Most Unforgettable: Cardi B in Archival Mugler
God bless Cardi B. On an otherwise underwhelming red carpet, she chose to emerge triumphant in this clamshell extravaganza from Mugler’s 1995 couture show, like The Birth of Venus as witnessed by Ryan Seacrest. If you need one thing from the Grammys to mention to a co-worker in order to make awkward small talk while you both wait for the elevator, this is it.
Biggest Relief (to Her): Lady Gaga in Celine
We can’t figure out why we’re not in love with this; maybe it’s because that ruffle looks like she accidentally stapled her sleeve to her bodice. But one look at Cardi B being helped into the Grammys with a very nervous-looking entourage, and you just know Gaga was thinking, “Ugh, remember when I needed a staff just to get anywhere in my outfits? This is SO MUCH EASIER.”
Best Surprise: Michelle Obama
OK, this is a bit of a cheat, because technically this did not happen on the red carpet—although she did at least BRIEFLY pass across it, as the CBS cohosts squealed about her mere seconds before they cut to the broadcast, potentially ruining the surprise—but if we can bend the rules for anyone, we can do it for this former FLOTUS. Especially because she looks so spectacular in this sparkly suit. Sure, Michelle was surrounded by celebrities, but she was the star.
Most Amusing Accessory: Jennifer Lopez in Ralph & Russo
Jennifer Lopez’s commitment to doing The Very Most is a relaxing surety in this uncertain world. And this hat is truly a hoot—not the least because when she was onstage, the lights reflected off the jewels around her neck and onto the inside of her hat, making her look like she was inside her own tiny disco. However, the huge brim also rendered J. Lo incapable of getting too physically close to people, which meant she wasn’t really able to hug Michelle Obama when they were onstage together. Was it worth it, Jennifer?!
Most Seussian: Katy Perry in Balmain
This skirt is a super surreal head-trip of an experience. We admittedly want to touch it—so alluringly textured!—but we’re also afraid to love it, in case we piss off The Lorax.
Best Restraint: Camila Cabello in Armani Privé
OK, “restrained” might be a weird comment about a pink sparkly column with a sexy open back, but hear us out: Camila is a young former girl-bander who’s nominated for her star-making song, “Havana.” This choice, guaranteed to make all the pictorials, is a stunning assertion that she is—if we may adapt from The Book of Britney—not a girl, but wholly a woman.
Most Constricting: Kylie Jenner in Balmain
This is two tiny design changes away from being a fashion straitjacket, and we’ve never been more claustrophobic.
Best Angles: Janelle Monáe in Jean Paul Gaultier
From her hat’s rakish tilt to the plunging vee and sharp sleeves, Janelle makes us wish we paid more attention in geometry all those years ago.
Best Suit: Brandi Carlile
That’s a gorgeous cut with a perfect touch of sparkle. We were JUST thinking we’d love to see a lady who shares Chadwick Boseman’s taste in coats, and lo, here she is.
Most Angelic: Heidi Klum
Heidi is no longer on Project Runway, but she and Tim Gunn are pairing up for another fashion TV project. So is this…a cheeky ode to resurrection?
Best Potential Interior Design Accent: St. Vincent
Yeah, that’s a cape. But who’s to say that it isn’t also the wallpaper from her downstairs powder room?
Easiest Time Being Green: Tracee Ellis Ross in Ralph & Russo
There’s basically no color Tracee can’t wear, and even when they’re brighter than the sun on their own, she somehow manages to enliven them. We also love the slinky snake detail wrapping around her waist. Draco Malfoy wishes anyone in Slytherin had been this rad.
Most Overwhelming: Ashanti
When sleeping bags attack!
Sleekest: Miley Cyrus in Mugler
OK, OK! Maybe boot-cut pants are back.
Best Rookie Season: Ella Mai in Ashi Studio
Ella burst onto the scene with “Boo’d Up” and casually won a Grammy for it last night for Best R&B Song. And just in case that all happened too fast for you to catch who she is, Ella hit the red carpet in this enormous confection that is simply impossible to miss: a dream gown for a dream night. (One might say she got all blue’d up, if one were a hopeless punner, which…we are, so.)
Most Cutesy: Anna Kendrick in Ralph & Russo
This is so sweet that it’s given us, collectively, cavities…but it’s also perfectly fitted to her, a Valentine in a mini-dress. ‘Tis the season, after all.
Most Costume-y: Andra Day in Custom Cheng
We weren’t technically wondering what Cher Horowitz would wear to a Prince-themed costume party, but now that we know, we’re kind of into it.
Most Princess-y: Bebe Rexha in Monsoori
Bebe Rexha was very open about the fact that several designers declined to dress her for this event because she didn’t fit into their sample sizes. The good news is she looks great in this fluffy red ballgown. The bad news is that it feels a bit like a Giambattista Valli knockoff. Maybe next year, they’ll get with the program and give her a real one.
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