We went into this year's Grammys with a lot of expectations, questions, and excitement about what our favorite musicians would wear. We wondered whether Frank Ocean would don his signature bandana on the carpet, or if Rihanna and Katy Perry would break CBS' decency code. In short, there was a lot to look out for, and did the stars ever deliver.
Most of the trends on the red carpet must have been cause for alarm for the network, with cut-outs and sheer panels featuring heavily.
Kelly Rowland was immediately identified as having one of the night's standout looks (and being a potential FCC fine target) in a fishtail Georges Chakra gown with sheer panels in all the wrong places (or were they the right places?). The geometric peek-a-boo's broke the "bare sides or under curvature of the breasts is also problematic" clause in a big way, but the offending panels also highlighted Rowland's killer figure and made the gown look daring and modern.
Rihanna opted for a bright-red, custom Azzadine Alaia gown, with a crisscross halter top and sheer panels across the waist. At first we thought she was playing it safe, covering up completely, save for her midriff. But on closer inspection, the sheer nature of the whole dress revealed it to be anything but. Rihanna paired it with cascading waves and a bright red lip, creating a soft, bright, young look that stunned.
Katy Perry wore one of the most eye-catching ensembles of the night: an electric, mint-green Gucci gown with a keyhole neckline. With jeweled accents across the collar, there was really only one place for the eyes to focus, and it was not CBS-friendly. The dress fit Perry perfectly and, matched with a center part and low-key makeup, the look was pure disco glamour.
Also catching our eye was Taylor Swift. Although she played it safe in a Grecian-style J. Mendel gown in white — one of her signature red carpet colors, the others being red and gold — she fully channeled a goddess with a braided up-do on the carpet, which allowed the shimmering silver accents on the dress to really stand out.
The ladies weren't the only ones on their sartorial A-game on the red carpet. Frank Ocean proved his fearlessness by eschewing the expected suit or tux in exchange for a navy blue Dior Homme track jacket and matching pants. It was a street wear-meets-high fashion dream come true, and Ocean carried it so well. Also proving that men's fashion can be as surprising and exciting as women's was Rick Ross, who went the "Suit & Tie" route in a custom Tom Ford tux à la Justin Timberlake, but accessorized the classic, perfectly fitted look with a pair of diamond-studded Cazal sunglasses. The only word that can accurately describe this look is "fresh."
And then there was Florence Welch. The first thing that came to mind when saw her emerald-green, sequined Givenchy gown was "dinosaur," which might not sound like the makings of a best dress of the night — but it was. Featuring three-dimensional spikes all over the shoulders, neckline, and down the bodice, the gown transformed the already ethereal Florence into a goddess/demon/animal creature we couldn't take our eyes off of. She was clearly aware of her transformation, and she elevated the whole look to even fiercer heights with a metallic gold talon manicure.