From Lil Nas X’s BDSM-tinged Versace cowboy suit at the Grammys to Lady Gaga’s McQueen armadillo shoes at the 2015 MTV Awards
Thought we were all out of Grammys #content? Think again, given Versace, the luxury house behind Lil Nas X’s bright pink S&M-inspired cowboy suit, just revealed it took them 700 hours to create the piece (cut to Donatella panickedly clutching a needle and thread the night before the event).
Obviously it’s not the first red carpet look to have taken such a huge amount of time to make, and while it's usually the model or actress that racks up column inches when wearing the finished pieces, those behind-the-scenes painstakingly stitching beads and feathers onto them are rarely given the recognition they deserve.
From Rihanna’s Met Ball omelette dress to Lady Gaga’s Alexander McQueen armadillo shoes, here we spotlight some of the most labour-intensive, show-stopping creations ever to hit the red carpet.
BEYONCÉ IN PETER DUNDAS
Heavily pregnant with her twins Sir and Rumi, Beyoncé gave a heavenly performance at the 2017 Grammys. Dressed as a golden version of the Virgin Mary, with a halo-inspired headpiece and an encrusted floor-length gown, it took 50 people to make the dress, with the process taking an entire week.
LADY GAGA IN ALEXANDER MCQUEEN
Lady Gaga is reunited with the McQueen Armadillo shoes! She has previously worn them in Bad Romance and at the VMAs. pic.twitter.com/kDov8469f8— GM ❾❻ (@gagamonster96) July 26, 2015
First seen on the runway at Alexander McQueen’s epochal Plato’s Atlantis SS10 show, the armadillo boots were catapulted into the mainstream through Lady Gaga and her “Bad Romance” music video and later, when she wore them to the 2010 MTV Awards. Becoming one of Mcqueen’s most iconic and recognisable pieces, each shoe took five days to make and involved 30 people in the process. No surprise, then, that only 21 pairs were ever created.
CARDI B IN THOM BROWNE
Having shut down the red carpet at the 2019 Grammys in an iconic archival Mugler look, Cardi B cemented her status as fashion icon in the making when she turned up to the Met Gala in custom Thom Browne gown crafted from 30,000 feathers. According to the designer, the look to 2,000 hours to make.
KIM KARDASHIAN IN THIERRY MUGLER
This was the first time Thierry Mugler had designed in over two decades, so it goes without saying he was going to go all out. A body-morphing, wet-look camp masterpiece, the dress apparently took around eight months to create.
RIHANNA IN GOU PEI
In an interview with Dazed last year, Gou Pei, the creative force behind probably one of the most (if not the most) iconic Met looks of all time, revealed it took her 6,000 hours to create the “Yellow Queen” dress worn by Rihanna in 2015. Seemingly, the gown was light work for the Chinese designer: another of her creations took over 50,000 hours to finish.