Unlike the more dignified Hollywood awards shows, MTV’s annual Video Music Awards call for a bit more pageantry and experimentation in terms of style. After all, what other industry event brings such memorable moments as Miley Cyrus’ twerk-athon last year, Kanye West bum-rushing Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech back in 2009, or even Britney Spears making out with Madonna onstage? True to form, the 2014 VMAs spectacle didn’t fail to deliver the sizzle factor.
Coming in hot off the debut of her buzzy, bootylicious music video for “Anaconda” (which has racked up nearly 65 million page views over the past five days), Nicki Minaj kept things relatively tame on the red carpet in a long-sleeve, python-print Saint Laurent minidress, before kicking off the show by narrowly avoiding a wardrobe malfunction while performing alongside Ariana Grande and Jessie J. Meanwhile, the Kardashian-Jenner klan kept up their summer tour de force in respective low-cut numbers. (Kim’s tribal look was just one part of Balmain’s VMAs coup, which also included Joan Smalls and Chanel Iman.)
Perhaps the most divisive sartorial choice of the evening came from Taylor Swift, who nearly pulled off a pastel lace Mary Katrantzou Resort ’15 playsuit thanks to her killer stems. Meanwhile, we were surprised to see Miley Cyrus actually opt to wear pants; her black leather Alexandre Vauthier Couture bustier and matching high-waisted trousers were a step up in the fashion stakes.
As far as teenage taste levels go, it doesn’t get more elevated than Chloë Grace Moretz out-classing just about everyone there in the opening look from Louis Vuitton’s recent Cruise collection. Ditto goes for Lorde vamping about in Chanel. On the flip side of the equation, it doesn’t get better than Katy Perry and Riff Raff paying homage to Britney and Justin Timberlake (that infamous fashion don’t from the 2001 American Music Awards) in their Versace head-to-toe denim ensembles.
Among the others who pulled out all the stops tonight were Iggy Azalea, looking extra “Fancy” in metallic Atelier Versace, as well as Rita Ora, who wore a red silk Donna Karan Atelier gown boasting a hip-high slit that “might overheat your computer,” as the public relations e-mail blast warned. Last but not least is, of course, Beyoncé—in transparent black Nicolas Jebran—who deserves a “Flawless” category all her own. Still, our only lingering question remains: Where was Rihanna?
Below, Style.com rounds up our hits and misses from the 2014 VMAs.
Triple Threat: Kim Kardashian, in Balmain Resort ’15, with sisters Kendall and Kylie Jenner.
Onesie Direction: Taylor Swift pulled off a look in Mary Katrantzou’s pastel lace playsuit.
Snake Charmer: Nicki Minaj kept it relatively tame in an “Anaconda”-print Saint Laurent mini.
Youth Quaker: Chloë Grace Moretz continued to impress in a pink look fresh off Louis Vuitton’s Cruise runway.
Queen Bee: Beyoncé was flawless on the red carpet in sheer black Nicolas Jebran. She ended the night on a high note with her powerful performance.
Double Vision: Riff Raff and Katy Perry channeled Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears’ infamous his-and-hers denim moment circa 2001 in denim Versace ensembles.
Smile Back: Jeremy Scott’s emoji-native yellow tuxedo.
Odd Couple: Miley Cyrus, in Alexandre Vauthier Couture, and Snoop Dogg made for a priceless pair.
Selfie Esteem: Nick Jonas shared a moment with his fans.
Cream of the Crop Top: Jourdan Dunn paired Balmain’s black bandeau with a slinky maxi skirt. (Bonus: Peep Joan Smalls, also in Balmain, in the background.)
Fancy That: Iggy Azalea sparkled in Atelier Versace alongside boyfriend Nick Young.
Smooth Operator: Usher rocked a crisp white button-up and sneakers.
Chanel Changer: Chanel Iman worked Balmain’s body-con LBD.
Diva Alert: Rita Ora and Jennifer Lopez sizzled in Donna Karan Atelier and Charbel Zoé, respectively.
Lady Is a Vamp: Lorde kept up her all-black-everything streak in Chanel.
