1. Of course Rita Ora is that girl with the ostrich feather bathmat train.
2. When you need a guy to carry your train at the MTV VMAs, you’ve gone too far.
Shame on you.
3. Here are three more dresses that are all, in their own special way, a bit too much.
L–R: Holland Roden, Sarah Hyland, and Iggy Azalea.
4. As a counterpoint, here’s the ethereal Ciara explaining how to do VMA red carpet glamour just right.
This dress also represents Ciara’s audition for next season’s Dancing with the Stars, because you know she’s got both the time and the affinity for sequins.
5. In other moments when Iggy Azalea failed in the fashion stakes: when she presented an award alongside LIL’ KIM.
6. Not that it is remotely possible to best a look as well put together as this.
Note: Another successful usage of ostrich feathers, a gaudy wristwatch (because Kim is old school like that), and a wonderful pair of suede mustard ankle boots.
7. This dress looks like tacos.
8. Miley Cyrus showed up in clothes bought at Gwen Stefani’s yard sale circa 1998. Also, a vintage, dough ball-inspired Gwen hairstyle.
TLC also used to have hair like this, back in the day.
9. In fact, let’s just keep remembering TLC how they were.
10. In other Miley Cyrus clothes, this is a glitzy swimsuit with a teddy bear on it. Pretty textbook, for an MTV awards show performance, that is.
11. Now her backup dancers have borrowed old Destiny’s Child costumes, which is nice.
12. And then: twerking heard around the world (part 1).
13. But just about everything in these photos, fashion and beyond, is all wrong.
Apart from Miley’s brothel creepers. Those are cute.
14. A Shaleine Woodley waxwork was wheeled onto the red carpet to pose with her Divergent co-stars Theo James and Miles Teller.
HERE ARE SOME THEO JAMES PHOTOS. You’re very welcome.
15. At the 2007 VMAs, one of Ashanti’s R&B star rivals shoved her into an alternate dimension.
She thus never left the ceremony, but thanks to a glitch in the matrix has somehow reappeared on each year’s red carpet since looking slightly confused and a bit more legitimately retro each time. (Still not quite justifiably retro, however — though sliced-and-diced Grecian draping is a fairly timeless fashion trope.)
16. Also visiting from 2007: Foxy Brown!
Everything from the cell phone to the studded ankle boots, the bootleg Léger bandage dress to the two-tone extensions is oh so ‘07. To be fair though, Foxy can pull it off.
17. As their nonchalant outfits suggest, Willow and Jaden Smith are far too cool to be caught posing with their dad.
Dungarees! I mean, hello. Once I wore a pair of dungarees to school, but with the braces unclipped, and some douchebag managed to clip them together underneath the bench I was sitting on at lunchtime and I was stuck, which was extremely humiliating.
Just wanted to share that embarrassing story briefly, and get it off my chest. How cathartic! I hope no one pulled that prank on poor Willow last night, even if it would give us an excuse to bond so I can provide her with a fashion intervention down the line.
18. Rihanna was not too cool to pose with Daddy Will, however.
She does know who he is.
19. Rihanna was not too cool to pose with Harry Styles either (because she probably doesn’t know who he is, sorry to say so). Bonus: Niall’s nonplussed expression in the photo on the left.
Prepare for the inevitable rumors that Rihanna and Harry Styles hooked up, because goodness knows Harry’s reputation precedes him.
20. And prepare for Joy Division fans to rage silently over Louis Tomlinson’s “Love Will Tear Us Apart” tee.
They can’t complain openly because that’d be an acknowledgment they followed coverage of the VMAs and wouldn’t that be shameful? They’ll be mad though, you know it’s true. Also, One Direction are looking positively disheveled — at least compared to their usual matchy-matchy red carpet looks.
21. Also, what do you think they and Vampire Weekend are talking about?
22. GLAMOURPUSS WEDGES!
You be you, Adam Lambert. You be you.
23. And you do you, Daft Punk. You do you too.
This would be a great “costume” for folks planning to crash future award shows. Just saying.
24. BIG ANG! Along with fellow Mob Wives Drita and Renee. Re the latter: what would catch fire quicker, their hair or shiny, shiny polyester blouses?
Big Ang later posed for a photo with Rihanna, which makes linking to this an absolute must.
25. This photo is here for one reason and one reason only:
Because the dance moves, just briefly, resemble the wonderful puppetry in the “It’s Gonna Be Me” music video:
26. You’d think it’d be Chris Kirkpatrick showing up to the NSYNC reunion in a fedora, but NO.
27. It’s Justin Timberlake, who is now apparently apprenticing under Barry Weiss from Storage Wars.
He just got hella lucky and found these old trophies in a locker he bought for $75! Take that, Dave Hester!
28. In other fedoras: Bruno Mars. Who looked very short compared to Taylor Swift.
Who seriously looked like a glamazon. Folks in the audience are like, “Whoa, is she on stilts all of a sudden?”
29. And in other people made to look short: A$AP Rocky vs. Jason Collins.
Collins is a former NBA star though, so this is a bit unfair.
30. One more Bruno Mars moment, just so we can all savor this silky leopard print. It’s a good thing Bruno and Big Ang were texting beforehand, otherwise she’d have shown up in leopard print too.
And who wants to be the people wearing the same outfit?
31. Oh wait, 2 Chainz and Grimes do!
32. Here’s a much better example of whimsical headgear: on DJ Cassidy, who’s also famous for his background role in the carousel scene from Mary Poppins.
33. Worse than a fedora, however: this beanie.
Becky G, anyone?
34. Meanwhile, I still have nothing to say about Austin Mahone.
Other than this caption, that is. Which doesn’t really count.
