Sunday night, the MTV VMAs executed the first mainstream red carpet and awards ceremony since the global pandemic shut down large scale events. Even though there weren’t any fans screaming from behind barriers, no paps yelping, “Gaga! Over Here!” and the red carpet didn’t actually lead into a concert arena, our fave rockstars and pop gods still gave us some fire lewks and fashion-inspo that we’ll be talking about for days.
It came together in a wholly unexpected way as well, as most of the stars who walked the red carpet did so a few days ago, and each of them had to quarantine beforehand and take COVID-19 tests to ensure their safety. So their red carpet walk, their rehearsals, and even their big performance, were all pre-taped. Nevertheless, we might need to call the morgue after some of these striking red carpet poses because we are DEAD.
No red carpet? No problem! At least not for Mama Monster Lady Gaga anyway, who shocked us on the ~silver~ carpet with a metallic Area ready-to-wear dress decked out with her own custom moon man helmet (or as we know them now, safety face shield) to mirror the awards she was about to win (and boy did she).
@vmas performance sooooon! ? pic.twitter.com/k90YtKii36— MTV (@MTV) August 31, 2020
Gaga didn’t come to play, she came to slay—changing outfits four times (kudos to designers Iris Van Herpen, Valentino, and Christopher John Rogers) and complimenting each look with a mask. If Lady Gaga can bump and grind and dance in a mask, you can wear it the entire time you're in the grocery store. No excuses.
Of course, we cannot talk about the red carpet without talking about Miley being Miley. She walked up in a jeweled translucent Mugler dress. And if you thought for one second that this older, wiser, more mature Miley wasn’t going to go full Miley on the red carpet, well fam, you don’t know Miley. Of course, she had to pay homage to her earlier wild VMA performances by swinging on a disco ball as she sang “Midnight Sky” (awfully reminiscent of her “Wrecking Ball” days), but at least she wasn’t twerking it up with Robin Thicke again (*shudder*).
Actress and activist Keke Palmer made history as the first Black woman to host the VMAs, and she dressed the part in a stunning Area dress that left all our jaws on the floor. Her red carpet photograph also revealed the green screen that was behind all the stars as they walked the virtual red carpet days before the event, but we'll forgive her since it matches her dress so darn well.
?THE QUEEN @KekePalmer ?She's HOSTING the #VMAs tonight at 8p on @MTV! You don't wanna miss this ? ? pic.twitter.com/KnLzY63H5l— Video Music Awards (@vmas) August 30, 2020
Chloe X Halle performed in these wild Sho Konishi costumes that had us all thinking our future robot overlords are also fashion ICONS. On social media, fans were living for their lewks and bowing down to their queens. Bebe Rexha shared that she was not only looking good at the VMAs (on her 31st birthday no less), she was feeling good in her Lionne Royal Blood collection Makeda Blazer dress and bike shorts.
THE BIRTHDAY QUEEN @BebeRexha ??Serving yet another CLASSIC #VMA look. ?Watch her present tonight at 8p on @MTV! pic.twitter.com/dAulbg4MNq— Video Music Awards (@vmas) August 30, 2020
Oh, did we not mention Doja Cat in Versace? Because the “Say So” singer, who won the PUSH Best New Artist award, positively glowed in fabric the colour of a fireball with, as Versace put it, “Jungle-inspired embroidery.” Fans were calling her skin-baring lewk the best dressed of the night. This isn’t prom, but if it were, give that woman all the best dressed awards STAT.
OK SO @DojaCat is one of the most beautiful women ON THE PLANET ?Don't miss her #VMA performance TONIGHT at 8p on @MTV ? pic.twitter.com/LlKEPcR5XQ— Video Music Awards (@vmas) August 30, 2020
Sofia Carson brought back the Hollywood glamour we've been missing over this red carpet dry spell with a flowing red Giambattista Valli gown, accented with the chunky diamonds one only wears out of the house. Nicole Richie and Joey King brought the late summer vibes in short skirts and rich bright hues.
#VMAs TONIGHT. ?Tune in at 8p on @MTV ❗️ pic.twitter.com/Xy4t7enm7F— Video Music Awards (@vmas) August 30, 2020
Helllooooo to the beautiful @JoeyKing?She's presenting TONIGHT at the #VMAs! ?Tune in tonight at 8p on @MTV! pic.twitter.com/FNauMspdcE— Video Music Awards (@vmas) August 30, 2020
Okay, we admit that we are mostly stanning the women on the red carpet here, so let’s just give a little love to The Weeknd who looked pretty dapper in his red suit jacket, but a little worse for wear when it came to his makeup look. Blink 182 drummer Travis Barker walked the red carpet ahead of his performance with Machine Gun Kelly, sporting perhaps the best face mask slogan. “Don’t trust anyone” is either really good advice, or the name of the next Blink 182 album. In either case, we are here for it.
#VMA Pre-Show on @MTV now! ⚡️ pic.twitter.com/tVJ9o9PaCL— Video Music Awards (@vmas) August 30, 2020
Da Baby's fuzzy Louis Vuitton look was almost too luxe to look at while also seeming like the comfiest ensemble on the carpet—very 2020. Finally, Jaden Smith continued serving the feel-good pastel vibes with his colour-blocking jacket and literal rose-tinted sunnies.
Watch performances, highlights and the full VMA show here, and be sure to catch the MTV VMA Post-Show too, airing Monday, August 31 at 10e/7p on MTV Canada and Much.