vmas 2022

Blackpink, Taylor Swift and More VMA Red Carpet Looks

Photo-Illustration: by The Cut; Photos: Getty Images

The stars and star-adjacent, niche micro-celebrities arrived on the black carpet at the 2022 MTV Video Music Awards tonight wearing clothing. Sure, some showed up to serve (looking at you, Lizzo) but others showed up to seemingly sell watches, like Murda Beatz, and live out their sweaty, teenage dirtbag eras, like the bazillion attendees draped in all-black leather in the extremely humid New Jersey heat.

As is tradition at the VMAs, it’s hard to nail down one, cohesive theme. After all, this is the same carpet Lady Gaga blessed us with her iconic meat dress on. In fact, it’s hard to know if all of these stars are headed to the same event. Formality is thrown out the window and self-expression reigns supreme, and if that means looking like you just rolled in from a backyard barbecue like Nev Schulman or Prada dressing you in Severance-core like DJ Khaled, so be it.

We noticed a few trends on the black carpet, like the apparently agreed-upon gothic attire over half the attendees showed up in; the strands of hair draped over the face that drove us absolutely crazy a la Anitta and Dixie D’Amelio; the exposed left breasts that jiggled their way down the carpet (Lil Kim did it first) and the obscene amount of leather sure to cause a local baby powder shortage.

Given the chaotic nature of this award show, we’ve broken it down into equally chaotic categories to help you sift through it all.

Best Dressed

We have to give it to Lizzo in Jean Paul Gaultier. Because, honey, look at the material.

Photo: Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images

Best Dressed Runner Ups

A close second are the icons from Blackpink: Lisa, Jisoo, Jennie, and Rosé, wearing Celine, Dior, Chanel, YSL, respectfully.

Photo: Cindy Ord/WireImage

Most Cher

Lil Nas X in Harris Reed.

Photo: Arturo Holmes/FilmMagic

Look That Saved the Night

Taylor Swift serving Swifties their dose of “Mirrorball.” We are happy to see you Tay Tay.

Photo: Arturo Holmes/FilmMagic

A Look We Love

Kamie Crawford in Hanifa. Period.

Photo: Doug Peters - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images

Most Robust Use of Prints

Red Hot Chilli Peppers members — Flea, John Frusciante, Anthony Kiedis, and Chad Smith — all arrived decked out in prints.

Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for MTV/Paramount Global

Most Y2K

Cyn Santana arrived in a look that was basically cut-and-paste from the early aughts, down to the two streaks in front of her face.

Photo: Getty Images

Most VMA-Themed

The VMAs have always been about pushing fashion forward and Conan Gray delivered in this Harris Reed look.

Photo: Arturo Holmes/FilmMagic

Most Convenient

Chloe Fineman teamed up with threeasfour and Instacart to come up with this look. Apparently the dress has lots of pockets to hide snacks.

Photo: Arturo Holmes/FilmMagic

Best Fall Fashion Inspo

We were confused when Jack Harlow showed up in almost 80-degree weather wearing a full leather look. But then realized, you have to dress for the season you want. And this is Hermès.

Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for MTV/Paramount Global

Best Accessories

Dove Cameron’s nails, manicured by Juan Alvear.

Photo: Jeff Kravitz/Getty Images for MTV/Paramount Global

Most Office Appropriate

DJ Khaled in a gray, Prada button up. It doesn’t get more subversively tame than that.

Photo: Bryan Bedder/Variety via Getty Images

Best Back to School Inspo

Bob the Drag Queen is the embodiment of the dark academia aesthetic. Bob is the main character in the library at Hogwarts.

Photo: Bryan Bedder/Variety via Getty Images

Most Punk

Avril Lavigne, duh. No one else can compare to the queen of angst.

Photo: Cindy Ord/WireImage

Most Chaotic

We aren’t sure what is happening with Samy Hawk’s look. But he looks like he is having fun. And that is all that matters.

Photo: Bryan Bedder/Variety via Getty Images

Most Likely to Stick to a Couch

We had to include Jack Harlow’s second look, only because it looks like it would make squeaky noises when he walks by.

Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for MTV/Paramount Global

Most Likely to Save the World

Chloe Bailey looked like a superhero in her silver gown, and we are here for it.

Photo: Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images

Most Prom-esque

Sabrina Carpenter served up a look that was both saucy and sweet, which is exactly what I was going for at prom.

Photo: Gotham/WireImage

Most Holy

We are worshipping Becky G’s stained glass/tarot-inspired dress. How could you not?

Photo: Bryan Bedder/Variety via Getty Images
Plus: Lizzo, Becky G and more!