Summer Fashion Kool-Aid VII: MTV & Emmy Awards

Robin Wright

Whatever misaligned in the cosmos giving us back-to-back televised award shows before Labor Day is a force that must be dealt with swiftly and mercilessly. We will take no prisoners; with the possible exception of the absent “E!” Emmys red carpet host Ryan Seacrest along with the unknown creator of Sunday Night Football who, perhaps unwittingly, precipitated the need for this cruel and inhuman scheduling. The Sunday night MTV Video Music Awards followed by the Monday night 66th Primetime Emmys is the one-two punch that has made me swear off award shows for at least six months; conveniently just about when the next round of ridiculousness “rears” its well-coiffed head. Incidentally, “rears” is the word that best sums up the VMA’s. (The acronym could easily be changed to “Very Much Ass”).

Miley Cyrus

If the hospitality business calls for “heads in beds,” then the music industry, especially of late, is a cry for “rears in gear” or what Fergie-Ferg used to call “junk in the trunk.” Nicki Minaj in her snake-less performance (you may have heard that the python bit a back up dancer in rehearsal) sang “My anaconda don’t want none unless you got buns hun.” Poor Miley Cyrus, last year’s VMA’s scandalous twerking and grinding princess now defers to Ms. Minaj while lamenting her lack of boo-tay. “I can bring that body, I can bring that wrecking ball, but I can’t bring that ass!” she explained to Lucy Hale (“Pretty Little Liars”) and Rapper Sway Calloway during the red carpet pre-show at the Forum in Inglewood, outside of LA. What’s a girl to do? Short of implants, Miley has moved on to work on a new “psychedelic” sound and a new album in conjunction with The Flaming Lips (too much filler perhaps? Haha) but twerking is, at least for her, a thing of the past. In addition, she’s now a do-gooder striving to raise awareness for homeless teens, allowing one quite handsome male specimen named Jesse to accept her Video of the Year award for “Wrecking Ball” for her. Miley even put on some clothes if you can call a cropped black leather tube top and pleated high-waisted matching black leather pants, clothing.  For Miley that’s practically a nun’s habit.

Iggy Azalea and J Lo

Another booty-licious rapper is 24 year-old blonde Aussie Iggy Azalea. According to Ms. Azalea, her most recognizable feature is her bum.  She has said that she can go out incognito as long as she wears shades and most importantly, shields her posterior with a tied over shirt or jacket. She performed “Black Widow” with Rita Ora and shares her famous “Fancy” video (a spoof on the ‘90s movie “Clueless”) with British singer songwriter Charli XCX. Apparently she features Rose McGowan in her “Break The Rules” upcoming prom video (due in October). It’s all less than six degrees of separation as model Amber Rose (Kanye’s ex, Wiz Khalifa’s wife) channeled McGowan’s 1998 infamous naked “chain string” dress at the VMA’s. Meanwhile McGowan has come full circle and wore a figure hiding tube sack dress out to dinner on Saturday night.

Riff Raff, Katy, Britney and Justin

An artist paying homage to a previous iconic award show look would have to be Katy Perry and her date Rapper Riff Raff. The duo came in costume, driving an orange Lamborghini onto the red carpet and alighting in full Britney Spears/Justin Timberlake “all denim everything” circa the 28th American Music Awards in 2001. In place of the hat, Riff Raff showed off his cotton candy colored braided scalp and grills while Katy flaunted her recently pierced nose with a small gold ring. It seems more the kind of thing she would have done when she married Russell Brand in India but maybe she just got around to it now.

Taylor Swift

Other highlights of the VMA’s include Taylor Swift’s performance of “Shake It Off” in a two-pieced fringe number which was slightly more modest (and flattering) than her off stage get-up of a turquoise Mary Katranzhou alphabet onesie…definitely doesn’t sound like something an adult woman should be wearing, even for an awards show. Tiny Ariana Grande with her big Mariah Carey voice is adorable with her stage outfits of sparkly bodysuits or hot pants and over the knee boots. She opened the show as well as shared the stage with equally adorable Jessie J and Nicki Minaj who clutched her black minidress together in a possible wardrobe malfunction. There were some decidedly awkward moments when SNL’s Jay Pharaoh did his impression of Kanye West with Yeezus’ blushing bride and Jenner sisters staring at him from the front row. Kim introduced singer Sam Smith (“Stay With Me”) in a short Balmain caped and beaded Tribal mini complete with plunging neckline—a look we’ve seen from her quite a bit recently.

Blue, Jay and Bey hug it out at the VMAs

The show ended with a kaleidoscopically high necked bodysuited Beyonce performing snippets of each of her current songs. Her ode to “Feminism,” was derided by many on social media since her gyrations on a pole seemed hypocritical. The night ended in one giant PR stunt as Jay Z with baby Blue Ivy on his lap clapped along and finally got up to present Bey with the Video Vanguard award amidst crocodile tears, kisses and thanks to hubby, baby and God. Call me cynical but the whole thing smacked of residual elevator damage control. By the way, Solange was apparently at the show in an oversized beaded jacket and pants but somehow she was not part of this happy family scene.

