The top trends at the Grammys this year spanned all across the fashion spectrum. Some were new (shoutout to colored metallics) and some were beyond old (take a shot for every silver dress stumbling down the red carpet, you’ll be drunk enough to headbang to AC/DC’s opener). Sirens played peek-a-boo with cutouts and floundered with volume. Unfortunately, simplicity was tossed out of the metaphorical window, with the exception of the gorgeously sleek Jennifer Hudson in a white column dress by Tom Ford. Boob cages, calf-length hemlines and dangerously over-the-top fabrics overwhelmed on the red carpet this year. Let’s pray the stars learn from the following mistakes and take a note from the scarce triumphs in time for Oscar night.
Metallic was seen on almost every typically risk-taking starlet this year, most notably Lady Gaga and Katy Perry. Both were disappointing, but for different reasons. Gaga’s custom design from stylist Brandon Maxwell looked like an ill-fitted, low-budget Broadway costume. The deep v-cut neckline made a mockery of her endowed chest and the high slit only served to emphasize her short stature. Gaga could have pulled it off with more classic styling, perhaps a softer smoky eye and a cleaner blow out. However, no one wants to look like a bar crooner that was kicked out at 4 a.m. It was the ultimate contrast to Nicki Minaj’s stunning low-cut fringed number, courtesy of Tom Ford. Minaj’s dress nailed the metallic look with a play on texture with a soft, sparkling sheen.
Luckily, a new variety of metallic made its way onto the scene from the good graces of couture designer Elie Saab. Taylor Swift took on the carpet with a beautiful, shimmering aqua structured gown. The dress featured cutouts on the shoulders and a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it high-low hemline. It was like a futuristic, mermaid Marie Antoinette — and it rocked. I’ve seen this look be knocked around for having prom dress tendencies, however, with great risk comes great reward and Swifty knocked it out of the park with this look.
Cutouts have been a trend since prom girls decided they wanted tighter dresses and higher heels, which is to say they’ve been around for the last four years. This trend is becoming its own worst enemy. When it was scarce, it was a playful and flirtatious look, worn only on risk-taking women who flirt with danger. Now, the trend is becoming more and more unflattering with each snip of the fabric. Highlights from this game were Chrissy Teigen in a white Gucci number with symmetrical square cutouts highlighting her figure. Teigen gets bonus points for hubby John Legend’s Dolce & Gabbana sleek gray suit and gentle soul. I’m hesitant to add Miley Cyrus in Alexandre Vauthier to the mix since the whole showing off the pelvic bone thing is generally unflattering. However, it was a risk that stood out on the carpet, and she looked radiant with soft styling, seemingly low-impact make-up and a pulled back hairstyle. Lowlights go to “American Idol” star Katharine McPhee in Emilio Pucci and Miranda Lambert in Gabriela Cadena for the unflattering boob cages.
The sheer amount of exuberant volume that fluffed its way down the carpet was enough to cause an uproar online. Rihanna in Giambattista Valli Haute Couture was a specifically hot topic. Ciara, however, was not. RiRi has proven to be able to pull off pretty much anything, from the oversized men’s suit-jacket she wore in her performance with Kanye West and Paul McCartney later in the night to her nearly-nude mesh dress at last year’s CFDA Awards. Yes, Rihanna looked like a super buoyant pink cloud combined with an eight-year-old’s Barbie pink cake dress, but she had so much fun with it and brought some much-needed enthusiasm to the carpet. She made fashion fun and she made the dress hers, and that’s what is so great about it. Ciara, though, looked like she was dragging a trash bag down the aisle, which was neither fun nor enthusiastic. There’s a difference between wearing the volume and working with it and letting it overwhelm you.
That being said, I’d like to remind everyone of Anna Wintour’s red carpet commentary from last summer: “(Celebrities) have all these teams of people telling them what to do, what to wear, how to do their hair, make-up. And they’re so scared of being criticized, whereas, you know, what’s wrong with looking different? How many mermaid fishtail strapless sequin gowns can we see?”
Taking this into consideration, let’s hope the stylists bring their all for Oscar night.