Grammy 2013 Fashion Review

See all the Grammy Fashions here.

The Grammy Awards are different in many ways than most Hollywood Awards shows, as musicians are known for expressing themselves through fashion in a risk taking, individual way.  Rare is the rocker who conforms to current trends or a stylists rule.  From Elvis and his “hair closer to heaven” to the Beatles and their radically long locks, musicians are known for pushing envelopes and breaking rules.

It’s all kinds of fun to see how different celebrities react to this freedom — or pressure — to NOT conform.  Some go simply nuts (I’m lookin’ at you, Lady Gaga), and some THINK they’re going nuts by wearing a short dress instead of long (Faith Hill, come on.  You can do better).  Regardless of how the stars embrace the loosened mood of the Grammys, there is always plenty of eye-popping fashion to enjoy.  In fact, it seems as though this years’ memo to stars from the Grammy folks to keep it covered gave stylists and wearers an extra push towards the “will she or wont she” fall out of her dress type ensembles.

There was a new term bandied about amongst bloggers and watchers of Fashion last night, “underboob”.  From Rihanna’s crop top during the Bob Marley tribute, showing peeks of her elaborate “underboob” tattoo, to Alicia Keys and Kelly Rowland in dresses with illusion placed just so.  I can assure you, these women were fashion taped, locked and loaded.  I adored Kelly Rowland’s dress, I thought it was an architectural stunner.

Perhaps less secure in her swathe of fabric was Katy Perry.  She mentioned on the Red Carpet that she was channeling Priscilla Presley in the 70s, complete with high hair, a dress with plastic fruit applique, in mint green, that was too tight, and had a big ol’ boob window.  John Mayer, her date for the evening, also seemed to be attempting to channel Elvis in a purple velvet jacket, baggy pants and messy tie.  The look was more Willy Wonka than The King.  I find it interesting when a stars coupling influences their fashion.  John looked well-groomed and sophisticated when he was dating Jennifer Anniston, and cartoonish with the candy coated Ms. Perry.  Be your own man, dude.

Jennifer Lopez’ famous Versace “down to there” dress is now 13 years old.  Still trying to match the jaw dropping effects of that dress, last night she quipped “well, I had to follow the memo, so I went with a little leg instead.”  Now.  The dress she wore did show a leg.  One random leg (and one arm), that seemed to have some sort of crotch or panty thing built into it.  To my eye this made it look more hefty bag with a hole poked through than artful drape. In the picture I’ve enclosed with this post, there is also an unfortunate drape adding, um, volume to her crotch area in a way I can only describe as phallic.   I also detest the way stars with one dramatic leg slit feel they have to position their leg so that we are aware of its presence.  Angelina famously did this at the last Oscars, so much so that her leg had its own twitter feed by the end of the night.  The effect for me looks more amputee prosthetic than sexy.  The tight tight tight geisha hair only added to the severity of this look for me.

There were some beautiful gowns last night, including Rihanna in Alaia red, flowing and sheer and sexy and effortless.  That dress could have looked too formal and mature were it not for her tousled extensions, funky manicure and jewelry.  Many of the stars changed outfits to perform, and I loved Rihanna’s sleek black halter for one song, and hated the aforementioned crop top and skirt for the Marley tribute.  Alas.  Also changing outfits was Miranda Lambert, who wore a navy silk elegant gown on the Red Carpet, and a dated, too short beaded Bar Mitzvah dress onstage.  Carrie Underwood wore a very ornate pretty gown for the Red Carpet, with a necklace that I felt competed with the scroll work on the dress.  And in the ultimate Gimmick as Fashion move, her dress onstage lit up or acted as some sort of screen for projected imagery, I just hated that.  If for no other reason than she couldn’t move, and stood (or sat?) awkwardly while belting out her lyrics.  Taylor Swift was stunning in J. Mendel on the Red Carpet, and in some sort of circus get-up onstage that had more to do with her upcoming tour than her actual fashion taste.  I thought T Swizzle did a great job of wearing a mature gown and making it look fresh.  Unlike Carly Rae Jepsen, who wore a Cavalli beaded gown that was WAY too serious for someone with the worlds least serious pop song.  One forgets she is in her late 20s, and this gown was beautiful, but just no fun.

One trend for Spring 2013 is Black & White Graphics.  This was all over the show last night, including Beyoncé in a graphic pantsuit that I really liked. Points for edgy, different, and for NOT being revealing ALL the time.  Janelle Monae also wore her trademark androgynous look, with a bit of a toreador flair to it.

No discussion of Grammy Night would be complete without a nod to the men of the evening.  There’s not a whole lot a guy can do to mix it up on the Red Carpet without looking just plain goofy, but some did try.  Justin Timberlake was classic and suave as usual in Tom Ford.  I didn’t love the black and white spectator shoe, but I get it.  Many of the men go for the black on black on black look, including Maroon 5 and John Legend.  I’m not usually a fan of color for men on the Red Carpet, Frank Ocean and John Mayer in blue/purple seemed silly.  The boys of the band fun. were just that, fun in shrunken suits and sleek bucks.  Best Dressed for me was Drake in a classic with an edge tux that was more Don Draper than Elvis.

Whereas Katy and John were cartoonish, my favorite couple of the night was Sting and Trudy Styler.  He wore leather pants and a scarf, she was all elegance and chic in basic black.  They are the sexiest couple on the planet.  Love them.

There were some really odd choices that we can delve into, including Kimbra in a tulle Jaime Lee Major dress that made her look more nymph/faerie than human.  It was fun to look at, but I can’t say that I liked it.  Florence Welch wore a custom Givenchy spacesuit in green with tiny horn like nubbins protruding from it.  Nubbins.  Nuff said.  I have to also mention Kate Pierson in Tom Ford was so upsetting in that she is so wonderful, and Tom Ford is so wonderful, I’m not sure where this collaboration went wrong.  But the fit! The color!  The details!  Really, tragic.  Kat Dennings in a short Vivienne Westwood was boring, and Faith Hill was wearing the top half of an Oscar gown with a navy Ann Taylor skirt?  What happened there?

Lastly I have to mention my girl, Adele.   Adele just had a baby.  Adele is her own person.  Adele has never dressed “for her body”, and is never in color.  I thought this Valentino dress was very beautiful, but too thick, too high (in the neckline) and too long (in the sleeves) for her.  There are certain stars are so Who They Are, folks like me have no business doing our “should should should” dance when it comes to their style.  Should she have worn a different neckline?  Would it have been more flattering?  Perhaps.  But I loved that she chose color, and I love it when she opens her mouth.  The patterned shoes made it even more fun, and I cannot let her even come close to any worst dressed list I’m a part of.  That honor will have to go to JLo.  That dress makes me shake my head no matter how I view it.  Sorry, girl. Sometimes more is more.


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