The Grammys red carpet is always fun because it reliably brings the crazy. When it comes to show-biz style, musicians don’t play it safe the way actors do. Even when you bring a musician to the Academy Awards — the No. 1 event for luxurious, boring fashion — you can’t necessarily get her to conform. Remember Bjork dropping a big egg out of her swan dress on the Oscars red carpet in 2001? It was such a scandal that it still turns up on all-time Oscar worst-dressed lists.
Meanwhile, Lady Gaga arrived at the 2011 Grammys IN a damn egg, because why not?
There’s often so much fashion excitement at the Grammys that it’s a challenge for me to choose a winner of my coveted (and totally made up on a whim) Best Dressed/Wear What You Want combo award. As I wrote in my post on the 2015 Grammys, my award doesn’t require that a look be “beautiful,” or “flattering,” or in any way acceptable to the vast majority of people. It’s not that I deduct points if you look pretty, but “interesting” is more important to me than “attractive.” I give extra credit to anyone who is outright controversial. That made the Best Dressed/Wear What You Want winner of yesterday’s Grammys obvious.
My first runner-up is Lady Gaga, who bounced back from her relatively conservative Super Bowl look of a week ago with a black-leather ensemble that reminded me in a good way of the shock value of The Fame-era Gaga. I don’t love underboob on everyone, but when I love it, I really love it, so thanks for the underboob, Gaga.
But my jaw-dropped-open, stunned reaction to seeing Cee Lo Green means I’ve got to give the top honor to him.
This costume apparently represents his new alter-ego, Gnarly Davidson. I haven’t been enthusiastic about Cee Lo since I saw him at Lollapalooza in 2011. He’s gotten even less appealing in recent years. But I must concede that his Grammys look left me speechless, which is pretty hard to do with fashion. (Also, “Fuck You” is a breakup/revenge song for the ages.)
Green was an instant meme, of course. My favorites have him photoshopped into pictures of Trump and his family in their tacky golden apartment. Note to Trump: You should realize that you have shiteous taste when Cee Lo Green dressed at C-3PO blends right into your decor.
I edited Ceelo Green into the background of pics of Trump in his apartment and holy shit ??? pic.twitter.com/VurY7DMJ1w
— Jesse McLaren (@McJesse) February 13, 2017
An honorable mention goes to Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun of 21 Pilots for accepting their Grammy for pop duo/group performance in their underwear. As they explained while they were on stage, some years ago they were watching the Grammys in their underwear and Josh said to Tyler that if they ever won a Grammy, they should stick to the dress code. A tip of the hat to them for going through with it (and telling the story in a charming way).
Another honorable mention goes to Rihanna. She can carry off a fluffy, puffy look like no one else, and her black Armani Prive ballgown skirt brought back pleasant memories of her giant, pink Giambattista Valli gown of 2015. I was digging the orange crop top too — it didn’t give us extreme underboob like Gaga’s outfit did, but we had a nice view of the under-the-boob tattoo.
I’ll have more to say about the Grammys — especially Beyoncé — in another post.