35. Incidentally, this is how to wear a tank top for your performance.
36. Drake’s philosophically casual pre-show red carpet look.
“NOTHING WAS THE SAME,” YOU SEE. And yet, everything was just that: theatrical performances, overwrought fashions, and a tween star scandal. That’s the VMAs for you.
37. Katy Perry rescues a pre-worn red carpet look with an ostentatious grill.
I think her shoes are also a size too small.
Here’s model Coco Rocha in the same dress (a full-length version, granted) at this year’s Met Ball.
Who looks better? It’s not even a question.
38. And here’s Coco at the VMAs too. She is angry but who knows why.
39. Perhaps she is annoyed that her fellow model Chanel Iman’s dress is getting smushed up in A$AP Rocky’s embrace.
40. Or perhaps she is actually shocked because she has just seen her other fellow model Erin Wasson in this fascinating sheer body-con gown.
She is standing both to and for attention.
41. Joseph Gordon-Levitt looks dapper.
The shiny belt is a shame, though.
42. And Naya Rivera looks beautiful.
43. The Jersey Shore contingent came and did their thing. It’s nice of MTV to keep inviting their reality starlets of years past.
L–R: Jionni LaValle, Nicole Polizzi, Ronnie Ortiz-Magro, and Sammi Giancola.
44. Here’s Jenni Farley and her fiancee Roger.
Technically this is from an In Touch party, also held last night in New York. But this Tinkerbell quinceañera dress is a much better look than J-Woww’s actual VMA look. (Out of respect for Vinnie and Deena, we won’t run their photos; Pauly D and Mike Sorrentino didn’t show up.)
45. And in other oddly-attractive-but-certainly-out-of-place New Jerseyeans, here’s Real Housewife Melissa Gorga and her Real Husband Joe.
Joe is not convinced his pants were a good decision. And with good reason.
46. Ellie Goulding, being British, has come up with a genius solution to all that quintessentially American awards show overfamiliarity.
It’s a dress covered in metal studs, thus making any sort of fake-friendly hugs/air kisses painful. Body armor, if you will — because Ellie values her personal space, and rightly so.
47. It’s probably a bit too hot for a furry scarf, but Macklemore has a stylist with a very consistent vision.
48. A fun guessing game to play with group photos: girlband or excited fans granted a brief red carpet photo op?
In this case, it’s a girl band. Specifically, it’s Fifth Harmony of X Factor “fame.”
49. Also see: this boy band called The Neighborhood, maybe?
Their oh-so-tasteful lead singer has duct-taped the word “PUSSY” on his crotch, it appears.
50. And in other embarrassing boy band looks, here’s Jared Leto and his 30 Seconds to Mars bandmates.
51. Ariana Grande can’t believe her quinceañera party is clashing with the VMAs.
52. And I can’t believe Busta Rhymes is wearing a sleeveless shirt straight out of Versace’s fast fashion line for H&M.
That’s not necessarily a bad thing, though.
53. A question for the ages: Is Selena Gomez’s dress falling down a bit?
Or is that bustier meant to be half on show? Gosh, isn’t fashion fun when it leads to discussions like these?
54. You can tell Jordin Sparks and Jason DeRulo are a couple because their pleather zip-up shirts co-ordinate so nicely.
55. A better all-pleather ensemble: Jennifer Hudson.
56. And somewhere that’s not the VMAs, Mac Miller is wondering — wistfully — if he should have tried harder.
Case in point: This is the rapper Riff Raff, who is trying too hard.
57. And here are some other guys in snakeskin pants, because that was a real trend last night. I mean, as always.
L–R: Lil Duval and Andrew Schulz (with comedienne Melanie Iglesias).
58. Between the four members of Danity Kane present, there are probably enough separates for one regular person’s outfit.
Possibly two people, if they’re dressing for a NIGHT OUT AT THE CLUB or something that young, scantily-clad people do these days — I prefer to stay home and do logic puzzles. Anyway, let’s just be glad that Danity Kane graced us with their presence, half-dressed or not. It’s not like they have a wardrobe team or anything.
59. Ed Sheeran continues to be red carpet security guards’ nightmare. Who could believe this is a legitimate celebrity attendee?
Press photographers aren’t even sure, it seems like.
60. Then, the obligatory red carpet rebel.
This is Travis Scott, wearing a sweater that wishes it were Givenchy.
61. Again with the middle finger, and a T-shirt with some strangely positioned zippers.
This is Machine Gun Kelly, wearing ripped skinny jeans that wish they weren’t.
62. And here’s the also-requisite casual knitwear contingent: Kayne and Kendrick.
63. Now it’s time for some Gaga fashion moments. Here she is representing Morticia Addam’s gutterpunk* phase.
*The gutter outside an expensive hotel, specifically. When no one is looking, Gaga sneaks up to her penthouse suite for a shower and a Caesar salad from the room service menu, before reemerging to rail against the capitalist masses.
64. Looks from the “Applause” music video, for her performance of the song.
65. And this look inspired by the Pope enjoying one of those fun “put your face in the hole and you’ll be a bodybuilder” photo opportunities at seaside resorts.
66. However, even considering her status as a Drag Race fangirl, Gaga didn’t get the RuPaul-sanctioned memo that you should NEVER take off your wig mid-lip-synch.
67. You’re thinking the best part of this photo is Lady Gaga, sure, but it’s actually the lady sat behind her one to the left. LOOK AT THAT HAIR.
And then realize that lady is Jada Pinkett-Smith, which is even better.
68. RICHARD SIMMONS!
69. Richard Simmons’ activewear clearly inspired Perry’s show-closing performance.
Are her backing dancers actually that sweaty, or are fake perspiration stains a new thing? I need to know ASAP, so I can start attending social engagements right after hitting the gym (spoiler: I don’t actually go to the gym) and explain that Katy Perry said my look was OK.