The Best and The Boring of the Grammys Red Carpet 2018
The Grammys were painfully dull this weekend. The red carpet tried to warn us how bad it would be.
The Grammys claim to be “music’s biggest night,” but once again, this year was another painful reminder that they remain “Music’s most out of touch night.” You’ll read a lot this week how Jay-Z was robbed, or Kendrick Lamar was robbed, of top trophies in favor of solid-but-safe Bruno Mars. But the real painful out of touch parts weren’t the awards themselves, but the show, which managed to fail in every way possible to keep in touch with the times.
With the sole exception of Kesha’s performance, done with a phalanx of women beside her for emotional support in case she broke halfway through (which seemed a real possibility for most of the segment), there was little to no acknowledgment of the MeToo or Time’s Up movements. In fact, in a year when women have been screaming for equality, men won all the awards save one, including in categories that were dominated by women. (Best Pop Song for instance: four women and Ed Sheeran. Award went to Sheeran. The only one who wasn’t even there.)
But it was the red carpet that was actually painful. By now, Ryan Seacrest is trained to bring up “Time’s Up” with every person who stops by. This time the symbol they carried was White Roses, not Pins, perhaps because Time’s Up didn’t want these people repping their brand except obliquely. (You’ll see the roses in the photos.) With the exception of Pink, though, who told Seacrest she had no idea how to make headway, every last one lip-serviced, made fun of the size of their roses, and moved on post haste. Most memorably the token country artists Little Big Town were a discredit to their genre when one female member moronically said “Whoo yeah! Time’s Up! I want my kids to grow up knowing they can speak their minds!” How bad the reckoning will be when MeToo finally breaks through is anyone’s guess, but the impenetrable fortress suggests it’s worse than we can possibly imagine.
Meanwhile, let’s get to the fashion, shall we? This is the Grammys, where many think they’re too rock and roll to try. They are discounted: you don’t try, we don’t care. As for those who at least made an effort…
Janelle Monae was the only one to give a speech about MeToo from the stage. It was moving in the moment but rang hollow after, considering everything that bookended it. Meanwhile, her Dolce & Gabbana outfit was the best of the night by miles. (And I love the two-toned hair too.)
The only star who really brought it, Lady Gaga’s Armani Prive was actually a lace catsuit with a skirt wrap. During the commercials she was photographed backstage with it off, proving her to have the most versatile look of the evening.
SZA brought mom and grandma to the red carpet! She also brought couture Versace drama.
Lana Del Ray’s Gucci gown channeled old-school Hedy Lamarr glam.
Cardi B won for most off the wall, yet her angel wing Ashi Couture look was also high fashion.
A reminder to pregnant starlets that Chrissy Teigen knows how it’s done in Yanina Couture. Follow her lead.
Cyndi Lauper wore Moschino, reminding us what dressed up rock and roll looks like.
Eve also did the glam pantsuit in Naeem Khan.
Miley Cyrus looked great in Jean Paul Gaultier but kept putting the rose between her teeth on camera, which should tell you exactly what most thought about their Time’s Up symbol.
God bless Kesha.
I really like Ava Max’s Gucci suit. It’s loud and fun.
Ashanti in Elie Madi, following the age-old “if you’re not going to win an award tonight, dress like one.”
The better of the two Little Big Town Women by a Country Mile. Kimberly Schlapman in Raisa and Vanessa.
Sara Caswell repping classical music by dressing better than everyone else, even if no one asked her who it was by.
Jain, repping plain pantsuits.
Rita Ora, still derivative, even if this time it’s Angelina Jolie at the Oscars she’s mimicking.
Kelly Clarkson is officially entering Grande Dame mode.
The 90s called and asked if we’d seen Lisa Loeb. Funny enough, we just did!
And Emmylou Harris, because some people remember what country music once was.
Donald Glover as Childish Gambino in all white and wrong shoes.
I had no idea who Logic was until that night. I’m still not sure Logic belongs in a music awards show, but it was definitely different.
Big Sean, reminding those who didn’t bother trying that you can look like you didn’t try and still be best dressed.
Ben Platt had the night off from Evan Hansen and wandered down the block.
Khalid is getting a pass on the sneakers, but only just.
Zayn is not getting a pass on the socks, no sir.
Ne-Yo. We miss you, sir. Come back more, and bring the hat.
The strangely ubiquitous Sting and his excuse for relevance, Shaggy.
Tyler The Creator, trying communism.
And Elton John, out Elton Johning himself in his final Elton John years.
Alessia Cara, the only woman to win anything all night, dressed like she was going to a production meeting for her album cover.
Bebe Rexha, attempting “Kardashian Chic.”
Anna Kendrick, who should know better by now.
Hailee Steinfeld, who thinks these boots make this dress not boring. She’s wrong.
Taylor Spreitler who is definitely no Taylor Swift.
Karen Fairchild (the other Little Big Town-er) as a muppet.
Katie Holmes, here because she can finally admit she’s dating Jaime Foxx.
Julia Michaels in an ill-fitting dustcloud.
Nick Jonas pretending he’s not trying, failing utterly and still looking like the world’s most boring flasher.
Millions of stans tried to insist Camila Cabello looked amazing. If wilted bodices and ill-fitting waists are amazing, I’m in the wrong business.
Pink came as a firework because Pink doesn’t care what you think.
Rapsody in Green. Terrible, terrible green.
Sam Smith in something so bad he had to come out of the Men’s section.
Maren Morris in “Beyonce Wore It In 2012.”
I love you Andra Day. Let us never speak of this again, okay?
Heidi Klum, as always.
And Joy Villa, in the most tasteless gown of the evening.