What Goes With A Golden Gramophone? The Grammys Offer Advice

Recording Academy's Style Studio brings together artists, designers.

HOLLYWOOD — Trish Summerville, Christina Aguilera's stylist, held up an electric yellow and black sheer dress and examined the Catherine Malandrino design like a doctor would a patient.

"It's a really flattering shape and the color is beautiful," she said. "It's really whimsical and romantic. I'll definitely try to get Christina in this."

And there you have the idea behind the Grammy Style Studio, the Recording Academy's inaugural designer fashion suite, where artists and stylists are invited to celebrate Grammy Week with a little private shopping.

"When you think about fashion and music, they've always been married together in many different ways," Neil Portnow, the president of the Recording Academy, explained, before trying on Isabella's Soul hats with MC Lyte. "We've invited some key designers who have new and cool stuff to show and we've invited our nominees. They come and walk through and see what they like."

Storms outside kept most artists away from Monday's reception at Ocean Way Recording studio, but Maroon 5 singer Adam Levine and guitarist James Valentine arrived early, getting first dibs on clothing, shoes and accessories from the likes of Hugo Boss, J. Lindeberg and Medium Footwear. Well, sort of.

"I got [a hat] picked out, but I had to put it on hold and pick a backup in case P. Diddy comes in and snags it up," Levine said. "I dig it all, as long as it's free."

So artists need not bring their checkbooks? "Well, that's on an individual basis with the designers," Portnow said. "However, if there are sales, one of our foundations, the Grammy Foundation, which does music education and archiving and preservation work, gets some of the proceeds."

Summerville, who is styling Aguilera for Sunday's Grammy Awards ceremony, spent most of her time admiring racks of Catherine Malandrino dresses (and a studded leather jacket that "Kelis could so pull off"). "I like her collection a lot because it mixes a really rock and roll vibe, but the craftsmanship and the attention to detail and the fabrication are really feminine and beautiful," she said.

Which designer Christina will don Sunday is being kept "top secret," but Summerville hinted at what to expect. "We're gonna go for a very glamorous, beautiful look," she said. "It's not going to be leather and tough rock and roll."

With almost a week to go before the show, designers hesitated to predict on Monday what certain artists would be wearing, but Max Grisby from Brioni was confident his tuxedo designs would play prominently, noting, "Ninety-five percent of men wear tuxedos [to awards shows]."

"We've seen at the latest big shows that the three-button tuxedo in black is in," he said. "Ties are in, regular collars instead of winged collars are in. Less is more."

One artist who won't be sporting Brioni is Maroon 5's Valentine. "This is what I'm going to wear," he promised, holding up a white Hugo Boss suit. "I mean, I know you're not supposed to wear white past Labor Day or something like that, but rock and roll is about breaking the rules."

His bandmate, meanwhile, had his mind set on a navy jacket from Energie.

"There's more thought put into our wardrobe than you'd like to know," Levine said before chumming with supermodel Petra Nemcova. "A lot of times you go to these things and you see the stuff and it's kind of tacky and overdone, but [here] everything's very subtle and chill."

Several artists have appointments to visit the Grammy Style Studio throughout the week, including Alicia Keys, John Mayer, Black Eyed Peas, Ruben Studdard and the White Stripes.

Other Grammy Week events include salutes to comedy (featuring a performance by Weird Al), jazz, classical music and Grammy art.

MTV's live Grammy coverage kicks off at 7 p.m. ET on Sunday with "Backstage at the Grammys," then check in with MTVNews.com throughout the night for analysis, insight and up-to-the-minute coverage.

For more Grammy news, check out the MTV News Grammy Archive.