Best And Worst Dressed At The 2019 VMAs

When the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards kicked off on Aug. 26, 2019 in Newark, N.J., it was a monumental occasion for music lovers everywhere. From the killer performances (this year featured an incredible lineup thanks to Lizzo, Lil Nas X, and Taylor Swift, to name a few stars) to the unexpected moments, this award show is always incredibly fun. Although it's true that the show itself is the main event, the ceremony's red carpet is often just as entertaining. The VMAs gives celebrities the chance to take risks, producing some of the most iconic looks of all time. Madonna's 1984 "Like a Virgin" getup, anyone?

As for this year, a handful of stars really knocked it out of the park, including "Juice" hitmaker Lizzo, whose sexy siren look in a red sequined Moschino gown drew widespread praise from fans across the board. Yep, she's 100 percent that b**ch. Unfortunately, other celebs weren't as successful with their fashion choices, like one YouTube star whose ensemble sparked backlash on social media. We won't reveal the reason just yet, but just prepare to be shocked. 

Intrigued yet? If so, put on your best pair of Anna Wintour sunglasses and take a seat as we revisit the best and worst dressed stars at the 2019 VMAs.

Lizzo came dressed to kill

Y'all, Lizzo took her "fresh photos with the bomb lighting" lyric to new levels with this iconic look. From the rapper-singer's perfectly executed bouffant up-do to her red-hot Moschino dress embellished with the word "siren," she came to kill. As for Lizzo's inspiration? It's possible she was channeling the Jessica Rabbit character from Who Framed Roger Rabbit, as she quoted the cartoon's catchphrase in an Instagram post. "I'm not bad," she captioned a confident shot of herself posing on the VMAs red carpet, "I was just drawn this way."

Longtime fans probably aren't surprised by Lizzo's bold choice, because she has become widely known for her showstopping looks. The "Truth Hurts" singer credits her fashion to success on transparency, telling The Hollywood Reporter: "So I feel like right now, there are some people who aren't like this, but I like to wear my heart on my sleeve. My personality, you can see it. I don't even have to say nothing. I walk into a room and you know what's up." 

Girl, we know what's up and we like what we see. Keep it up!

Shawn Mendes rocked a teal suit like a boss

Although some might not find men's fashion all too interesting, there's plenty of ways to make your average suit pop. Someone who clearly got this memo was "Señorita" singer Shawn Mendes, as his teal suit made quite the statement on the 2019 VMAs red carpet. It's arguably an uncommon color, and we love how he paired it with a black chiffon undershirt and sleek leather Chelsea boots. The best part? Mendes is someone who clearly appreciates a well-tailored suit. It fit him like a glove! 

Of course, we're not too surprised the singer-songwriter decided to create a flawless look for his big night. Mendes performed his hit collaboration with Camila Cabello at the award show, and he probably wanted to set the right tone beforehand. This mission was accomplished, at least in our humble opinion.

What's interesting, however? Mendes wasn't always so fashion-forward — a sentiment he expressed in an interview with British GQ just a year before. "I went through a stage of wearing black khaki trousers, a black shirt, white socks and black shoes," he admitted. "I wore this look everywhere. I've really changed the way I dress."

Lil Nas X won on and off the red carpet

What do we love most about musician Lil Nas X? He's 100 percent himself all of the time. The "Old Town Road" singer proved our case when he stepped onto the 2019 VMAs red carpet sporting a shiny silver suit with a cropped jacket. He wore a ruffled shirt underneath the sparkly garment, pairing the ensemble with dangly earrings and multiple rings. Lil Nas X, whose real name is Montero Lamar Hill, seemingly channeled the late Prince in his Christian Cowan-designed getup. "Lil prince x," he captioned an Instagram shot of his eye-catching outfit. 

It was wise of Lil Nas X to go all out for the event, because he ended up snagging Song of the Year alongside Billy Ray Cyrus for their remix of "Old Town Road." The rapper-singer appeared blown away by the wins despite the song's widespread success, stating in his mega-short acceptance speech: "This is my first award ever."

Congrats on winning on and off the red carpet, Lil Nas X! 

Taylor Swift hit the right note with Versace

With a new record to promote, Taylor Swift had a lot riding on her appearance on the VMAs red carpet. And we're happy to report that Swift did not disappoint, as she chose an embellished Versace blazer paired with glittery thigh-boots. Although the "ME!" hitmaker has worn Versace multiple times before, this look was a lot of fun and it paired nicely with the upbeat themes in her seventh studio album, Lover.  

As it turns out, Donatella Versace enjoys dressing Swift as much as the musician enjoys wearing the fashion label. "Taylor is such an inspiration," Versace said in an interview with Billboard. "She has become one of the biggest icons in the world in such a short time by being totally herself." Speaking of icons, Swift was nominated for 10 awards and walked away with the coveted Video of the Year and Video for Good titles for "You Need To Calm Down." 

Nice work, lady.

Camila Cabello donned a classic look

The VMAs is a great venue to experiment with fashion, but there's nothing wrong with opting for a classic look over something shocking. Songstress Camila Cabello took this note to heart as she chose an elegant and sultry Balmain gown to wear for the evening. The satin number featured a beautiful long train, a plunging V-neckline, and a sexy cutout to boot. Ay caliente! 

