Features · fashion
MTV Video Music Awards 2022: Best fashion from the red carpet
Lizzo, Taylor Swift and Lil Nas X were among the stars to impress on a red carpet dominated by dark hues, exposed midriffs and gender-fluid menswear.
Compared with Hollywood’s award ceremonies, the VMAs often see attendees letting loose and showing off their personalities, typically choosing fun, sultry or experimental outfits over formal suits and ballgowns. Fashion history has also been made here, such as Lil’ Kim’s one-sleeved purple jumpsuit and seashell nipple pastie in 1999 or Lady Gaga’s infamous meat dress in 2010.
This year’s event, held at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, saw performances by the likes of Bad Bunny and Nicki Minaj, with Jack Harlow and LL Cool J hosting. Celebrity fashion watchers also had much to celebrate as style darlings including Taylor Swift, Lil Nas X and Becky G arrived in show-stopping ensembles.
Many stars dressed in dark hues to match this year’s “black carpet” — though they brought outfits to life with fetishwear-inspired accessories, such as singer Dove Cameron’s thick leather choker, or flashes of color, like Sabrina Carpenter’s rainbow embellishments.
Stars also dared to bare, with celebrities including Ashley Graham, Tate McRae and Blackpink’s Jennie all flashing their midriffs. Anitta and Victoria de Angelis of Maneskin, meanwhile, paid apparent homage to Lil’ Kim’s famed 1999 VMAs outfit with fashionable nipple covers.
Some of the evening’s men bared their torsos, too. And gender-fluid fashion brought a certain softness to the menswear ensembles, with Maneskin’s Ethan Torchio donning a sheer corset, Conan Gray billowing past in a lace-train Harris Reed outfit, and Bob the Drag Queen twirling in a white skirt, which he matched with a plaid blazer and waistcoat.
Lizzo arrived early to the red carpet and raised the bar, stepping out in a fresh off-the-runway Jean Paul Gaultier couture creation. Credit: Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images
Becky G wore a colorful figure-hugging ensemble by Zuhair Murad, decorated with stained glass-inspired tarot card illustrations and numerous side cut-outs. Credit: Catherine Powell/Getty Images
Model Ashley Graham was the picture of confidence in a Houghton NYC dress that cinched at points across her torso to reveal glimpses of midriff. Credit: Evan Agostini/Invision/AP
Singer Conan Gray was a vision in white, wearing a whimsical Harris Reed ensemble with a lace-trimmed train and blazer. Credit: Jeff Kravitz/Getty Images
Sofia Carson was the picture of elegance in a black-hooded column dress with puffy off-shoulder sleeves. Credit: Evan Agostini/Invision/AP
Jack Harlow, nominee and host, skipped the standard black suit and chose a chocolate leather ensemble, complete with an unusual high-necked shirt in a similar hue. Credit: Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images
Wearing a custom silver Zigman gown, Chloe Bailey dazzled as she walked – with her intricate bustier and leg slit bringing the drama. Credit: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images
Tate McRae brought ’90s vibes in a teal two-piece, which she accessorized with jewels by David Yurman. Credit: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images
Bob the Drag Queen wore a gray plaid blazer, matching vest and white voluminous skirt. Credit: Evan Agostini/Invision/AP
Maneskin’s Ethan Torchio, Victoria De Angelis, Damiano David and Thomas Raggi brought their gender-fluid style to the black carpet, featuring heart-shaped nipple covers, torso-baring sparkling capes and sheer corsets by Gucci. Credit: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images
Sabrina Carpenter chooses a sparkling black Moschino gown patterned with rainbow florals and hip cut-outs. Credit: Evan Agostini/Invision/AP
Singer Dove Cameron was a study in contrasts with her strapless Paco Rabanne dress, which combined florals and leather fetishwear elements — and a black choker to top it all off. Credit: Andres Kudacki/AFP/Getty Images
All eyes were on singer Samy Hawk in his graffiti-inspired leather jacket and bright green hat. Credit: Catherine Powell/Getty Images
Blackpink’s members Lisa, Jisoo, Jennie and Rosé arrived in complementary all-black outfits Credit: Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images
Bright greens popular on the VMAs carpet, with rapper Latto wearing a lace-up mini dress in a neon shade. Credit: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images
Host LL Cool J went with a tried and true look, opting for an all-black ensemble, beanie, sunglasses and custom ‘Cool J’ knuckle dusters. Credit: Andres Kudacki/AFP/Getty Images
In an apparent homage to Lil Kim’s famed 1999 VMAs outfit, Anitta dared to bare with an asymmetrical red corset and an artistic nipple cover from Schiaparelli Haute Couture Fall-Winter 2022. Credit: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images
Always one to elevate menswear, J Balvin’s ivory approach to suiting by Louis Vuitton featured wide-legged trousers and a double-breasted blazer, and Tiffany & Co. jewellery. Credit: Evan Agostini/Invision/AP
A sculptural quilted dress worn by Chloe Fineman was one of the more experimental looks of the night, with a coral trim and worn with a metallic microbag. Designed by threeASFOUR for Instacart, she finished the look with silver heels. Credit: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images
Actor Colton Haynes was impossible to miss in an acid green flared suit by Dior, featuring a wrapped blazer, diamond brooch and platform shoes. Credit: Evan Agostini/Invision/AP
Lil Nas X was a strong contender for best dressed, wearing a sculptural Harris Reed ensemble featuring a tiered feathered skirt frame and headdress. Credit: Jeff Kravitz/Getty Images
Top image: Taylor Swift (Jeff Kravitz/Getty Images)