A History Of Gwen Stefani Slaying The VMA Red Carpet: 1996-2014

Now that the 2014 Video Music Awards are a wrap, let’s take a look at all of the ’fits that Gwen Stefani has rocked at the VMAs. If you’re doubting my credentials, just know that I am a card-carrying member of the Tragic Kingdom, and you’re in good hands. Let’s go!

1996: JUST A GIRL

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Gwen’s first appearance at the MTV Video Music Awards were in 1996 with, you know, her band No Doubt, I’m sure you’ve heard of them. I kid. Our girl Gwen showed up in some seriously shiny pants, a midriff-baring gold top, and a black cardigan with fur trim. Welcome to the VMAs, Gwen.

1997: OI TO THE WORLD

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Gwen went for comfy casual at the 1997 MTV Video Music Awards. The platinum powerhouse wore a silver shell over a sheer Indian-inspired cover up (peep that gold threading), trousers, and slip-on slides. This particular outfit was clearly on the heels of the “Oi to the World” video shoot. The best part? Gwen’s makeup. You’ll see this same look resurface later in 2000 in No Doubt’s “New” video. Trust me.

1998: INTERGALACTIC BABE

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Chances are if you’ve ever done an idle search for “Gwen Stefani and “VMAs” you will have encountered this outfit at least once in your life. I see this outfit every time I close my eyes during VMA season. During the 1998 MTV Video Music Awards, Gwen wore a hovering futuristic skirt over pants (soooooo ’90s), a baby-blue furry bikini top that complemented her similarly blue ‘do, and platform sandals. Savvy readers will notice the bindi crystals on her face and the jelly bracelets on her wrists. Don’t know about you, but we found this outfit so iconic that we made a Halloween costume for it. Take a look!

2001: PATRIOTIC PINUP

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Gwen dazzled in a sparkly, sequined red-and-white halter top that showed off her awe-inspiring abs, two-toned red leather boots, and navy culottes at the 2001 MTV Video Music Awards.

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Also, take a look at these custom “Rock Steady” knuckle dusters.

2002: ????

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We’re still not sure what to call the bottom half of Gwen’s outfit. The “Hella Good” singer showed up to Radio City Music Hall in a studded knee-length leather skirt, a white tank top, a Rasta sweatband, a camo scarf tied around her neck, and some seriously pointy shoes.

2004: FRILLY ROCKABILLY

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Gwen showed up in head-to-toe Louis Vuitton from the luxury brand’s Fall 2004 ready-to-wear collection wearing a baby-blue bustier top with white frilly detailing and a red pencil skirt accented with black ruffles that seems a little flamenco and a lot rockabilly. The color combo of blue and white, though, is something that Stefani keeps returning to (in particular during the midst of her Love. Angel. Music. Baby. phase) proving that the gal sure likes to commit to certain thematic elements in her wardrobe.

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And because we couldn’t resist, here’s a close up Gwen’s floral head game.

2005: CALI COOL

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Hey guys, the cool kids (Gwen in a leopard-print dress from L.A.M.B. alongside Long Beach native Snoop Dogg) showed up to the 2005 MTV Video Music Awards in Miami. Man, Snoop really has a thing for California Girls doesn’t he? Also of particular note: 2005 was the year that both Gwen and Snoop won Best Dressed and donated all of their earnings to local charities showing that looking good and doing good really can go hand in hand.

2014: PRETTY IN PINK

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Has it really been nine years since Gwen’s last VMA appearance? The Voice judge wore an eye-popping outfit from her own line, L.A.M.B., that is definitely the mullet of VMA outfits, with a punchy pink party in the front and a subdued black in the back. The two-piece included a seamed bustier top and skinny pants with black tuxedo accents, and was pulled together with Lorraine Schwartz jewels and black sheer-lace Louboutin pumps. Also, can we talk about Gwen’s nail game? And her thousands of rings? (Somewhat unrelated: Does this look remind anyone else of this classic Simpsons moment?)

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In a perfect moment of synchronicity, Gwen appeared again with Snoop to present the first award of the night. Like can you get more California than these two? I think not. All in favor of getting Gwen and Snoop on Cali’s state flag. California über alles!