On Monday night, the MTV VMAs 2018 red carpet took place at New York’s Radio City Music Hall in midtown. But given the fashion, everyone looked like they’d just walked out of the Kith store in Soho after a trendy athleisure bender, or staged a photo shoot on the corner of Mercer and Howard Streets. There were so many Off-White sneakers to be found, and Travis Scott even wore slide sandals. Here, see the best, worst, and most casual-looking outfits from the show.
Of course, everyone was happy to see celebrities like Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson being young and in love on the red carpet. Feelings, like slide sandals, are the look of the summer. In keeping with this theme, Davidson wore a bracelet with his fiancée’s initials as well as her Sweetener album merch, which he paired with Off-White sneakers and cargo pants, plus a NASA patch. Grande, who was scheduled to perform, let her ponytail down and wore a silver Zenon dress with her signature high boots. They looked cute, but they also looked a lot like they’ve looked all summer in street-style photos.
If the streets are the new red carpet, where does that leave awards shows? Do celebrities look like us now? Or are we all pulling from the same references?
I counted 25 pairs of sneakers on the red carpet Monday night, at least five of which were Nikes designed by Virgil Abloh. Plus three pairs of Louis Vuitton hiking boots by Abloh’s predecessor, Kim Jones. (Quavo and Offset of Migos wore full fall 2018 Louis Vuitton looks.)
It was a big night for Vuitton, which also took over the September issues this year. But I don’t think this was a case of paid influencers or advertising; I think this is how celebrities want to dress because they think it looks cool. And it does … for the most part. But is it red-carpet worthy? Was the red carpet ever that interesting in the first place? Teyana Taylor wore her abs!
Some celebrities rose to the challenge. In her first red-carpet appearance since giving birth to Kulture five weeks ago, Cardi B looked sophisticated in a purple velvet custom dress by Nicolas Jebran. She also sported a new short haircut.
Gucci Mane and his wife, Keyshia Ka’oir, also, unsurprisingly, dressed like the music royalty that they are. SZA wore Rodarte and Kylie Jenner wore Tom Ford. Chloe and Halle Bailey passed as true grown-ups in Iris van Herpen. I’m still trying to figure out who dressed Ashanti, but she looked stunning.
Jennifer Lopez, who would receive the Video Vanguard Award and give a performance, was radiant in a metallic silver Versace gown.
Other standouts were Amandla Stenberg in Prada and Millie Bobby Brown in Rosie Assoulin. Meanwhile, Stenberg’s girlfriend, Mikaela Straus — better known as King Princess — toed the line between casual and formal in an Adam Selman denim set. Tyga was also a surprise in a blue Maison Martin Margiela suit.
The red carpet and street style may be blurred, but fashion and music are clearly in sync. Virgil Abloh, for one, has a background in music, so it’s no surprise that he saw a lot of support tonight. (In addition to Davidson and Lil Xan, Nicki Minaj also wore a dress by Off-White.) Musicians have always dressed how they wanted, but now it seems high-fashion brands are meeting them in the middle.