As for Cabello's fashion philosophy, she knows when something works or doesn't almost immediately. "If we try something on, and she stands in front of the mirror and says, 'I want to get married in this,' it means alright, we hit the jackpot," her stylist, Jennifer Mazur, joked to Billboard in 2018. Mazur didn't style Cabello this time (Rob Zangardi did), but we have a feeling this was a "jackpot" moment.

On the topic of hitting the jackpot, Cabello and her "Señorita" partner, Shawn Mendes, won big when the song took home Best Collaboration. "SEÑORITAAAAAA! won best collaboration award!! thanks @vmas," she captioned an Instagram snapshot of herself with Mendes. "And thank u guys so much for tonight! we love you guys sooooooo much."

Wait, why did Snooki wear an oversized jacket?

Don't get us wrong, we love Jersey Shore star Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi. But we're not sure what she was going for with this VMAs look, which featured an oversized jacket paired with a sequined top and black pants. We think the outfit would have been better served without the jacket (it's hot outside, mama!), but that's just us. What's more? There was a lot going on with the ensemble, all the way from the elaborate hair to the funky earrings. 

That all said, we get where Snooki was coming from with this look. "#comfycasual #imtired #wheresthewine," she captioned an Instagram pic of herself pre-ceremony, suggesting that she purposely planned this look to underwhelm. And we can't blame the reality star, as she just gave birth to her third child in May 2019 (via E! News). We've got to cut her some slack, right? Snooki is an incredible parent, and it isn't easy to whip up a killer outfit when you're busy. 

We love ya, Snooks.

Zara Larsson's look was ... a lot

Swedish singer Zara Larsson made a big statement when she showed up to the 2019 VMAs wearing a cascading pink gown designed by Giambattista Valli. Although we love the color of the dress (pretty in pink for the win), we're not so sure about the ruffles. It sort of reminds us of a bed skirt, which pains us to say. 

That being said, however, Larsson's opinion is what matters most here. And it's safe to say she loved the dress. "Thank you @vmas for having me hosting the red carpet with the best @terrencej and @nessnitty and thank you to @bulgariofficial and @giambattistavalliparis for making me feel like a princess," she captioned an Instagram photo of herself on the VMAs red carpet. "And of course to @colbymakeup and @patrickkyle_ for making me this pretty. Hope i'll see you guys on stage next year!!!"

Translation: Wear your confidence like a crown, even when the haters (including us) be hatin'.

Ava Max's superhero fail

Oy ... where do we even begin with singer Ava Max's VMAs getup? From the mismatched hair to the superhero suit, we were a little lost. Not only was Max probably sweating in that thing, but it also didn't make much sense at the time. "Why Ava Max trying to look like a superhero," one confused fan tweeted. As it turns out, Max wore the outfit to promote her music video, "Torn," in which she wears the same ensemble. We're all about self-promotion, but we wonder if there was a better time and place for some good old-fashioned marketing. The jury is still out on that one, we suppose. 

If you're curious about who designed the dress, look no further than Kaimin, who has styled singer-songwriter Björk in the past and made headlines for debuting those so-called "vagina mohawks" at New York Fashion Week in 2018 (via HuffPost). Makes perfect sense, no? 

Bella Hadid's suspenders were a tad awkward

We're probably going to catch some flak for this, but we didn't love Bella Hadid's tight two-piece dress with suspenders. Although the Charlotte Knowles London design was interesting and showed off Hadid's killer figure, it felt a little awkward. The suspenders and straps appeared a little out of place, which distracted from the model's cool girl vibe, in our humble opinion.

Hadid doesn't care what people think, however, which she noted in her 2018 interview with Harper's Bazaar: "What I think is so fun about fashion is being able to do whatever you want. Now I'm at the point where, yeah, I'd wear an orange, red, yellow and black fanny pack — if that's what makes me happy — I shouldn't care."

Not to mention, Hadid had her famous older sister, Gigi Hadid, by her side on the VMAs red carpet. Talk about a powerful duo. 

Tana Mongeau's fashion accessory sparked outrage

YouTube star Tana Mongeau sparked widespread outrage when she showed up to the 2019 VMAs sporting a live snake to compliment her gold mini-dress. We understand the backlash, as we don't believe animals should be used as fashion accessories. "I'm disappointed in @tanamongeau and her decision to bring a snake with her to #VMAs." one critic tweeted. "Animals aren't props or costume pieces. It's crowded, bright, and noisy. Not to mention all of the touching and flag photography. Snakes are wonderful animals! But they aren't toys."

Mongeau, who "married" fellow YouTuber Jake Paul in July 2019, failed to see what was wrong with the fashion choice, however, telling Insider: "We were feeling bold, we were feeling snakes, we were feeling VMAs." As for whether this look was intended to mimic Britney Spears' famous 2001 snake moment at the same award show, Mongeau said: "[I] don't even deserve to compare myself to her so I feel bad saying that. But she's an icon, I love the snake moment." 

Yep, agreed on all fronts.