After a year in sweatpants and hoodies, the sight of a tuxedo can be a bit uncomfortable.
Perhaps that’s why it was so strange to see a sea of black on the red carpet at this year’s Grammy Awards. Awards ceremonies continued (as best they can) in virtual formats, but they have not brought the same glitz and glamor that past red carpets have provided. This year’s Golden Globes had many examples of the confusion that exists in the dress codes of the Pandemic Award shows, from Jason Sudeikis in a tie-dye hoodie to Jodie Foster in Prada pajamas, and others like Cynthia Erivo and Dan Levy in Valentino Couture, fresh off the runway.
The current fashion drought has increased the stakes of the Grammys even further and demanded even bigger statements than usual – or at least the usual.
Cardi B performs ‘WAP’ on a giant high heel at the 2021 Grammy Awards
Jhené Aiko gets glamorous in a giant pink dress with Big Sean at the 2021 Grammy Awards
Worst dressed at the 2021 Grammy Awards, according to you
This time the Grammys didn’t disappoint. While the awards show has let us down in recent years (in fashion and especially in its apparent lack of variety and in the wrong categorization of the work of certain artists), this year the usual Grammys moments were shining compared to The Halfway Dressing and the incoherent dress codes of other awards shows.
After all, music artists know they need to project their personas through fashion in bold, provocative ways. There’s no half-effort, no « casual » look. So Dua Lipa made sure her performances – even the less significant ones – had solid fashion, outrageous fashion, and those unforgettable moments as her album « Future Nostalgia » rolled on through the chaos, grief, and general chaos of 2020. Step-by-step help in turning a music artist into a cultural icon (think Lady Gaga’s picture).
Some of the looks may have ventured into the cliché: There was the great princess dress, this time on Jhené Aiko. There was the sleek retro dress courtesy of Megan Thee Stallion, who wore it in an attention-grabbing orange silk by Dolce & Gabbana. There was the ’70s rock star look of Harry Styles, which Gucci used to replicate luxury versions of iconic looks from Mick Jagger, Rod Stewart and other British rockers. There was the Freakum dress, first designed by Beyoncé and inherited this year by Lipa, whose pink briefs peeked out from a Versace chain mail, whose crystal embellishments matched her square toe thong sandals.
But there were adventures and even tasteless ones Fashion during the night. Phoebe Bridgers looked at Thom Browne to get her usual skeletal trompe l’oeil look properly dressed. Even Dojacat’s feather-skirted motorcycle jacket by Roberto Cavalli by Fausto Puglisi was a win, even if he lacked taste.
That was the point though. Music artists often use such bad, good fashion statements to stay memorable. And right now, in the middle of the pandemic, any statement is better than none.
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