Giuliana Rancic

Last night’s Emmys were at the Nokia Theater in downtown L.A. For the first time in 38 years they were held on a Monday night and host Seth Meyers alluded to the fact that no one remembers the ’76 Emmys for that reason. Ok, he wasn’t that funny and at times kinda died out there. I can’t imagine he will be asked back again. As at most non-music award shows, the fashion was mostly a snooze-fest. Whereas musicians will take a chance with a possible mention on the worst dressed list, actresses, even those in television, are reluctant to venture out of their or more likely their stylists comfort zone which can lead to safeness and monotony.

Heidi Klum

What’s black & white and red all over? No, it’s not an embarrassed zebra… but just about every gown was one of those hues. Red was definitely in the majority beginning with E! host Giuliana Rancic, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Heidi Klum (gorgeous Zac Posen flowy and less structured dress in which he called her his “coral angel”), Octavia Spencer. January Jones, Christina Hendricks, Minnie Driver, Claire Danes in a Givenchy Haute Couture, a look I could picture Cate Blanchett in, and Uzo Aduba in a beautiful Chrisian Soriano gown.

The white memo was received by Laverne Cox (the first transgendered nominee) in a Grecian inspired Marc Bouwer gown, Sofia Vergara (seksi as ever in a strapless “crumbcatcher” form fitting Roberto Cavalli which she was eager to display her backside in), Kristin Wiig with a thigh high slit, Kate Mara in J. Mendel, Julianne Hough in an unflattering almost bridal Dsquared 2, Anna Chlumsky in a similarly unstructured and soft Zac Posen (a sister gown to Heidi Klum’s), Lucy Liu who looked a little washed out in a cream colored gown, Taylor Schilling in a cream, halter necked beaded gown also looked like she could use a brighter lipstick. In contrast, always the best WAG (wife and girlfriend) Camila Alves in a sheer lace Zuhair Murad as a nice foil to husband Matthey McConaughey in a blue tux.  House of Cards’ Robin Wright rocked a backless, white Ralph Lauren jumpsuit which stood out in a daring way.  Katherine Heigl wore a cream colored matronly Little Bo Peep meets MOTB (mother of the bride) satin gown which was inexplicable.

Gwen Stefani

Many others wore black, short navy (Julia Roberts in Elie Saab), or dark plunging neckline green on Sarah Silverman who quipped that her boobs were “the lowest they’ve ever been and the highest they’re ever gonna be.” Julianna Margulies in an ombre beaded Narciso Rodriguez split strap gown gets my vote for worst dressed. I’m pretending I never saw Lena Dunham with her weird platinum blonde bob (she mentioned that she likes to change up her hairstyle after she finishes a season of her “Girls”) and her pale pink blouse and pink shaded tutu (someone said she was channeling Tina Yothers). I also liked Gwen Stefani’s silver beaded Versace top and skirt which she said weighed a ton. Perhaps the heaviness had affected her brain or her tongue. When she announced winner Stephen Colbert (pronounced Kohl-bear) she said it as it is spelled: with a hard T leading to some pretend confusion among other nominees. The media wants to make an “Adele Dazeem/Idina Menzel moment out of it but it was nowhere near to the level of John Travolta’s recent gaffe. The L.A.M.B designer (she wore her own fuchsia outfit at the VMA’s) and Adam Levine of Maroon 5 are two that attended both night’s events and Mr. Levine even played a set for the crowd outside the arena at the VMA’s.

Kerry Washington

Kerry Washington, who just gave birth to daughter Isabelle four months ago, broke the color trend with an orange strapless Prada gown that featured a black sequin underskirt panel peeking out through a slit. Although a touch Halloweenish, I might have let her get away with it if the top had fit her better. Maybe she recently stopped breastfeeding and her cup size diminished or something but the top was too loose and formed a line under the bust which was distracting. Another actress who bucked the trend was Allison Janney in a magenta strapless gown which was lovely and fit well, however it was velvet, and this was a hot day in August. Maybe no one told her about the Sunday Night Football schedule change?

As for the award winners, I guess it’s a good thing that “Breaking Bad” finished its last season so that another drama can win for once.  Likewise, all of the actors, writers, etc. can stop thanking its creator Vince Gilligan. Ditto “Modern Family” in the comedy arena; the show won its fifth consecutive award. Sorry Sofia, it’s time to let someone else’s ample behind grace the stage.


(Photo Credits:, NBC via Getty Images, UK Daily Mail, Hollywood Life, US Magazine)

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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