Historically, the Grammy Awards have always been an awards season moment where the garish, the tacky, and the over-the-top is celebrated, lauded, and wholly encouraged. The ceremony's red carpet is a safe space: a "no judgment" zone for Gaga's anthropomorphic eggs and Pharrell's "Mountie" chapeau. But this year's scene seemed downright tame compared to the madness of the past. There were of course moments: Rihanna jumping out of an SUV in a pink frothy cupcake to steal the show, Jane Fonda shutting down the youths in attendance in her snatched Barbarella jumpsuit, and #theworldsmosttalkedaboutcouple bedecked in beaded bathrobes and pirate boots. Stars may have looked great in their lady pants, plunging necklines, and lace-front bob wigs, but where was that certain…"WTF!?" moment? Here's to hoping we'll find it on the Academy Awards red carpet in a couple of weeks.
Not to create any unnecessary gender binaries, but nothing says "bawse" like a pair of lady pants, amirite?! From legendary diva/activist/jill of all trades Jane Fonda's super Barbarella '"hella yes, fellas!" jumpsuit, Gwen Stefani's "Versace, Versace, Versace!" Atelier number that easily was my favorite moment of the night, to Charli XCX's Moschino all-white three-piece Hanna-Barbera Snagglepuss tux, it was all very Sheryl Sandberg's Lean In, '80s powersuit revisited. Ladies wore the pants last night and not a soul was complaining.
BAUBLES & BEADS:
No chill: not an ounce could be found along the glittering, adorned, and fringed red carpet last night. There was Madonna in her beaded-up, assless matador Givenchy couture get-up that demanded everyone's attention and recalled her "Take A Bow" days, Nicki Minaj's jaw-dropping twinkling Tom Ford fringed gown, and Rita Ora's Prada disco ball.
There's a theory that holds guests arrive on the red carpet in reverse order of their importance: meaning, the individual who arrives last yields the greatest draw for the evening. Of course that person was Rihanna, who jumped out of her SUV last night as the credits were rolling on the red carpet coverage in a ginormous Giambattista Valli quinceañera gown that shut everything in its path down. It was unapologetically pink, large, and rare. The pop singer explained she saw it on the interwebs last week and had to have it. I wish I could order couture like that. Ciara, Taylor Swift, and Meghan Trainor followed suit in puffy, pouffy, dramatic clouds of fabric that showed plenty of leg and little regard for people's personal space.
ALL WHITE ERRTHANG:
I can't think of anything more L.A. than oozing into a white column gown, rumpling your hair, and hitting a red carpet in the back of an Uber. It's the West Coast equivalent of donning a black turtleneck for a New York gallery opening. And you know the saying, "When in Rome…" That's why so many starlets got into character: Chrissy Teigen in Gucci, Haim member Danielle Haim, and Jennifer Hudson in Tom Ford.
The shit you gotta do when you're in a relationship! Coordinated and attached at the hip, power couples dominated all along the red carpet, from Pharrell Williams and wife Helen Lasichanh's "his and her" Adidas jumpsuit and short suits, Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga's "cheek to cheek" Vegas glam, and the puppy-love thirst of Big Sean and Ariana Grande.
BOBS (AND BY EXTENSION, PIXIES):
The bob, the lob, and all of its lace-front proxies swung onto the Grammys red carpet last night with a certain vengeance. The ever press-shy Sia reluctantly peaked out from behind a bushel of bleached-out tresses; Katy Perry's ombré tousled lace-front belied her signature dark locks; Nicole Kidman's utterly chic and blunt short 'do fell perfectly in place. We also clocked Miley Cyrus's '"about last night" slicked-back lewk versus the freshly shorn choppy pixies of Jennifer Hudson, Rita Ora, and Zendaya.
Free the nipple! So many starlets (and Kanye, too) got the message that a dramatic, plunging neckline was the best way to release their style inhibitions. Nicki Minaj had plenty of "tatas on fleek" in a deep-cut Tom Ford gown that revealed she wasn't missing any meals, Lady Gaga had to make a mid-carpet boob check, seeing as her cup runneth over in her metallic Brandon Maxwell gown, and we all know Kim Kardashian West and hubby Kanye have never shied away from from side boob. Ever.
WE DEM BOYS:
I have to hand it to my fellas: last night they deconstructed the tux in new, inventive ways to include velvet suiting with swashbuckling pirate boots (Yeezy), snugly fit tweed (Nick Jonas), and a little ankle action (Childish Gambino). Ariana Grande's thirstbucket of a brother, Frankie, however, nearly ruined tuxes for everyone in his iridescent silk shantung ensemble, while Chris Brown dressed up like an old man, perhaps to convince us that he's not such a horrible youth after all.
Marjon Carlos is a style and culture writer for Fusion who boasts a strong turtleneck game and opinions on the subjects of fashion, gender, race, pop culture, and men's footwear.