Sheer Monochrome Ennui Takes Over

Maddie Zeigler and Sia

Did you catch the Sam Smith show with special guest Beck on Sunday night? The awards show formerly known as the 57th Grammys featuring Smith’s four wins plus Beck’s three made for victors who were about as diverse as Sia’s huge face obscuring wig.


Black ruled as far as red carpet fashion went and relatively sedate was the name of the game. Certainly there was nothing like the famed J.Lo Versace or the Lil’ Kim pasty and in fact there are now Grammy dress codes restricting that type of attire. Naturally there can be no awards show without plunging necklines; thanks to Nicki Minaj and Lady Gaga who courted wardrobe malfunctions with major boobage displays; and even some “bass” in the form of one flashed 56-year-old derriere & (no thanks, Madonna) who also had her breasts hoisted up and on the half shell.  The Material Girl uhh woman lifted the back of her Givenchy Couture matador costume on the red carpet for the world to kiss her assets however all I could think of was that we’d seen this look from her before. Flash back to her Marc Jacobs/Louis Vuitton bunny eared costume at the 2009 Met Gala which shared a certain sensibility and was accessorized similarly; from the over-the-knee boots to the ridiculous headgear. I’ll trade you a sparkly veiled matador hat for the bunny ears?


Besides some over emphasized body parts,  others seemed to have gone AWOL. For example, Sia’s eyes were hidden under the previously mentioned exaggerated Andy Warhol or is that a Maltese wig (this year’s answer to Pharrell’s hat) perhaps making it necessary to employ her similarly wig clad but less visually impaired young dancer Maddie Zeigler as her “seeing eye kid.” Kim Kardashian appeared to be missing her hands which were swallowed up in a too big sparkly gold Jean Paul Gaultier robe. Was she auditioning to play both Snow White and Dopey?

Gwen Stefani

Gwen Stefani pranced by in an Atelier Versace black jumpsuit with intricate beadwork and netting at the top and I did not immediately recognize her because she was missing her trademark red lips! Gwen in a nude lip definitely threw me for a loop however she looked quite youthful.  Lo and behold when she performed during the show in a red gown the red lips were back. Likewise Beyonce wore very minimal makeup and very long hair extensions in a black sheer lace gown making her less immediately recognizable. It became apparent during her Grammy performance that she was channeling her inner white clad angel making it important to eschew her usual heavy eye makeup for her gospel-like performance. To think that last year she was rolling around in a black corseted bodysuit during her raunchy performance of “Drunk In Love”… I guess that’s what keeps the “Beyhive” buzzing.

Jessie J and Tom Jones

Singers and besties Rihanna and Katy Perry snatched their dresses directly off the Haute Couture runway in Paris and there may not have been time for alterations. Katy’s Zuhair Murad crystal beaded knee length dress was more manageable and actually fit her however Riri’s look was literally a show stopper. She was the last celeb attendee to get out of her limo, tugging up her dress as she alit from the vehicle. I actually would have liked to see how she got it in there in the first place! She ended up walking the red carpet as Ryan Seacrest was furiously trying to wrap up E!’s”Live From The Red Carpet” which made for one of many awkward moments. The Giambattista Valli dress, a ginormous hot pink creation proved impossible to sit in but made it totally possible to ID RiRi as the camera panned to an overhead shot in the Staples Center. Of course, many social media memes quickly appeared likening the dress to everything from what would be worn by a girl celebrating her Quinceañera , to a shower loofa, a spool of cotton candy, a snowball cupcake or my personal favorite: a pink badminton shuttlecock.

Katy Perry

On the red carpet Katy mentioned to Ryan that although she picked her dress because she wanted to “shine bright like a diamond” (and appropriate her friend’s lyrics) she was tired from binge watching “Transparent”; quite apropos since transparent was a word that described many of the dresses. The most successful sheer black dress was a Ralph & Russo creation on Jessie J which fit her beautifully. She performed in a nude dress with black cording applique but something seemed to be wrong with the under layer resulting in it looking like a bandage across her chest as she teamed up for “You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling” with Tom Jones. Speaking of bandages, TJ must have succumbed to Kenny Roger’s eyelid surgeon giving him the same constantly startled appearance as the country crooner. Jones and Jessie J who had previously performed together when she was a coach on the Brit version of The Voice, were one of two duets along with Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett (who’ve done an entire album of standards together) featuring a creepy vision of a much younger woman singing a romantic song with a guy old enough to be their grandfather. Ewww!

Charli XCX

Picking up some desperately needed color in the sea of monochromatic fashion were Taylor Swift who matched her eye color and earrings (IMO, would have preferred contrasting earrings) to her Elie Saab turquoise to blue ombre high low dress with purple platform sandals, and Iggy Azalea in a royal blue Armani Prive clingy gown which although it fit her well and looked good, did not seem to suit her usual rapper chick persona. Then again, the inexplicably gigantic braid sitting smack on top of her head like a crown could have been the culprit. Singer Charli XCX livened up the red carpet with what she termed her “Eighties look” of a white silk satin tuxedo, pink bowtie and pale pink fur stole all created by Jeremy Scott of Moschino. No doubt, Mr. Scott must share KP’s tired after creating all four of her Super Bowl outfits;(she changed every three minutes); but he always has a sense of humor for fashion.


As the show dragged on I began to grow impatient waiting for that “WOW” fashion moment that I hoped was still out there. Jane Fonda in her bright green clingy ’70s era, gold fringed necklaced jumpsuit came close but she was soon upstaged by another legendary performer. In a shiny tangerine orange pajama outfit, long necklace, and requisite cane, this presenter gave out the last award for Album of the Year to its unlikely recipient (Beck) and I swooned. Prince is definitely my winner for best dressed at the Grammys.

Laurel Marcus

OG journo major who thought Strunk & White's "The Elements of Style" was a fashion guide. Desktop comedienne -- the world of fashion gives me no shortage of material.

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