MTV’s Video Music Awards have never been the most notable fashion event in the entertainment industry. They command neither the sophisticated glamor of the Oscars or the the sweeping dramatics displayed on the steps of the Palais des Festivals at Cannes. One thing the VMAs is known for, however, is the outrageousness and the wild sexuality embraced by the clothing worn there, in a similar, more experimental manner as that shown at the Grammy’s. With that in mind, that we are not expecting Academy Award winners wearing L’Wren Scott or minor members of Swedish nobility bedecked in McQueen, I have chosen my five best looks from the VMAs.
Hailee Steinfeld – Balmain
This look is hardly groundbreaking, neither for the VMAs or for Balmain (I love Olivier Rousteing but what was once sartorial genius is quickly becoming an outmoded, Kardashian-esque rut), but however, these are the Video Music Awards, and this cute, perfectly-accessorized mini is more than able to garner Steinfeld a win from me (even if I do find it increasingly difficult to tell the difference between her and Shailene Woodley). Bonus points for the adorable and not too matchy-matchy mani-pedi. At first I thought the dress was McQueen, but then I was positive it was Mary Katrantzou (which makes sense, given how much the Greek designer has expanded and expounded upon some of the ideas the deceased visionary introduced). It makes sense as a Balmain, of course, in that it is beautiful while also being somewhat derivative, but then again, the same could be said of the VMAs.
Chance the Rapper – Unknown
I looked all over for a goddamn ID on these overalls, and all I could find were blog posts that mentioned Super Mario Brothers! Nevertheless, this may be a bold choice, but I unabashedly love this look. It’s the VMAs! It shouldn’t be all white tie and staid tuxes and ballgowns. This look is fun, well-fitted and brimming with personality. Also, that cuff is fucking perfect and I want the name of Chance’s tailor immediately. The jacket is awesome, I love the nod to Michael, the only thing I met have left out is the hat, it is perhaps just a hair too much muchness, if you know what I mean. Still, this is a look that drips swagger, confidence and enviable style. It makes me want to fuck him, and I don’t know that I can give a better compliment.
Kim Kardashian West – Vintage Galliano
Listen, I don’t like giving her this anymore than you probably read about it, but I gotta give it to her. Girl looks hot! At first, I hated this look, and I might still sort of hate it, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t perfect for this exact event and that she isn’t pulling it off like a goddamn pro. Finally, that friendship with Riccardo Tisci is paying off (I still think he’s crazy). The shoes are perfect, and if you’re ever going to look like a sexy, shipwrecked sea wench/shampoo commercial girl, this night was it. She’s also coming closer to pulling off that wet look than I thought was actually possible outside the realm of Mario Testino’s camera lens. (Also pictured, her husband, clearly rushing to the event after getting off late from his work as a Storm Trooper)
Jaden Smith – Undercover
I wish I was Jaden Smith, tbh. That flawless skin and effortless style… honestly, the guys were the clear winner’s of the VMAs for me this year. They showed so much personal taste and quirk and every item of clothing was unique and fun and fresh in a way that makes my male fashion fanboy wanna sit up and scream, “YAAAAASSSSSS.” This is not an easy ensemble to pull off, I’m almost positive I couldn’t do it myself, but it’s not fucking boring and it pushes those gender lines while also maintaining masculinity and clean lines. It’s interesting, and Undercover designer Jun Takahashi has gained himself a new fan. (Also ❤ the hair)
Alicia Keys – Just Cavalli
This look is perfect. Like her skin. My god, I wouldn’t wear fucking makeup either if my skin looked like hot, buttered sex, but not even half the Make Up Forever line and and a third of my rent money spent on Clinique can get me to her levels of dermatological superiority. Anyway! I think the makeup-free look actually compliments the gown here, in that it all has a relaxed, loose quality that enhances the look. I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that Alicia pulled this heavy little number out of her closet the morning of and said, “This is pretty, and I can eat carbs in it and they won’t show. Done!” and I mean that as a compliment. People try very, very hard to reach this level of fashion cool and savvy. Props to her for resisting the urge to wear big, dangly earrings as I would have done. (Not pictured, the bodies of the hundred virgins whose blood she bathes in to keep her skin so clear and dewy)