The 2022 VMAs Red Carpet: All the Otherworldly Looks and the Ones That Failed to Launch

The 2022 VMAs Red Carpet: All the Otherworldly Looks and the Ones That Failed to Launch

Taylor Swift, Lil Nas X, and Becky G hit the red carpet in overpowering style, so let’s get gawking.

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I know none of you were counting down the days, but the 2022 MTV Video Music Awards are here! It’s time to go to the moon, and unfortunately I do not mean “get so excruciatingly high that you float into outer space, psychedelically speaking!” What the VMAs are celebrating that every other music awards show isn’t celebrating is something I cannot figure out, but they have a red carpet, a buttload of celebrity performances, and shiny Moon Person trophies, so this is me feigning excitement.

MTV’s annual fête is built on an Everest-sized mountain of iconic pop culture moments: the Madonna/Britney Spears/Christina Aguilera kiss, Kanye’s “I’mma let you finish” metaphorical beef with Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga’s literal beef on her 2010 dress, and Britney’s “I’m a Slave 4 U” snake performance (a mass queer awakening event for bisexuals). But this year’s VMA ceremony seems less intent on making music history and more primed to draw stank faces from audiences. For example! Johnny Depp made a special “comeback” appearance via video dressed as a real-life Moon Person; I’m not sure what an alleged sexual abuser can possibly do for the reputation of an astronaut statue other than irreparably harm it. Eminem and Snoop were also on tap for a “first of its kind” performance inspired by the world of the Otherside metaverse; I fear these two may be banished to the metaverse forever. I should also add that there’s a Best Metaverse Performance category this year and Lizzo is the only woman nominated for Artist of the Year, in case you needed any further reason to launch yourself into the sun.

One thing’s for sure, though: With stars like Taylor Swift, Jack Harlow, Bad Bunny, Blackpink, J Balvin, and Becky G in attendance, the red carpet fashion was fuego. Let’s judge some famous people, shall we?

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Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift

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THE EXCESS, THE GLAMOUR, SHE IS A CHANDELIER OF DIAMONDS, AND SHE CANNOT BE BOUGHT!!! You know Taylor doesn’t show up unless she’s winning big, and she appears dressed for the occasion. (UPDATE: She won Video of the Year and announced a brand new album.)

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Lil Nas X

Lil Nas X

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This man never does a carpet wrong. This looks like art from the Broadway production of The Lion King, except it’s set in the depths of hell. Excited to ride down that stripper pole with you, baby!

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Becky G

Becky G

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This dress is seemingly a mashup of playing cards, medieval shields, a stained glass window, and horoscopes??? But I don’t care, because have you seen the cutouts? Her beauty has beamed me all the way to the moon, goodbye.

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Lizzo

Lizzo

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She’s a punk-rock deflated parachute. Might I add this look is absolutely soaring?? Plus, if Lizzo wins all five of the categories she’s nominated in, she won’t have to worry about how to carry all those Moon People home. (UPDATE: She won one Moon Person for “Video for Good.”)

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Brendon Urie

Brendon Urie

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The face of Panic! at the Disco is giving me no disco and all panic. Imagine being a rock star of sorts and showing up to a music awards show in this. I’m so bored I might as well be unconscious.

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Avril Lavigne

Avril Lavigne

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You know what, Avril? You may be a major pill, so I’ve heard, but at least you stay true to your brand. You’re just a skater girl! And apparently, you’re just as excited for pumpkin spice lattes as any basic bitch.

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Ava Max

Ava Max

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The “Sweet But Psycho” singer is the only sort of alien I’d ever like to meet.

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Offset

Offset

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Oh my god, Cardi B’s hubby looks so cute! First day of school vibes! We love earnestness!

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Sofia Carson

Sofia Carson

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Catholicism in the club officially made its debut on the carpet tonight.

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J Balvin

J Balvin

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He may be nominated for several awards tonight, but that didn’t stop him from dressing like a carrot cake this evening. Carrot on top, cream cheese frosting on the bottom.

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DJ Khaled

DJ Khaled

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This man is so committed to the bit, even his shoes are emitting a low “ANOTHA ONE.”

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Lili Reinhart

Lili Reinhart

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I love it when the Riverdale actor experiments with her style. Today we have a look that screams, “I ripped black lace curtains from my grandmother’s window.” Chic! Also morbid.

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Dixie D’Amelio

Dixie D’Amelio

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Ladies and gentlemen, HER: The TikTok version.

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Bebe Rexha

Bebe Rexha

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The “Me, Myself & I” singer went pretty classic Hollywood glam, but the “B” initial necklace is sending me back to third grade.

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Blackpink

Blackpink

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Lisa, Jisoo, Jennie, and Rosé hardly ever go wrong, and Sunday night was no exception. As a unit, the K-pop girl group looks gothic glam. Though I am slightly bored by the individual ensembles (I think I saw Lisa’s dress as a swim cover-up at Charlotte Russe once), altogether they look perfectly bitchy.

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Anitta

Anitta

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The singer, who was nominated for Best Latin, opted for a soft, romantic temptress look with a velvet skirt and hyper-femme, sculpted corset. What’s not soft, however, is the metal contraption that appears to have captured her left tit. What is that??

