From Christina Aguilera's outré couture to the Olsen Twins' sleek chic, there were plenty of inspired — and inspiring — outfits on display at the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards. (Click for photos from the VMA red carpet.) But can you afford to drop a few grand to play designer dress-up? Chances are, no. Here's how to recreate the night's hottest red carpet looks on the cheap.
Jessica Simpson: '70s Glam — In a white pantsuit straight out of "Charlie's Angels," the "Sweetest Sin" songstress channeled Farrah Fawcett right down to her sassy flip hairdo. Duplicating the outfit is a cinch — we found a lookalike jacket (product #78071647) and pants (#92089123) at Express for just $118 and $58, respectively.
Mya: Goth Vamp — Miss "Chicago" was smokin' in a black micro mini and matching corset. You can recreate this look with a $59 black leather skirt from Wet Seal (#333018500003) and a $29.99 black corset top from Charlotte Russe (#401511590132). Hopefully you were born with a hot enough bod to carry it off.
Christina Aguilera: Big Bird Done Right — X-tina took yet another major fashion risk ... and won. Her over-the-top pink feather dress was balanced out perfectly by her understated hair, jewelry and shoes. While Aguilera made it look effortless, replicating her outfit will take some work.
Here's what you need: a short, nonstretch strapless dress, like the one Charlotte Russe offers for $46.99 (product #401824230824); six to eight pink feather boas, such as those we found in Target's toy department for $6.99 each (#086050443); a friend; and a lot of safety pins. Put the dress on, then have your friend pin the boas in place by starting at the top of the dress and working toward the hemline.
Don't wrap the boas around the dress — since the boas don't stretch, you won't be able to move. In about four hours, you should have a look that is close to Christina's. If you're satisfied with the results and want to make your alterations permanent, attach the boas with needle and thread and remove the safety pins. Just don't try to wash the thing in your Kenmore.
Want a taste of VMA chic without out-and-out playing copycat? Here are a few trends you can mix and match.
Are You Earring Me? — As Ashanti, Jessica Alba and Christina Aguilera will tell you, big earrings are de rigueur — the bigger the better. Beyoncé and Kelly Clarkson went mod with large hoop earrings, while SuChin Pak and Jessica Simpson went gypsy-romantic with dangling, geometric styles.
Oh My Goddess — Call it "Clash of the Titans 2003." Kelly Rowland, Ashanti and Carmen Electra all donned dresses that looked as if they were inspired by the gowns of mythological goddesses — short, feminine and romantic.
Black Is Black — The darkest shade always plays it cool on the red carpet. Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen, Pamela Anderson, Avril Lavigne, Kelly Clarkson and Hilary Duff all looked great in basic black.
... But Pink Is the New Black — You know it, Elle Woods knows it and even Pink knows it. So do Nicky Hilton, Ashanti, Outkast's Andre 3000, Tweet and Pharrell Williams, who were all repping pink in shades from pastel to hot.
Catch all the sizzlin', star-packed VMA action direct from Miami on August 28. MTV News' preshow kicks things off at 6:00 p.m. ET/PT, followed by the big show at 8 p.m.