The Grammys typically showcase some of the more compelling ensembles during red carpet awards season thanks to an increased freedom of expression within the music industry compared to the film one. (That, and far fewer opportunities for corporate sponsorships from big-name designers).
But since #MeToo, that freedom of expression has felt mostly gestural if not theoretical, as the music industry overall has stayed infuriatingly silent on its own rampant problems with sexual harassment and assault. As high-powered music executives decline to go on record—earlier this week, the New York Times reported that over two dozen women in the music industry declined to comment for an article about #MeToo—and the largely male-run Grammys are seemingly relying upon Kesha to carry its whole statement for them, the red carpet solution, it seems, is a corollary to the Globes’s black-dress statement: Tonight, musicians will wear white roses on the carpet in solidarity with Time’s Up.
The question is, will the act of wearing (or, in many cases so far, simply carrying) a white rose mean anything if this de facto code of silence is allowed to continue? Where are the voices of powerful men, like Clive Davis or Jimmy Iovine, whose careers have relied upon the talents of mostly women artists? And what about the music industry executives like Steve Barnett, who actively profit from artists whose alleged abuse of women is gruesome and highly public? And will any of them have the sand to speak up on the carpet, or in their acceptance speeches?
Again, we are confronted with the dilemma of fashion being used as a stand-in for action. Fashion statements are powerful and can change the culture, and in televised they can shine light on issues like #MeToo for a larger audience—but they translate to nothing without meaningful change, and so far the industry at large seems frustratingly unwilling to even broach the topic. And with that at hand, the white roses seem more like a plea for help, like Sansa lighting a candle in the North Tower for Brienne when Ramsay Bolton’s abuse goes too far.
But hey! Here are some outfits! As ever, we’ll constantly update as the stars hit and the story of these outfits unfold. Above, longtime advocate for survivors Lady Gaga wears voluminous black lace and accessorizes with a white rose and Time’s Up pin.
Eve’s a stunner in a geometric pantsuit, and opted to hold her rose like Lisa Loeb, in a gunmetal gown. Bomba Estereo’s Li Saumet has increasingly paid neon homage to indigenous communities in her native Colombia to great effect; here she looks regal in batik with contrasting melon-colored eye shadow. Natalia Lafourcade, who’s won a million Grammys and is now Oscar-adjacent with the theme song from Coco (she and Miguel performed an official version of “Remember Me”), went for a simple prettiness in black lace.
Careful what you ask for, I guess. Red carpet troll/hyperconservative thirstbucket Joy Villa wore a pro-Trump gown last year, and this year she tempera-painted some anti-choice shit on a bargain basement taffeta jam. Why is she invited? What does she do? Karen Martínez and Juanes are dressed more for the Emmys, but Patrick Starr’s not playing in a beautiful, retina-blinding coat and pumpum shorts. Reba McEntire’s gown is exceedingly safe, which is fine for Reba McEntire! Cause she’s Reba McEntire.
Gaga’s full look—homage to her glam rock roots with those gigantic boots and glitter, plus homage to her 2008 style with lacy leggings and structured shoulders. It’s aight.
Emmylou Harris is slaying in a patchwork coat and pirate boots, like she’s the proprietor of a shop that sells crystals and angel cards and makes you feel better by putting her hands on your cranium. Yes mom! Coco and Ice T are giving us vampire chic; French singer Jain is perfectly tailored and cool in a way that, sorry, invokes French dressing; Kirstin Maldonado and Scott Hoying of Pentatonix look like Riverdale characters, which is their general estilo.
Singer Ava Max is impressive with her butter-and-fuschia brocade and her interpretation of a white rose, which appears to be flash-tatted on her chest. Props if she actually got inked! Cirkut looks tailored and fine but is really embodying for me the way dance music culture has gone downhill since it went hella corporate. This dude is wearing Chelsea boots! It almost makes you miss Deadmau5 (ALMOST). Gary Clark Jr. is always a red carpet stunna, and purple velvet is his calling card; Maren Morris is rocking that cage gown, too.
Winning Best Accessories for nearly 50 years. You already know.
6lack is sleek in a shiny, fitted suit; Janelle Monáe continues incorporating color into her traditional black-and-white palette (here with that platinum streak!) and stunning, particularly in this Nudie suit-inspired tux. Lana del Rey is dressed like a whiskeyed virgin Mary in that jawn (not La Virgen; this shit is entirely Anglo-Saxon). Ne-Yo’s mustard velvet jacket is doing him many favors!
Bebe Rexha, who is not Rita Ora, in a blush bustier gown that is actually more Jenner-adjacent. Jackson Y more like Jackson Hell YEAH—sorry, I’m in the mood for embellished denim after several of the couture shows in Paris last week incorporated complicated denim into their looks. Kelly Clarkson always seems to go for lace, and the witchiness of this gown works for her. Rick Ross is impeccably appointed; additionally, that jacket probably cost the contracts of like, four dropped Maybach Music rappers. Ayo!
Super cool that The Chainsmokers are wearing white roses in support of Time’s Up, we super believe you guys by the way your respect for women simply seethes through so many of your hit songs. Jaden Smith is wearing those dad sneakers and I cannot! ONLY Jaden can do this. Jenny McCarthy is a perfect example of the way the clothes don’t make the person, the person makes the clothes, though I guess “anti-vaxxer” doesn’t necessarily clash with “tryhard faux dominatrix-lite from 1998.” No idea why Sarah Silverman is here, either, but her outfit is cute.
Anna Kendrick’s ‘90s supermodel look is sharp and smart; Cardi B looks like a swan and a butterfly, which she told my dreaded son Giuliana was the type of feeling she had in her stomach and “my vagina”; I’m only showing you RIAA President Neil Portnow now so you can identify him when he bungles through a #MeToo speech later.
A pivotal red-carpet moment in which Tyler, the Creator finally reveals himself to be an agent of the Russian state. Where is Louise Mensch on this now?!
Emmy winner Childish Gambino/Donald Glover in a lovely clean white tux; Hailee Steinfeld’s got a new wave gleam in those purple boots; Kesha’s own Nudie suit/country influence is here on display, while the ever-charming Khalid—one of the only men to pre-announce he’d support Time’s Up on the carpet—is giving us Museum of Ice Cream realness, a kiwi-strawberry vision in comfortable kicks.
Andra! Day! She has maybe been watching The Assassination of Gianni Versace, too, because this is full Schiffer, Turlington, Campbell, Crawford, ‘90s glamazon supermodel realness and I love it down to the hues. A better look at Cardi B: a swan spreading her wings. Chrissy Tiegen in quicksilver and not ever, ever hiding that glorious baby bump; Katie Holmes seems like she arrived maybe just so she could get a little rebellious with her look. I don’t blame her! It’s black leather in what looks like a lizard pattern!
I have nothing to add to this extremely 1990s New York tweet.
Tiny Camila Cabello in a structured lipstick-red gown and disco ball clutch, dressed like a woman who wants to win.
Cyndi Lauper is not here to play and you know that because she’s wearing freaking cherubs on her suit. Don’t fuck with her! Rachel Antonoff, with her brother Jack, is likely wearing something of her own creation; I’m into the bougie pajama party/third-year ER resident hybrid ideation behind it. Luis Fonsi and Agueda Lopez are taking this very seriously, and she looks like a dazzling chandelier! You know how I love a chandelier.
Whatever you think about Rita Ora, her beauty looks are always beat. That lip! The glossy eye! The lightly slicked back hair. Pristine!