The flashiest outfit at the 46th annual Grammy Awards didn't even grace the red carpet this year. And don't get technical — it's not because there was no red carpet (it was green), but because Beyoncé had two different outfits on in the same hour.
She arrived at the Staples Center in Los Angeles wearing a chartreuse satin dress with a jeweled halter and gathered train, designed by her mother, Tina Knowles. But she opened the show about an hour later in a pink beaded minidress with a hot-pink feather trim.
Between her fashion choices and winning five Grammys (of her six nominations) before the show's first commercial break, it's safe to say Young B had a good night.
Looking very old-Hollywood, Christina Aguilera showed up in a gauzy white dress with beading detail below a big, jeweled collar adorned with feathers.
Gwen Stefani wore white sailor pants with black accents and a low-cut halter top with a pussycat bow, all by Lamb, her clothing company. Blond mohawked bandmate Adrian Young wore blue plaid pants and a matching vest over a pajama top.
Also going the low-key route were Beck in a studied, tousled look (black jacket and a red T-shirt to match his rosy cheeks) and the Neptunes, who, after being stiffed last year, were also winners before the show even began.
To celebrate, Pharrell Williams wore a white dinner jacket, a white button-down shirt, jeans and a gigantic diamond ring to snazzy up his attire. Chad Hugo was casual in a brown army jacket and beige slacks.
Amy Lee of Evanescence didn't stray from her usual goth getups. She designed a black and pink shredded scarf dress, and designer H. Naoto brought it to life. Her spiked necklace was made of real twigs dipped in metal (
Click for photos of Alicia Keys, Kelis, Amy from Evanescence, and Dave Navarro and Carmen Electra getting ready for their big night out.)
Jack White also stayed true to form in a black suit with a red shirt, black tie and his awards-show derby hat. Meg White wore a white satin vintage dress with black leaf-shaped appliqués.
Hugh Hefner wore a classic tux so as not to distract from the seven blondes he was flanked by while Rob Thomas of Matchbox Twenty mixed and almost matched a black pinstriped suit and a black and white polka-dot tie, and John Mayer wore a brown suit with a pale pink tie.
Trends emerging this year included two-tone dresses, dress/pants combos — with Alicia Keys showing in both of those categories — bandeau top dresses, and, of course, basic black. Hey, we never said trends had to be brand new.
In what may be a too-close-for-comfort moment, Ashanti wore a two-tone pink Roberto Cavalli halter dress with a diamond cutout, while Alicia Keys came dressed in a light pink/lighter pink off-the-shoulder Cavalli dress over pants. Queen Latifah also rocked an emerald dress over black leather pants.
Jennifer Love Hewitt came decked in a red strapless dress with a bandeau back, which was similar to the back of Beyoncé's original green-carpet dress.
A lot of people opted for basic black this year, including Sharon and Kelly Osbourne; Dave Matthews; with the exception of a red flower in her hair, Stacie Orrico; Ruben Studdard in his satin and velvet suit; Dave Navarro glammed out in a beaver fur coat by Edwards Lowell; and the whole G-Unit. 50 Cent went against the grain, kind of, by breaking up his black suit with a striped mauve and black shirt. JC Chasez and Sean Paul were trailblazers in all white, and Missy Elliott wore a black and white leather suit and matching bucket hat.
And speaking of buckets, what can we say about Guns N' Roses guitarist Buckethead that his inverted, cardboard KFC-bucket hat and white facemask don't say themselves? Without this man's gift of an unwavering vision of form and fashion, this piece would not be possible.
An hour before the Grammy Awards, check out "MTV News: All Up in the Grammys," which airs at 7 p.m. ET/PT. And stay online with us throughout the night for full coverage.
For a look at the nominees, Grammy fashion, past winners and much more, visit our Grammy hub.