Let’s just get the mind-boggling fashion out of the way so we can move on to the red-carpet highlights from the 49th annual Grammy Awards, shall we?
In addition to contending for Best New Artist, Imogen Heap looked like she was gunning for the Björk Award on Sunday (February 11), as she arrived looking like Mary Poppins after a crash landing. The British songstress wore a severe black jacket and skirt complete with exposed petticoat and giant daisy appliqués — paired with black lace tights and white knee boots — and carried a parasol in her white-gloved hands above her rumpled hair decorated with foliage.
Yes. All of it. For real.
Phew, now that that’s over, T.I. and Ludacris — who later won the Best Rap Album award (see “Timberlake Rocks; Blige Weeps; Chicks, Chilis Clean Up At Grammys” ) — looked great. And, as a matter of fact, the men stole the red carpet this year. T.I. wore a black tuxedo and open black shirt; Ludacris rocked a gray suit and vest with a blue-and-gold tie and gold pocket square.
Justin Timberlake sported a gunmetal suit with a skinny black tie, while John Mayer wore a plain, traditional tuxedo — when was the last time we saw that? — which he offset with a pair of black Nikes and a wily evasiveness when asked about his relationship with Jessica Simpson. John Legend took a laid-back approach to the tuxedo, with his shirt unbuttoned and an untied bow tie draped around his collar.
Wyclef arrived in an all-white suit, accented with a polka-dot ascot. Also broadcasting his purity was Akon in a white suit, white shirt and white tie. Paul Wall dressed in a patterned black suit, black tie and matching yellow-gold grill, earrings and watch. Each Red Hot Chili Pepper rocked his own style, with Anthony Kiedis in a light-gray suit and black tie; John Frusciante in a brown-velvet suit, pink shirt and plaid tie; Flea in a tweed blazer and hat, with a tartan shirt; and Chad Smith? Well, his outfit was fine, but he did come wearing a backward baseball cap, so let’s move on to the women.
The big female fashion winner of the evening wasn’t a musician but is linked to one in the tabloids, so we’ll let it slide. Scarlett Johansson was sexy but casual in a black short-sleeve dress with gold beading down the center, and she wore her long, blond hair parted in the center and free-flowing.
Almost every other woman on the carpet was wearing sequins, whether it was Fergie’s slate baby-doll swing dress, Pink with her black column dress with a peek-a-boo diamond in the center, or Carrie Underwood in her flowing silver gown.
Another trend for the ladies, sometimes even paired with sequins, was a precious bow or belt cinched around their waists. Christina Aguilera — who performed at Clive Davis’ pre-Grammy party Saturday night (see “Aguilera, Hudson Play For Clive Davis; FOB Rock Roots’ Grammys Eve Jam” ) — arrived in a pink strapless sweetheart gown with a taupe sash; Mary J. Blige wore a plunging, sparkling draped gold dress with a metallic belt and a fur stole; Paula Abdul walked the carpet in a black halter dress with a black-and-white striped skirt separated by a bow; and Natasha Bedingfield wore a silver sequin dress with — yes — a bow around her waist.
Shakira and Mandy Moore straddled more than one trend. Shakira had a satin bow on her strapless red dress, and Moore paired a black-and-white polka-dot belt with a flowing pastel floral dress, but they also were part of the crew of women who abandoned the sleek, straight look in favor of messy, curly hair. Hilary Duff — with her tousled, darker hair — wore a black-and-copper sequin and lace minidress, and Nelly Furtado and her kinky bob showed up in a strapless dress with a sculpted gold bustier and shredded white skirt.
Meanwhile, “Dreamgirls” stars Beyoncé and Jennifer Hudson didn’t follow any of the trends of the evening. B wore a sheer pink satin strapless dress with a big, blingy brooch in the middle, and Hudson wore a clingy red tank dress.
Brooke Hogan stood out as the only shock of color on the carpet in a satin lime-green dress, while OK Go tried to blend in as much as possible. The guys dressed head to toe in red-and-gold tapestry ninja suits. They may not have wanted to call attention to themselves (yeah, right), but the Black Eyed Peas’ Will.I.Am wanted to make sure he could hear what people had to say about him in style. Paired with his understated black suit and basket-weave fedora, he wore a fashion ear — not an earring, but a sparkling ear-shaped slip-on over his actual ear. And let us never speak of this again.
The show’s over but there’s plenty of Grammy hotness here on MTVNews.com. Check out photos of the hottest red-carpet and onstage action; join our reporters as they hit all the Grammy week parties; and let us know what you think about the performers, winners and losers. Plus see videos of all the nominees on MTV.com and check out exclusive video footage from the big night right here.