The 2018 American Music Awards took place last night and if you didn’t watch, you didn’t miss much (save the gospel-heavy Aretha Franklin tribute performed by R&B icons Gladys Knight, Donnie McClurkin, CeCe Winans, Ledisi, and Mary Mary—that was certainly something to write home about). The fashion was pretty decent but mostly stuck to a few, safe themes: dark gowns, pink gowns, statement suits, and disco ball sequins as far as the eye could see.
Before we get into all of that, let’s talk about the most colorful ensembles of the evening: Cardi B wore a gorgeous Dolce and Gabbana floral gown with matching head wrap that somehow channels both New Order’s Power, Corruption & Lies album cover and, like, the fake plant section of a Joanne’s Fabrics. That is all to say: I adore it. Beauty YouTuber Patrick Starr has been known to make strong red carpet looks and last night was no exception with this orange samba number. Tiffany Young, formerly of K-Pop all-stars Girls’ Generation, somehow made a loud, rainbow, graphic print, high-low dress subtle and stylish.
A pregnant Carrie Underwood absolutely glowed in this high slit, drape-y black velvet gown with sparkle detailing (that’s foreshadowing!). Gladys Knight’s sheer detailing and cape sleeves deserve their own damn award and Lauren Jauregui looked positively... fine in a purple Pamella Roland gown.
Onto sparkle city: Crazy Rich Asians’ Constance Wu always looks flawless, and this otherworldly No. 21 minidress proves that she’s got the range. Ashlee Simpson full-on matched her in this deep blue wrap dress. The attached chocker feels a little dated but I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt. Tyra Banks shouldn’t have listened to her stylist, but that’s showbiz, baby!
Amber Heard tried her hand at both the gown and sequined trends and effortlessly nailed ‘em. A Taylor Swift that votes for Democrats and urges America to do the same—and also in head-to-toe Balmain—is the Taylor Swift for me. Bebe Rexha looked nice! Shoulder pads and old Hollywood glam really works for her.
And now for the pink pals: Vanessa Hudgens’ slinky blush is a stunner, as is Jennifer Lopez’s neon, cut-out gown and train. Halsey’s look was a blast from the ‘00s past but I can’t stay mad at a dress that matches her hair. It’s the little things, you know?
Suits were all the rage on the red carpet, but none better than Ella Mai’s oversize mint-y blue number and host Tracee Ellis Ross’s peach dream (those lapels!). I’m sorry to report that I love Dollywood Post Malone, too.
Some suits were a bit more reserved but I ain’t mad: Evan Ross’ Missoni look is a delicious optical illusion, Rami Malek’s houndstooth blazer is handsome as hell and Zedd wore... crystals (?) all over his elven DJ body.
K-Pop boy band NCT-127 made their red carpet debut in matching tuxedos. Nothing much to say here other than: It’s adorable, and I can’t wait for bold looks in their future.
That said! There were a handful of, let’s call ‘em “conventional looks” on the carpet that weren’t boring. Shawn Mendes always rocks a black suit, but I love a nice, printed shirt peepin’ out. Amandla Stenberg makes me want to immediately purchase a bowtie and boot cut jeans...how? Busy Phillips’s sequined bell bottoms and peek-a-boo bralet are sexy, after-hours board room realness.
Camila Cabello’s corset is nothing memorable, but she did look mighty chill for someone who took home four awards. Chloe x Halle wore matching Valentino gowns like the good twin witches they are. I don’t know what’s going on with Ciara, but she looks incredible.
Lastly but certainly not least, my boys Bad Bunny and J Balvin. Balv looked pretty regular in his Black Parade bomber but Bad Bunny, mi amor... that shirt, that third eye... I can see clearly now. Get this man to the Met Gala.