The 2018 American Music Awards red carpet ranked best to worst

Celebrities gathered at the 2018 American Music Awards to honor artists for their musical achievements throughout the year, but before these A-listers took their seats at the big event or took to the stage to present or perform, many walked the red carpet outside of the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, Calif. As could be expected, a lot of stars totally rocked their award show ensembles, strutting their stuff in leggy looks and super sparkly styles. Of course, not everyone impressed critics and fans with their clothing choices. In fact, some celebs should probably start shopping for new stylists. (Cough, Tyra Banks, cough.)

Here are all the biggest fashion moments at the AMAs — from the very best to the very worst. But don't feel too bad for all these entertainment industry pros because many of the folks on this list scored nominations and even major wins at the big show.

Vanessa Hudgens was pretty in pink

Former High School Musical star Vanessa Hudgens clearly walked the 2018 American Music Awards red carpet ready to drop jaws. The gorgeous actress donned a light pink satin gown from Cushnie's spring 2019 collection that hugged her toned body in all the right places (via the Daily Mail). Clearly this girl's been a regular at the gym!

Explaining her decision to wear the slinky number to the AMAs, Hudgens told Entertainment Tonight, "It's classic, it's chic, and I'm here for J.Lo, so I figured that was the way to go." Hudgens filmed the movie Second Act with singer-actress Jennifer Lopez and, at the award show, Lopez debuted a new song from the film's soundtrack.

Hudgens made the smart move of keeping her accessories simple, allowing her dress to take center stage. She wore Brian Atwood high heels, several dainty silver rings, and a single lightning bolt earring, as noted by Access. Hudgens also styled her hair in a chic bob that flipped to one side, giving her the look of an Old Hollywood starlet.

Dua Lipa channeled 1940s glamour

Speaking of Old Hollywood, Dua Lipa also channeled old-school glamour with her ivory off-the-shoulder gown designed by Giambattista Valli (via Just Jared). The dress cinched at the waist and then again at the lower thigh. Lipa, who was nominated for new artist of the year, added some extra personality to her outfit with a sparkly statement necklace and bright yellow nails.

Though she looked amazing on the red carpet, Lipa admitted that she didn't put much effort into deciding on a style for the award show. "I don't really think about things like that," the "No Rules" singer told Billboard. "I just kind of go, 'Oh, I really like the dress, and I really want to wear it.' … And that's the only thing that goes through my mind."

It doesn't really matter what sparked Lipa to wear the bridal-like gown — what does matter is that the young artist totally rocked it.

Constance Wu got fun and flirty

Following the release of her blockbuster film, Crazy Rich Asians, actress Constance Wu continued her 2018 hot streak by showing up to the American Music Awards in a flirty sequined number. Wu's stunning multicolored mini-dress was designed by No. 21 and featured long sleeves and an interesting pattern that stole the show. She kept her red carpet look fun by wearing a Ming Ray ring, D'Orazio jewelry, and Stuart Weitzman-designed strappy sandals, according to Just Jared.

Needless to say, Wu's award show ensemble was a total 180 from much of the wardrobe she dons as Rachel Chu in Crazy Rich Asians. In the film, she largely wears light colors in an attempt to make her character appear like "an all-American girl" when visiting Singapore (via WWD). Of course, Wu also looked totally unlike her other famous on-screen persona, Jessica Huang from ABC's '90s-set sitcom Fresh Off the Boat.

Not bad for a celebrity who only just learned what couture is.

Taylor Swift was ready to disco

World famous pop star Taylor Swift headed to the American Music Awards looking like a big ol' disco ball, and, surprisingly, we didn't hate it. While the shiny look was admittedly a little much, it made sense for the occasion. Hey, if you can't look like a mirrored globe at a music awards show, where can you?

The "Look What You Made Me Do" singer's eye-catching mini-dress was designed by Balmain and boasted long sleeves and a short collar. Swift, who wrapped up the United States leg of her Reputation Stadium Tour in Dallas, Texas just days before the AMAs, paired her dress with matching thigh-high boots. Completing the look, Swift wore rectangular earrings and rings by Ofira Jewel and Lorraine Schwartz, as noted by People.

Between this show-stopping red carpet style and the political Instagram post she made headlines for a day earlier, Swift clearly knows how to make a statement. And oh, by the way, she also won the night's biggest award — artist of the year — making her the most awarded artist in AMA history.