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Chlöe Bailey

Chlöe Bailey

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The Grammy-nominated singer of the Chloe x Halle sister duo looks as though Glinda the Good Witch gave the Tin Man’s armor some glitter and an upgrade. No more creaky joints here. The silver songstress is nothing but smooth tonight.

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Dove Cameron

Dove Cameron

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The singer and Dumplin’ actor looks like the new poster girl for Hot Topic. Equal parts vampy, “choke me, Daddy,” and e-girl, it looks like Megan Fox Mini is ready for her grunge knight in shining leather.

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Sabrina Carpenter

Sabrina Carpenter

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After getting caught up in the Olivia Rodrigo and Joshua Bassett tween drama, Carpenter is no longer just a third of an isosceles triangle, nor a nameless Disney star. This is how you make a comeback appearance to upstage your peers—as if Alice in Wonderland went tumbling down the rabbit hole, landed in the ‘70s flower power era, and grew tits.

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Khalid

Khalid

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THANK GOD, a man not in a tux. A+ for wearing color and extra credit for stealing these bell bottoms from the live action set of Scooby Doo.

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Red Hot Chili Peppers

Red Hot Chili Peppers

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This is exactly the sort of carpet behavior I’d expect from men who once performed dick-out naked at Woodstock ‘99. Thank you for the fun and funky suits, lads.

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Shenseea

Shenseea

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The Jamaican dancehall artist is a deconstructed disco ball. She deserves all the mirrors, no matter how small. I mean, I’d be vain if I were her.

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Conan Gray

Conan Gray

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The Texan singer really nailed the summer-to-fall transitional look. And the delicate Beetlejuice look. And the disco bride look.

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Ashley Graham

Ashley Graham

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The supermodel gave birth to twins in January, and she’s out here half a year later in high heels? Incredible. Sweet dress but those little diamond-encrusted pins look like candy canes and I just have a couple of questions for the designer. The first one is, “Do you know how many different shapes there are in the world?”

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Lauren Spencer-Smith

Lauren Spencer-Smith

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Where does the torso end and legs begin? Is this an optical illusion? Is it grass camouflage?

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Ryan Castro

Ryan Castro

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Prayers up for these ruched pants straight off the rack at Bebe.

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Billy Eichner

Billy Eichner

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AN INTENTIONAL NIP SLIP!!! Thank you, Billy! Nipple awareness!!!

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Trina Njoroge

Trina Njoroge

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The Love Island star looks stunning, but I’m concerned about the number of early-aughts feather dresses on the red carpet tonight. Like, I’m sorry, but magenta feathers are only going to remind me of Yzma from the Disney animated movie The Emperor’s New Groove.

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Chloe Fineman

Chloe Fineman

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Oh, OK, I see what the Saturday Night Live star did here. She was like, “Let’s do an astronaut suit but make it a dress. No! A moon snail. Wait, no! A sleeping bag for astronauts. Shit, can’t decide, let’s do all three.” I feel confident that at least WALL·E would be interested in boning her in this.

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Jack Harlow

Jack Harlow

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This man is giving “beta male seeks financial dominatrix to step on his chest in stilettos and drain his bank accounts.” I’m available, just a note.

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Taylor Rooks

Taylor Rooks

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A perfect example of less is more. The Bleacher Report host seems to have acknowledged that while there is no official theme for the evening, the unofficial theme for the rest of the year is Renaissance by Beyoncé.

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Kamie Crawford

Kamie Crawford

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The host of MTV’s Catfish deserves to win a ticket that’ll launch her straight to the stars, as this ensemble simply does not belong here on earth! It is too good!!!

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Tate McRae

Tate McRae

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I think we’ve got a baby Xtina on our hands. The former So You Think You Can Dance contestant turned singer is serving forest nymph meets Smurfette (yes, Smurfette is a bimbo, obviously).

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Samy Hawk

Samy Hawk

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The rapper appears to be sporting a decaying VeggieTales jacket. This photo prompts a lot of confusion for me, personally, but the boots can stay. Maybe the hat. Nothing else.

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That Girl Lay Lay

That Girl Lay Lay

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This is a lot of Dior, and I don’t necessarily like to see brand names on the carpet (save that for a paparazzi chase down Melrose). But the Netflix star and singer looks cute as hell, so I’ll give her a pass on the logomania for now.

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Rachel Lindsay

Rachel Lindsay

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I hear the former Bachelorette star stopped by her childhood home to swipe this sorority invite dress from her old closet. This look might get her a bid, but not from any Best Dressed lists.

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Colton Haynes

Colton Haynes

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Ken Doll, is that you? Blink once if you’re alright in there and blink twice if you’d like me to find someone to take you back to the Barbie movie production tent. Kudos for wearing color though.

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LL Cool J

LL Cool J

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It seems the Grammy-winning rapper is scared that he might be settling into his irrelevance era—so he’s attached his name to his knuckles to ensure we never forget what he did (he went “back back to Cali Cali”).

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Kerri Colby

Kerri Colby

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The RuPaul’s Drag Race contestant is all legs, locks, and labia. I would be terrified that one wrong turn would quickly shift this whole ensemble to the side. But Colby looks fierce and fearless. You go, Hot Tamale!

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Betty Who

Betty Who

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The Australian musician and LGBTQ+ advocate has tapped into the Regencycore trend, but with a sapphic twist. If a guy wore this, I’d be bored. But on Betty Who, I am screaming, “Somebody Loves You.”

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