A Scathing Critique of Grammys Red Carpet Fashion

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The Grammy Awards are about music, and CBS’s broadcast is meant to be a celebration of popular and groundbreaking musicians and the art that they have created. What I focus on most, however, is the red carpet footage beforehand.

Slowly but surely, there has been a shift toward giving as much attention to what a celebrity wears as to what they win. While the Academy Awards and the Screen Actors Guild Awards both highlight fashion more than the Grammys, there is more of an emphasis on elegance. The Grammys are all about making a statement. For example, who could forget Jennifer Lopez’s shimmering green, below the navel, plunging neckline back in 2000? She even reminded us of it last night—as if we needed one.

It’s all about being bold. Because of this task, there are usually stunning hits and glaring misses. You probably got your fill of fashion criticism from E!’s Fashion Police (sans the incomparable Joan Rivers), but there is still room for more voices to fill the cacophonous void of opinions on the night’s most talked about looks.

First up was Adele. She may have amassed a remarkable amount of gold gramophones, but there was no award for this dress. The Givenchy, split pea soup-colored frock looked like it was handmade by Lord of the Rings hobbits. The tone worked for her skin tone and hair color, but the mishmosh of fabric designs within the dress made it look more dowdy than dazzling.

Lopez clearly reprised her role as one of Katherine Heigl’s fellow bridesmaids in 27 Dresses. She tried to spice up the Ralph and Russo light lavender gown by assaulting it with a slit and low-cut neckline—very tame for her—but then threw it all out of whack with a giant rat’s nest of tulle sticking out of her neck. She almost resembled a sexy Easter egg. Pastels? For spring? Groundbreaking.

But the odious looks didn’t end there. Katy Perry looked like she fell into a vat of melted rose gold but was saved by a passerby bird that just so happened to sacrifice itself for the bottom of the Tom Ford dress. Also, the turtleneck? Why? As if the longsleeves and cocoon of feathers around her lower half weren’t enough to keep her warm in the frigid Los Angeles winter.

Singer-songwriter/part-time goddess Rihanna usually stuns the red carpet for any and all events, so her look was very surprising. The shimmering orange sports bra-like top did no justice for her physique and neither did the monster of fabric attacking her from the waist down. The lack of a waistline took away from Rihanna’s shape and garnered more attention to the fact that the top and the bottom pieces from Armani Prive looked mismatched.

Taraji P. Henson, best known for her roles in Empire and Hidden Figures, crashed and burned like a fallen asteroid in her astronomically themed Marc Jacobs purple mini dress. The look wasn’t completely disastrous but Henson looked uncomfortable while walking the carpet, continuously pulling the hemline down and shifting herself in it where it looked too tight.

Rounding out the worst looks was Cee Lo Green. He looked like he was working the mainstage at Las Vegas’ The Golden Nugget as THE golden nugget. He resembled somewhat of a Ferrero Rocher wrapper. Wrong kind of rapper.

But thank goodness, there were plenty of redeeming looks of the evening.

Demi Lovato stunned in a skintight, nude, netted Julien Macdonald gown. The intricate detailing may have been underplayed because of the color but nonetheless photographed marvelously. Juxtaposed with her raven-colored tresses, Lovato embodied sultry sex appeal.

Carrie Underwood’s scarlet, Elie Madi gown was sinfully good. The embellishment grouped with the high neckline and front slit posed a possible fashion disaster but succeeded by the skin of its teeth. The dress mirrored the keyhole cut-out that Lovato’s gown featured which elevated the look even more.

Jidenna rocked the carpet with a self-designed cerulean, Nigerian-style, plain ankara outfit. The tailoring was on point, the pocket square was dapper, and the magenta, velvet slipper shoes added a dashing pop of color—as well as culture.

My last two favorite looks were actress and singer Lea Michele’s Roberto Cavalli’s embroidered two-piece gown and Solange Knowles’s gold, metallic one-sleeve peplum dress. Both outfits dared to be feminine and outlandish, bravely trying new styles and succeeding in their efforts.

The 59th Grammy Awards’ red carpet looks proved that while many amazed with their outfits, those who may have been rewarded for venturing into unchartered territory musically won’t be similarly recognized for their fashion risks.

Featured Image By Mic.com

Veronica Gordo

Veronica Gordo is the associate arts editor for The Heights. She's a Yeezus fan, an avocado toast enthusiast, and a lover of all things Stella McCartney. You can follow her on twitter @vero_lena.

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