From Lady Gaga and Doja Cat’s intergalactic fantasies, to Miley Cyrus’s disco-fied wrecking ball
Forget the Oscars, the Grammys, and even (gasp!) the Met Gala. When it comes to iconic fashions, the MTV Video Music Awards are the place where the magic happens. From Lil’ Kim’s asymmetric purple catsuit, to that time Rose McGowan showed up practically naked save for a few strands of crystals, truly, more legendary pop cultural moments have been birthed on the VMAs’ red carpet than its hosts have outfit changes (we’re looking at you Miley).
Surprisingly, given Miss ‘Rona’s long and continued presence (read the room hun), this year was no different. With the annual event taking place across New York, the likes of Lady Gaga, Doja Cat, BTS, and The Weeknd performed to tiny audiences, and there was even a red carpet for the attending celebs to show their lewks off on (or otherwise get Photoshopped onto). So who was wearing what, who looked hot, and who did not? We’ve got you covered – let’s go.
LADY GAGA SLAYED THE WHOLE THING (AS PER)
It’s no surprise Gaga spent the week leading up to the VMAs submerged in an ice bath, given she was a living, breathing, social-distancing couture fantasy on the night. Changing nine (nine!) times across the course of the event, Mother Monster shape-shifted through a series of Chromatica-ready looks by Christopher John Rogers, Area, Valentino Haute Couture, and Couture Queen Iris Van Herpen. It was her masks that stole the show, however, with Gaga enlisting a bunch of rising designers including Lance Victor Moore, Conrad By Conrad, Diego Montoya to create futuristic headpieces and facial armour to finish her lewks. Note to self: level up mask game stat.
DOJA CAT WENT FROM 00s VERSACE GLAM TO INTERGALACTIC FANTASY
...stepping out of a LRCD – that’s a little red chainmail dress, duh – by Versace, and into a glittering, barely-there catsuit studded with glowing organism-like growths (more fab than it sounds, trust us). Complete with wet-look green hair, and a group of glam lunar lab worker back-up dancers, the singer performed “Say So” and “Like That”, with the whole thing giving off some heavy 60s Star Trek sci-fi vibes.
BELLA HADID CHAMPIONED A FASHION EAST DESIGNER
...which is becoming a habit for the model, given she showed up to 2019’s VMAs in a look by Fashion East alumni Charlotte Knowles. This time it was the turn of Albanian womenswear designer Nensi Dojaka, with Hadid going for a sheer top and chic tailored trousers combo. Extremely into it.
BTS CAME… STRAIGHT FROM THE OFFICE?
It’s not easy to nail an outfit when you’ve got a board meeting at four and an internationally broadcast performance at the VMAs at nine, but unsurprisingly, BTS managed it in extremely chic fashion, with the iconic K-Poppers gracing the stage with the first ever live performance of “Dynamite” in full tailored suits and ties.
CHLOE X HALLE WENT ROBOTIC
...with a little help from super stylist Zerina Akers, who you might know best as the brains behind everything Beyoncé wore in Black Is King. Enlisting designer Sho Konishi to create moulded metal corsets and headpieces, the sisters stole the pre-show with a performance of “Ungodly Hour”.
KEKE PALMER CHANNELLED HER INNER FUCKBOY
The 2020 VMAs host, who made history as the first Black woman to take the reins, looked flawless throughout the evening, but it was her turn as a hypebeast drag king that did the most. Rocking a bright bowling shirt, tucked-in tracky-bs, and Gucci slides, viewers everywhere were triggered by the fuckboy ghoster of Christmas past (who definitely still lives with his mum).
MILEY CYRUS HOPPED ON A DISCO BALL
Showing up to the event in a sheer Mugler sheath dotted with sequin discs (which has a touch of Rose McGowan’s legendary naked dress about it IMHO), the singer also brought her wrecking ball out of storage to perform “Midnight Sky”. This time around, it had been disco-fied, becoming a huge swinging mirrorball. According to Cyrus, the ball’s transformation represents growth and moving past the heartbreak of a broken relationship, so there you go.
THE BLACK EYED PEAS BASICALLY SCARRED US FOR LIFE
...wearing trousers with light-up crotches to perform “Vida Loca” and irrefutable banger “I Gotta Feeling”. Never mind the actually quite violent thrusting coming from the band, though – the fact that Ms. Fergalicious herself wasn’t included in the line-up was a travesty.