MIAMI — Whether they arrived by limo, Vespa or yacht, all the stars brought their Miami heat to this year's VMA red carpet.
It should come as no surprise that Gwen Stefani and P. Diddy were the brightest stars on the rug. While many people took the change of venue as an opportunity to dress down and keep cool, these guys showed everyone up in their all-time classic VMA outfits.
Gwen wore a blue, strapless tuxedo shirt with a ruffled front and a bow in the middle; a red pencil skirt with black tulle poking out from underneath; black spike heels; and her hair pulled back, secured by three red roses.
Diddy rocked a white suit, a black shirt, a white tie, black Adidas shell-toes, a black pocket square, and had his hair shorn into a Mohawk. Mase, who arrived with Mr. Best Dressed, was Puff's negative image (see how well they complement each other?) in a black suit with white contrast details.
Other elegant ladies were Christina Aguilera, the Simpson sisters, Jennifer Lopez and Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Aguilera was in full-tilt Marilyn Monroe mode, down to a drawn-on mole. She wore a silver chandelier dress with a low-cut back, curly blond hair (short enough to see the "Xtina" tattoo on her neck) and — what else? — a girl's best friend.
Jessica Simpson wore a silver sequin-topped dress; Ashlee wore a cream macramé frock with green-velvet details; J. Lo donned a brown fedora and brown dress with sequin accents and red-and-yellow flair to her skirt; and Karen O looked like a girl from a Robert Palmer video, clad in a skin-tight black dress and blood-red lipstick.
Representing for the fellas were Big Boi, Dave Navarro and Omarion. Though understated this year compared to what he normally rocks, Big Boi's black suit, silver tie and big diamond medallion made him look as dapper as ever. Navarro was all glam-rock in a completely open red shirt with a Playboy-logo necklace, skin-tight jeans and a wallet chain. Omarion's denim suit was both casual and classic.
It wouldn't really be an awards show in MIA if no one channeled Sonny Crockett. Happy to oblige, Kanye West wore a pale pink button-down shirt and pants with white loafers and a white belt.
Another trend in ostentatious Miami was gold clothing, with Beyoncé setting the bar high in short gold shorts with a matching jacket whose cuff and collars were bedecked with jewels.
Alicia Keys' dress had gold-rhinestone straps that wound around her neck, down her dress, and into a bow around her waist, while Ashanti wore a black dress with gold-dragon print. Marilyn Manson sported a Rosie O'Donnell-style asymmetrical hairdo along with a black high-water pantsuit and gold diamonds.
The Duff sisters were dripping in gold: Hilary in many antique necklaces and Haylie in earrings and a vintage belt.
They say great minds think alike, so Jay-Z, Usher and Ludacris must be geniuses. The three guys all wore white suits and hats, offset with subtle orange. Jay's splash of color was his striped tie, Usher's was in the form of a pocket square, and Cris' personalization was a tangerine button-down shirt under his jacket.
A bunch of the guys took the occasion to shout out to their favorite sports teams: Will Smith wore a Phillies throwback jersey, D12 were head-to-toe in Pistons gear, and Nelly's T-shirt pictured Michael Jordan.
Others, like Chingy and Lil Jon, looked like they were wearing sports shirts, but they were actually wearing personalized garb advertising upcoming albums (Chingy's Powerball) and themselves, respectively. Equally unsatisfied with off-the-rack clothes were Good Charlotte: Joel Madden wore a black vest (with the band's brass-knuckles symbol on the chest) with black pants, a white shirt and black tie, while Benji wore a stick-'em-up bandana over his mouth and a black suit with the brass knuckles painted all over it.
Some artists got their politics on: Beastie Boy Ad Rock wore a crossed-out "W" pin on his lawn-green coveralls and was accompanied by a woman wearing a dress with "Stop Bush" written all over it. Meanwhile, Brian Chase of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs wore a crossed-out picture of the president on his shirt, and Jadakiss sported a black "Buck Fush" tee.
And some were just there to have fun: The robe-bedecked Polyphonic Spree looked like a barefoot, walking box of Crayola crayons.
Finally, Hulk Hogan walked the red carpet in support of daughter Brooke, an up-and-coming singer. Brooke wore a khaki fishnet skirt over shorts and a khaki bikini top studded with gold stars. She also had a fluorescent-pink Miami manicure, while the Hulkster was dapper in an all-black suit and black do-rag.
Now rip off your tank top and get to the show coverage.
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.