The Full ‘Miley Cyrus: MTV Unplugged’ Fashion Recap

Miley Cyrus throws down an ’Unplugged’ hoedown.
Photo: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic for MTV

I don’t know if it’s just because I was THERE for it, but Miley Cyrus has never made so much sense to me until watching her perform for Unplugged. When artists go Unplugged, they strip their music down to its most basic elements, and usually their performance style follows suit (à la Kurt Cobain’s nubby cardigan or Jay Z’s Che Guevara crewneck). Well, when you dial Miley back to her roots, you get Nashville, the Grand Ole Opry, hair spray, and velvet paintings of Elvis set against sequined curtains. So while her set was stripped-down, leaning heavily on acoustics, her onstage steez left no rhinestone unturned. #turndownforwhat

Miley Cyrus’ red gingham opening ’Unplugged’ outfit.
Photo: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic for MTV

In stark contrast to many of her more-subdued Unplugged predecessors, Miley opened the show with her knee-slapping “4X4” track clad in a little blonde bob wig and head-to-toe red gingham—a sparkle-laden catsuit with a Western yoke, custom-made by her stylist Simone Harouche. Harouche is also responsible for the initial Bubba-toothed, star-pastied promo photo outfit, which probably makes a LOT more sense now after seeing the whole show. It’s a look she describes in this Instagram caption as #bobmackiecowgirl. (Personally, my kneejerk reaction was, “Sally O’Malley goes to Graceland???” But I digress…)

My name is Sally O’Malley, and I’m 50! 50 years old!
Photo: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic for MTV/NBC’s ’Saturday Night Live’

In truth, the inspiration for her opening ensemble likely hit a little closer to home: a combination of actual Bob Mackie Cowgirl, ’60s sexpot Ann-Margret, and Miley’s IRL godmother, the bubbly, buxom, and surprisingly irreverent Dolly Parton. The Backwoods Barbie has been known to take down-home country staples like picnic blanket gingham and stonewashed denim to exciting (read: SPARKLY) new heights. Miles big upped her “aunt” Dolly with more than her wardrobe, nailing a gut-wrenching cover of “Jolene” with a few 2014 updates of her own.

Dolly Parton’s also a fan of gingham.
Photo: Kii Arens/Getty Images

And head-to-toe denim.
Photo: Webster PR/Getty Images

As you saw in the previews launched by both Miley and her special Unplugged guest, Madonna, Miles makes a quick wardrobe change and removes her wig revealing her cute new Andy Lecompte pixie, while her Denika Bedrossian makeup and gingham NCLA nails by Stephanie Stone keep on keepin’ on. You saw the top half of her shimmering sequined denim Ashish outfit, but now you can see the full look in all its glory.

Miley Cyrus’ second ’Unplugged’ outfit: sequined double denim.
Photo: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic for MTV

In my opinion, this was was the most perfect outfit Miley could have worn for this event (and I’m not just saying that because I’m reporting from within the belly of MTV). The distressed double denim hearkens back to her own “Achy Breaky” roots: the man, the myth, the mullet—her dad, Billy Ray Cyrus. The wash of sequins pay homage to the glittery side of Nashville. And the baggy silhouette with a teeny-tiny top nod to Miley’s own ’90s hip-hop leanings. I mean, this outfit (save the sparkly cowboy boots) could’ve easily been worn by Aaliyah or any of the ladies of TLC, also Ciara and Cassie.

Miley Cyrus and Madonna do their best rhinestone cowboy.
Photo: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic for MTV

Madonna dressed for the occasion with her own Nashville-ready ensemble, reprising the cowboy styling from her original “Don’t Tell Me” music video and adding a boatload more details: fringe, gold, studs, and sparkly flourishes. (She took her grill off for the performance.)

Don’t tell me we can’t stop.
Photo: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic for MTV/Maverick Records


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