Amandla Stenberg dared to wear denim

Actress Amandla Stenberg showed up to the 2018 American Music Awards red carpet looking pretty darn relaxed. While we applaud the Hunger Games star for her super cool, casual ensemble, we wish that she could have stepped up her style game for the night. Denim has no place at such a high-profile event … in our opinion, at least.

According to Just Jared, Stenberg donned a black Ralph Lauren tuxedo blazer, which she wore over a white button-up shirt. The Hate U Give actress also added a big black bow tie, heeled boots, and, of course, high-waisted jeans. For those wondering, Stenberg's pop of denim is from Levi's collaboration with stylist Karla Welch.

Stenberg, who's made a name for herself as an equal rights activist, did garner some praise for her unusual look. E! News wrote that she rocked "a trendy style that's worthy of recreating" and urged fans to "take note."

Rita Ora's floral dress was a flop

Let's get one thing straight: Rita Ora is a beautiful woman, who can pull off most looks, but her unfortunate 2018 American Music Awards red carpet ensemble was not one of them. The "I Will Never Let You Down" singer … well, let us down big time.

As noted by Just Jared, Ora wore a black Giambattista Valli gown that featured a subtle floral design, puffy sleeves, cut-out shoulders, and a plunging neckline. All in all, there was just a lot going on. "I like to dress up and have fun with clothes," Ora told red carpet hosts Zach Sang and Jessie James Decker (via Hollywood Life). She added, "I got the best stylist. I've been working with him from the get go … We just wanted to do something that felt really like couture."

We're not huge fans of Ora's look, but we can appreciate that she tried to balance the floor-length dress by keeping her makeup simple and her hair pulled back in a tight ponytail.

Poppy hid in plain sight

YouTube sensation and "Lowlife" singer Poppy arrived at the AMAs in an, um, interesting outfit. The ever-robotic Poppy, whose real name is Moriah Rose Pereira, walked the red carpet wearing a fuzzy-looking pink gown that featured sheer components at her waist, but that wasn't the strangest part about Poppy's outfit — if you can believe it. Oh, no. Poppy also donned a black latex mask that covered half of her face, including her nose and mouth. Um, what?

Wearing a bold style like this is hardly new to Poppy, whose entire career is largely steeped in performance art. Remember when she showed up at the 2017 Streamys in a clear plastic box? Well, she's officially outdone herself with her 2018 AMAs look. In addition to the strange mask, she added more black to her outfit by donning dark tights and black heels. She might have placed lower on our list had we not already expected something daring — and, honestly, a little off-putting — from her.

Tyra Banks' look was a life-size dud

We were rooting for you, Tyra. We were all rooting for you! The America's Got Talent host who's known for her supermodel days, her former daytime talk show, and the iconic America's Next Top Model series, totally let us down with her red carpet look at the 2018 American Music Awards. She paired a puffy white shirt with all sorts of tacky tailoring with a metallic pink fringe skirt and thick black belt. Oh, and a pillbox-style hat. How could we forget that?

While we're not really sure what Banks was going for, we hope that Seventeen magazine was correct in its theory that she was simply in character as Eve, the doll that came to life in The Wonderful World of Disney's classic movie Life-Size. Considering Banks has taken on that role yet again for the made-for-TV film's sequel, it certainly wouldn't be out of the question for her to try generating some early buzz with a very Eve-like outfit. In that case: mission accomplished.

Cardi B got a little too loud

Cardi B isn't one to play it safe with her wardrobe choices. The girl's fierce, and her style reflects that — which we completely respect! Still, we wish the "Bodak Yellow" rapper might have tried on a few other dresses with her stylist before deciding on the number she wore on the 2018 American Music Awards red carpet. Cardi B, who took home the AMA for favorite rap/hip-hop song, went all out with a floral theme, covering herself head to toe in blooms. She wore a bright, multicolored Dolce & Gabbana gown with a matching headwrap and shoes adorned with pink flowers (via Just Jared). Did we mention that her gown also featured a corset bodice and a thigh-high slit?

While her dress was definitely loud enough, Cardi B just didn't quit. She pumped up the volume on her ensemble even more by painting her nails and her lips a bold red and adding some shine with long, chunky gold and bejeweled earrings that dangled to her shoulders. Cardi's look was a lot to take in, but given that her attendance at the award show marked her first major event with husband Offset, we understand that she'd want to take the "go big or go home" approach to her red carpet style.