Vibrant VMAs: A Look at the Ceremony’s Most Notable Fashion Moments

Photos courtesy of Lauren Woulard, MTV | Graphic by Alec KaramThe 2021 VMAs were a night of outlandish and stylish looks.

Hosted by Doja Cat at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn Sept. 12, the Video Music Awards (VMAs) not only saw a packed house and huge performances, but also plenty of flashy red carpet looks.

The VMAs, which have been hosted by MTV for the past 37 years, are known for embracing funky, ground-breaking fashion — whether it be Madonna’s white lace bustier dress and “Boy Toy” belt in 1984, Cindy Crawford’s Versace bondage dress in 1992 or Lady Gaga’s infamous meat dress from 2010 — the award show has been home to some of the wackiest looks over the years.

And while the 2021 VMAs didn’t have anything quite like Gaga’s meat dress, there were still plenty of fun trends and stunning looks featured on the red carpet this year.

One of the evening’s most stunning dresses was also one of the simplest. Megan Fox’s sheer, nude and gold Mugler dress paired with her glowy makeup and beachy wet-hair look made for a show-stopping appearance. Even Machine Gun Kelly’s sparkly, fire-red Dolce and Gabbana suit couldn’t take away from Fox’s ensemble.

Courtesy of Lauren Woulard Megan Fox, pictured presenting with Kourtney Kardashian, wore a sheer Mugler dress to the event.

Another simple yet gorgeous ensemble was Hailey Bieber’s see-through lilac dress by Maison Alaia. While it was one of the simplest looks of the night, it was one of the sleekest.

One major trend at the VMAs this year was corset detailing. Doja Cat wore a stunning black Andreas Kronthaler for Vivienne Westwood corset and Camilla Cabello had a hot pink corset top on her vibrant dress. Both Olivia Rodrigo’s vintage red carpet dress by Atelier Versace — Versace’s haute couture collection — and the flouncy dress she wore while performing “Good 4 U” featured corset detailing on the bodice.

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There was no shortage of flashy metallic either, with Billy Porter fabulously rocking an all-out silver suit, and Paris Hilton’s futuristic, silver-studded mini dress. Of course, there was also Chloe Bailey’s Marni dress that looked like it could have been made out of tin foil or one of those Mylar emergency blankets.

As for one of the funkiest red carpet looks, Kim Petras takes the cake. Petras came decked out in a full-body, black latex bodysuit under a stunning mini-dress that looked like it came straight from a Renaissance-era cathedral. Her dress was reminiscent of many of the 2018 Met Gala’s theme, “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination.” The juxtaposition of the black latex and the beaded, bejeweled dress made for a statement look on the red carpet.

Courtesy of Lauren Woulard Olivia Rodrigo took home the VMA for Song of the Year for her track “Driver’s License.”

While not quite Kim Petras-level camp, Kacey Musgraves extravagantly stepped out in a vibrant Valentino purple and red ensemble, complete with a huge, purple feathered headpiece. Musgraves’ look was reminiscent of Gaga’s in July 2021. Gaga stepped out of Radio City Music Hall in a purple Valentino cape and similar Philip Treacy purple feathered headpiece.

While there were a plethora of bold, interesting looks from the VMAs this year, other attendees were lacking. Justin Bieber seemed to forget the awards show was happening, rolling up in a black hoodie and baggy jeans. During his performance with the Kid Laroi, Justin Bieber was serving gothic farmer in what looked like the same black hoodie and large overalls.

While not every single look at the VMAs was of the spectacular degree, it’s good to see vibrant colors and stunning silhouettes back on the red carpet again. 

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