Every day, we ask Style.com readers to decide “who wore it best” in our Look of the Day polls. Sometimes, we aren’t surprised by your choices—for example, Chanel is always a safe bet for first place. But when we asked you to choose between Beyoncé and Rihanna on Thursday, we were on the edge of our seats waiting to see the results. Both chart-toppers wore similar looks—denim cutoffs and crop tops—but Bey’s printed blouse and glinty gold crown earned her the top prize. Maybe next week, RiRi. Earlier in the week, we rounded up our favorite ’60s-inspired minidresses, like the ones we saw at Gucci and Miu Miu at the Fall ’14 shows. Chloë Grace Moretz won your vote in a pastel embroidered Miu Miu frock at the premiere of her new movie, If I Stay, but Alexa Chung’s lacy number was a close second. What else was on Style.com’s radar this week? Skater skirts, the Teen Choice Awards, and even summertime fur. See all of this week’s winners (and a few runners-up) here.
Here at Style.com, we’re already knee-deep in fashion month prep. In addition to seeing hundreds of new collections in New York, London, Milan, and Paris, we’re anticipating another impressive crop of street-style photos, which dictate how everyone will dress this fall. Until then, we’re still clicking through our favorite street-style moments from couture, Copenhagen fashion week, Montauk, and beyond. For Monday’s Look of the Day poll, we gathered our favorite bandanna looks of late, including Caroline Brasch Nielsen, who stepped out with a paisley Chanel bag outside the couture shows. Worn with a casual men’s shirt, it’s clear why she earned first place. Cleo Wade and Mia Moretti wore bold Moschino bandanna tops at Lollapalooza, and we’ve been trying to figure out a way to DIY them ever since. On Wednesday, we celebrated our favorite (and super-easy) beauty trend: the high, messy bun. Katie Holmes won your vote at the Life Is Amazing film event in New York, where she sported a soft bun, smoky eyeliner, and a dramatic one-shoulder top. Cara Delevingne was a close second: Paired with a gilded gown, her fluffy bun looked edgy and unexpected. What else was on our minds this week? Boyish trousers, Madonna’s greatest hits, and so much more. See all of the week’s winners here.
What do Kim Kardashian and Rihanna have in common? Other than world-famous rear views, both are coveting Ulyana Sergeenko’s silky kimonos. Kim wore a teal robe to Jimmy Kimmel Live, while Rihanna styled her nude version with a matching bodysuit at the MTV Movie Awards. We dedicated a Look of the Day poll to the boudoir-inspired trend on Wednesday, then asked you to play favorites. It didn’t surprise us that Rihanna took first place. What else was on our minds this week? On Monday, we rounded up our favorite high necklines of late. In a sequined black Tamara Mellon dress, Karlie Kloss looked sexy and chic without revealing too much skin. Her look won first place, followed by Lottie Moss’ more casual blue suede number. On Tuesday, we turned our attention to our favorite performances at the Lollapalooza music festival in Chicago. Indie It girl Jenny Lewis took to the stage in a starry rainbow suit, which won your vote by a landslide. And on Friday, we had a little too much fun hunting down photos of Pharrell-inspired Western hats. The musician’s Vivienne Westwood topper sparked a global phenomenon last January, inspiring stylish risk-takers like Anna Dello Russo to try one on for size. See all of the week’s winning looks here, plus a few runners-up for extra inspo.
If you haven’t heard yet, “summer blacks” (©Style.com) are in. Not only has the tried-and-true trend cropped up in the streets, the recent Resort collections, and the Style.com office, but it’s also been making frequent appearances on the red carpet. A glowing Rosamund Pike, who’s pregnant with her second child, chose a black, one-shouldered pleated Prada baby-doll dress for the Berlin premiere of Hector and the Search for Happiness on Tuesday. Heidi Klum rocked a shimmering, form-fitting Roberto Cavalli LBD for Wednesday’s America’s Got Talent postshow event in New York. And the next day, Marion Cotillard took to the red carpet in a black wool Dior dress from the Fall ’14 runway at the London premiere of Two Days, One Night.
While a lot of celebs played it safe this week and stuck to trusty styles that couldn’t fail, a trio of relatively unknown ladies caught our eye. They might not be household names just yet, but these fresh faces piqued our interest with standout styles. On Monday, What If actress Mackenzie Davis stepped out in a look from Nicolas Ghesquiè
re’s Fall ’14 Louis Vuitton collection for the film’s New York premiere. Elsewhere in the city, Charlotte Le Bon posed on the red carpet in a sheer, lace-paneled white frock from red-carpet favorite Elie Saab’s Pre-Fall ’14 lineup at Monday night’s premiere of her new film, The Hundred-Foot Journey. The following evening, Hannah Tointon turned heads in a pale pink satin Spring ’14 Prabal Gurung sheath at the world premiere of The Inbetweeners 2 in London. Needless to say, these Hollywood freshmen are off to a promising start. We’ll be watching, ladies.