spangled column with plunging neckline and open-fronted skirt drawn into a wide green ribbon belt with a diamond buckle. It emphasized her tall, slender figure, and was just soft enough to offset her severe, slicked-back hairstyle which set off her gorgeous diamond drop earrings. Lopez wore a soft lavender chiffon gown with a full train and an open keyhole neckline, although I wasn't a fan of the stiff tulle poufed collar. Cavallari's black halter gown had a broad, curved v-neck held together by tiny straps, but the feature I really loved was the side slit with full black mesh insert. The unexpected detail added interest to what could have been a bland gown and instead made it quite striking. Tinashe's black satin gown had some interesting criss-cross straps, but the overly open bodice and cleavage was not flattering - her breasts seemed to be defying gravity in a very artificial and not pretty way. Definitely a bit of a mixed bag in this category.
Frothy and Feminine
Lace and Openwork
One-shouldered gowns is another trend that is becoming more and more popular, and were worn last night by Kat Graham, Laverne Cox, and Solange Knowles. Graham's bold spangled black, white, and red diagonally-striped gown was a column that ended in a rather unfortunate side train. The heaviness of the beaded fabric was too stiff for the length of the train, and did not move well. I loved Cox's tea-length leather sheath with metallic lacing up each side and a slight shoulder drape. It was simple but interesting, hip but not weird, and sexy but not revealing. Knowles, on the other hand, had a little too much of everything: the color was too mustardy, the ruffle on the sleeve was too big, the peplum was too long, and the hairstyle was too wild. I did love the pleated skirt that flared just a bit as it brushed the floor, and the short crisp pleated ruffle along the neckline, but the other details were just out of proportion.
Metallics also encompasses a wide range of styles, three of which were sported by Katy Perry, Lauren Daigle, and Cassadee Pope. Perry's gown had two distinct sections: a loose-fitting dropped waist gold lame top with long sleeves and a high round neck, and a column skirt of champagne eyelash fabric (or possibly marabou feathers). I liked both parts, but they didn't really work together. The skirt was very 1920s but the top was distinctly 1970s. Daigle's sleek silver fitted column, on the other hand, was modern with hints of 1920s art deco beading adding just enough visual interest to make the simple cut work. Pope's silver draped gown featured an almost cowl-style neckline revealing a long but narrow line of cleavage, and the full skirt with long train flared beautiful from the hip. The fabric itself was interesting enough to not require any additional detailing.
Other Looks of Note
Adele struggles with choosing age- and figure-appropriate red carpet gowns, often looking somewhat matronly. This olive green gown with pretty geometric patterning is one of her more flattering looks. The waistband hits her at the narrowest part of her body, emphasizing her curves, and the combination of soft, draping fabric with angular lines is interesting and flattering. It's not the best color on her, but I'm so happy that she's not wearing plain black again that I don't mind.
Hillary Scott's black column with mesh yoke and covered with silver stars was simple, but fresh and pretty, and worthy of mention. It's a beautiful look without needing to be couture - which is a good thing.
I loved how well-unified yet individual Little Big Town's looks were. The women both wore eggplant gowns, but in totally different styles that reflected their personalities: one with a long flared trumpet gown with plunging neckline, shoulder cutouts, and (I think) a small capelet, and the other an ankle-length beaded vintage gown with bell sleeves and a fringed hem. The men also both went formal in their own ways, both wearing standard black tuxes with satin collars, but one with a black shirt and black long tie, and the other with a crisp white shirt and no tie. I only wish they had kept this look for their onstage performance.