Red carpet: Grammy Awards
The 55th Grammy Awards kick off in LA. Photo: AFP
Having been slapped with a censorious dress diktat, some of music's A-list stars were plunged into uncharted territory by having to adhere to the strict 'no buttocks, breasts or visible G-strings' rule at the 55th Grammy Awards.
That's not to say many weren't pushing the new code as far as it could go on LA's red carpet on Sunday night.
Kelly Rowland took strategic panelling to another level with her geometrically cheeky Georges Chakra dress, while J Lo appeared to take her cue from Angelina Jolie's infamous Oscars look by flashing her right leg - and bikini line - in split asymmetric Anthony Vaccarello.
Rihanna and her siren-red, elegant gown. It's a hit!
Kimbra, who, as Gotye's Kiwi sidekick took home three awards, was unafraid of baring flesh as she took to the stage wearing an embellished tulle gown by Aussie designer Jaime Lee, complete with 2kg of pearls.
Sheer was the order of the day, too, for Rihanna, who looked almost innocent in her floating red Azzedine Alaia dress - though partner Chris Brown's puritanical all-white suit was at odds with his far from unblemished image.
Best pop solo winner, Adele, also tested new waters by diverting from her fail-safe black, choosing a floral red Valentino knee-length number, dividing opinion between 'why to avoid wearing curtains' and 'sensational'.
Katy Perry is more minty Morticia than minty fresh.
Beyonce, fresh from a bootylicious Super Bowl extravaganza, played it cool - perhaps too cool, according to some traditionalists - in a solidly Grammys-regulation pantsuit. The monochrome Osman Yousefzada ticked fashion boxes but as Cosmopolitan magazine tweeted, "Pretty sure Beyonce's pantsuit would be the worst on anyone else ... on her, it's perfection."
RED CARPET WINNERS
Equal parts cheeky and chic, Rowland outshone her Destiny's Child compatriot, Beyonce, in risque - talk about strategic panelling when it comes to that waist-high V detail - Georges Chakra. Yes, it exposes her assets but it strikes the right balance of suggestive and furtive and, frankly, she looks knock-out in the daring design.
Wow - if this dress doesn't prove the Barbadian singer has well and truly grown up, nothing will. Sheer - but not too sheer - scarlet tulle, gathered, ultra-feminine but not flouncy detaling at the back, a high neckline and red lips all combined to shift a look that might have been bordering on girly to something altogether more show-stoppingly womanly.
Model and presenter Karlie Kloss, while neither a muso nor a muso's better half, showed how to nail cobalt blue on the red carpet. The Michael Kors dress’ fine tailoring, understated elegance and out-there colour came together with a winning look that screamed ‘more than the sum of its parts’.
Elegant Grecian meets dazzling Sci-Fi, we love the statuesque decadence and altogether grown-upness of this gown. Teetering on the edge of too mature, Swift pulls it off by diluting its seriousness with her playful fringe. Not bad for a girl who just moments later opened the awards ceremony in a Queen of Hearts-inspired short-suit get-up (while possibly singing out of tune).
AND THE NOT SO GREAT
The lovechild of a cartoon dinosaur and, as a colleague put it, a goth gremlin, Welch's Givenchy number did little to flatter the Lungs star. Too much sea green, too many conical (and comical) blobs and make-up that seemed a little too harsh for the striking flame-haired singer all combined to create a bombardment on the senses.
A minty Morticia Adams and rather too much on offer, cleavage-wise. Surely this, ahem, décolletage window didn't get past the censors? The colour and cut don't come together to flatter the singer - and we can't help feeling an up 'do might have worked better with the busy, motif-heavy neckline.
Skrillex (and everyone else who made little to no effort)
He can get away with it, of course, but jeans and a zip-up sports coat simply don't embody the pizazz, or fun, that the red carpet is all about. If hip-hop maestro Pharrell Williams and rocker Jack White can shape-shift into sharply tailored dandies from time to time, so Skrillex may be able to veer from his all-black cammo gear once a year.
We know this one is divisive - but we think Adele's Valentino frock with its unapologetic bright red, floral pattern, high vintage-style neckline and long sleeves was a brave and worthwhile derailment from her usual fail-safe black options. A cinched waist, bold A-line and cute-as-a-button shoes added an exclamation mark to the upbeat look.