The start of a new year is a very exciting time for fashion with red carpets galore! There are two major ones that set the ball rolling – The Academy and the Grammy Awards. The latter, with some of the most dramatic displays of fashion, has always excited me. So after eyeballing photos after photos, here I am with the Grammys red carpet report card.
For me, one of the things that has made the Grammys stand out is the strong hint of rebellion inherent in the fashion choices made by the artistes. Edgy and independent, they scream nonconformity, and this is what makes these events very exciting in terms of fashion. There are no set rules of black ties or evening gowns, even if there are, they have been shown successful disregard. Remember Jennifer Lopez in a green front-open Versace dress that skyrocketed her status as a fashion icon? Even the male artistes turn up in colourful tuxedos and dinner jackets teamed with shorts (special mention: Pharell William's hat and Sam Smith's red tux). There is a time for classic elegance, and the Oscars is the place for it. However, out-of-the-box ideas coupled with a dash of bravado should be celebrated so that we don't get stuck with prescribed notions of what looks good.
Flash forward to this year! It was quite a blasé event. The 70s elements back with a bang this year, were peeking out, but not in full glory. Sadly, neither the stars nor their designer patrons took advantage of it. But, there are always some who manage to make their mark. Nick Jonas, totally hipster, in a plaid suit with spotless white shoes. Rihanna, in a pink strapless creation by Italian designer Giambattista Valli that brought to mind a pyramid of bubble wrap, let her dress take centre stage and kept her make-up bare minimum. Jessie J stunned in a sheer dress with floral appliqué work; so did Kanye West in a tux with a deep-V neck. Katy Perry's mermaid-ombrè hair was the perfect accessory to her sparkly crystal-embellished backless dress by Zuhair Murad. Ciara made me do a double take! Exuding poise and power in an off shoulder ruffled tulle Alexandre Vauthier haute couture straight off the runway, she walked the line between surreal and sorcery and totally nailed it. Her lightly contoured face and otherwise minimum make-up complimented the whole look. And then there was Gwen Stefani wowing as usual, this time in a chic and fluid strapless black jumpsuit.
I do hope in the coming years, designers and the artistes push the boundaries even more. They could do with a little more exaggeration. The Grammys is a brilliant chance to showcase inventive, whimsical and edgy couture, and totally get away with it. If Lady Gaga can arrive in an egg and still sell albums, I think anything works. So, then! Beyoncé could take note and deviate from her done-to-death long, lacy black gowns to something more exciting. Her monochrome jumpsuit in 2014 gave off a far more confident look. Striking a balance between fashion-forward and age-appropriate is extremely important, and a class that Madonna could do with. The singer, dressed as a provocative matador this year, could certainly wow without exposing her derrière.
The Grammy red carpet has had other competitors, namely the more trendy and upcoming MET and the AmFar Gala. But for it to remain the original mecca of the wild, things need to be kicked up a notch. And as long as it remains exciting and relevant, fashion will always be the winner.
Grammy Takeaway Tips For Mere Mortals
- Confidence! Whatever your body type, wear everything and anything with fierceness, and have fun like no one is watching.
- Cut-out dresses and tops for daywear, and sheer, embellished ones for the evening.
- Heavy kohl on the upper eyelids and loads of mascara teamed with bare lips or just a hint of nude lip colour.
- Minimum eye make-up with a deep wine or scarlet lip colour.
- Mermaid-inspired ombrè hair tinting. Try shades such as turquoise blue, green and lavender.