Anything goes at the MTV Video Music Awards, especially when it comes to fashion. Katy Perry is one of the true embodiments of that deeply held philosophy, having worn 14 different outfits at just seven VMA shows. And she isn’t done yet.
In fact, this year may be Katy’s most sartorially stunning one to date. She’s hosting and performing at the 2017 show on August 27, so she’ll have more than a few opportunities for costume changes (remember: Miley Cyrus wore 16 different outfits when she hosted the VMAs in 2015, so anything’s possible!). In preparation for Katy’s big night, let’s revisit every single one of her wild VMA styles.
2008: A thrifty VMA debutGetty Images
Way back in 2008, Katy was a doe-eyed 23-year-old with the summer’s hottest single, “I Kissed a Girl.” She showed up to the L.A. ceremony rocking the pin-up look she so adored, alongside her date, fellow Best New Artist nominee Miley Cyrus. Turns out, Katy’s entire outfit — including a white satin bustier, peach satin hot pants, and a bow barrette — was pieced together from vintage stores. How do we know? Katy recounted her DIY prowess to that evening’s red carpet correspondent, Taylor Swift (2008 was a much different time, y’all).
2008: Risqué in retroGetty Images
For her performance later that night, Katy changed into yet another shiny satin bodysuit. This one came accessorized with fingerless gloves and a sequined banana, which she coyly peeled from her bust while covering Madonna’s “Like a Virgin.” Talk about a memorable VMA debut.
2009: Silver and spikyGetty Images
By 2009, Katy was so over the whole pin-up thing and stepped onto the VMA carpet ready to rock in all silver. This glitzy mini, created by The Blonds, featured a studded and spiked bustier, which turned more than a few heads that night.
2009: She rocked youGetty Images
Later on in the show, Katy performed “We Will Rock You” with Aerosmith’s Joe Perry (no relation, FYI), which demanded a more rockstar-like ensemble. Cue Katy’s Steven Tyler-meets-Glow look: a heavily embellished corset, white spandex, and thigh-high boots.
2010: It’s all about the detailsGetty Images
What’s black, white, and sheer all over? Katy at the 2010 VMAs, where she dared to bare in a sexy Marchesa dress. Of course, she wouldn’t be a true California Gurl without a little pop of color, so Katy added pink, blue, and purple highlights to her dark tresses for a touch of flavor. Oh, and she also had pictures of her then-husband Russell Brand painted on her nails. Casual.
2011: Katy’s style parade begins with a parasolGetty Images
Katy received the most nominations at the 2011 VMAs (10 in all!), and walked away with three, including Video of the Year. A show that Katy-heavy meant she simply had to step up her style game, and step it up she did — she somehow managed to wear four different outfits that night. Let’s start with look number one: a pastel, neon-trimmed, beaded (there’s a lot going on here) mini-dress accessorized with a baby blue parasol and candy pink hair. Fine, fresh, and fierce.
2011: A split second of sophisticationGetty Images
Katy toned it all the way down when she walked onstage in a lacy, floor-length Tom Ford gown. She was the picture of sophistication, but this look only lasted while she introduced Adele’s performance. Then it was on to...
2011: Is that cheese?Getty Images
For her next sartorial trick, Katy changed into a geometric couture outfit while accepting her Video of the Year win for “Firework.” The best part? Duh, that yellow cube hat resembling a block of cheddar cheese. So kooky, yet somehow so cool.
2011: A proud record-setterGetty Images
In honor of tying Michael Jackson’s record for five No. 1 singles from one album, Katy ended the night in a sparkling dress made of crystal mesh and broken records. She topped it off with a matching vinyl headpiece, but the flashiest accessories were the ones in her hands: those shiny, hard-earned trophies formerly known as Moonmen.
2012: A little goth, a little glamGetty Images
Katy (much more reasonably) wore just two outfits to the 2012 VMAs, starting with this flowing Elie Saab gown that screamed “girly goth.” She also ditched those ever-changing colorful tresses in favor of long, sleek, black extensions.
2012: A kaleidoscopic chameleonGetty Images
Once inside, she hiked up the hem in a glitzy, long-sleeved dress with enough kaleidoscopic embellishments to stare at for days. Sadly, this look was only seen inside the venue, meaning only Katy's close circle (like bestie Rihanna, pictured above) got a good look.
2013: Two words: Gold grillsGetty Images
In 2013, Katy released the smash single “Roar,” and in case anyone forgot about that, she showed up to the VMAs with a wearable reminder. On the red carpet, she looked every bit the Queen of the Jungle in a skin-tight leopard-print dress with a high turtleneck and a slit up the left leg. Topping it off was a not-so-subtle gold grill in her teeth that spelled “ROAR,” which sadly never made its way to Katy’s online store. What a missed merch opportunity.
2013: Throwing punchesGetty Images
As if that wasn’t fierce enough, Katy got in fighting form while performing — what else?! — “Roar” in Brooklyn's Empire-Fulton Ferry Park. It was an epic VMA finale, with Katy dressed like a prizefighter in tube socks, golden lace-up boots, an animal-print sports bra, and flame-printed boxer shorts. Throw in a corner man and a spit-bucket, and the Rocky transformation was complete.
2014: Digging through VMA historyGetty Images
That brings us to Katy’s most recent VMA appearance, which gave us one of her wildest outfits to date. She and Riff Raff showed up to the 2014 bash wearing a custom-made Versace recreation of Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake’s all-denim 2001 look. Why? Who the hell knows, but Brit gave it her seal of approval, so we do too.
What wild creations will Katy wear this year? Find out when the 2017 VMAs air live from Inglewood, California, on Sunday, August 27 at 8 p.m. ET/PT. See the full list of nominees here, and get voting now!