Along with the anticipated performances and surprise celebrity appearances, what makes the MTV VMAs so thrilling is the fashion. At the 2019 ceremony on Monday night (Aug. 26), this time held in New Jersey's Prudential Center, stars from all genres showed off their most stylish looks.
Some chose to play it safe, while others took daring risks, and many artists walked the red carpet for the first time. From new acts like Lil Nas X to seasoned players like Halsey, Billboard rounded up all of the unforgettable outfits from this year's festivities.
The Puerto Rican star is known for his flashy streetwear, but he surprisingly opted for a more subdued look for his VMAs red carpet debut. The all-black suit is a bit safe for someone of his artsy caliber, but the face mask and eggplant-colored nails luckily add a bit of edge.
11. Megan Thee Stallion
This was also Megan Thee Stallion’s first showing at the VMAs, yet she didn’t bring enough heat to match her "Hot Girl Summer" mantra. The rhinestone-studded three-piece bikini set with matching boots would be more suitable for other music awards shows. But at the VMAs, whose history leans a lot on fashion, it's always best to play up your persona.
10. Zara Larsson
Before she began her role as one of the night’s pre-show hosts, Zara Larsson stunned on the red carpet with a ruffled baby pink gown. She kept it from being too over the top with simple accessories and hair, which shifted the focus back to the dress.
9. Camilla Cabello
Camila Cabello looked like a Grecian goddess on the red carpet, rocking a mini-dress that was complete with seductive cut outs and a long train. But she could’ve definitely made the outfit more visually interesting with shoes that were less clunky and more defined hairstyle.
8. Taylor Swift
VMAs mainstay Taylor Swift brought the vibrancy of her “You Need to Calm Down" video for her red carpet look. The main focus is the vintage-looking brocade blazer dress, which shines beautifully among the flashing lights. But the Lover singer could’ve played up the look more with her shoes or hairstyle.
7. Shawn Mendes
This year’s VMAs took place in New Jersey, and it seemed like Shawn Mendes used the location as inspiration for his outfit. The “If I Can’t Have You” singer channeled his inner (and quite suave) Italian mafioso with a well-tailored emerald suit, chain necklaces and perfectly gelled hair.
The “Con Altura” star looked ever so graceful and poised for her VMAs red carpet debut! She resembled a millennial version of Audrey Hepburn with her embellished black gown with matching gloves. But she kept thing true to her urban style with eye-catching chandelier earrings, high ponytail that rivals Ariana Grande and stiletto nails on the tips of her gloves.
5. Keke Palmer
Keke Palmer resembled the most elegant version of a golden moon man with her ensemble. The Hustlers actress donned a streamlined and shimmering gown, which she gave an extra boost with a blinged-out phone and purse. She looked like pure money!
Halsey is never afraid to make a bold political statement with her looks, and her VMAs showing was no different. The “Nightmare” singer rocked a red-hot sheer dress that was cinched with a studded waistbelt. The outfit was all about duality between girly and edgy, as Halsey showed off her satin black underwear beneath the dress. She topped it all off with the colors of the pride flag in the part of her hair.
All eyes were on Normani at tonight’s ceremony. The singer’s nostalgic “Motivation” video features many early ‘00s-inspired looks, and she continued that trend on the red carpet. Normani bared it all with this skimpy two-piece set that exposed her midriff and left thigh. In true ‘00s fashion, she matched her makeup to the colors of her outfit, added chunky highlights to her hair and showed off her french manicure.
2. Lil Nas X
Many may have anticipated Lil Nas X pulling up on a horse for his debut VMAs red carpet appearance, but the artist decided to up the ante by channeling a legend. The “Panini” star took notes from Prince’s daring looks with a frilly lace Victorian-style shirt. It juxtaposed his suit, which was nearly blinding with its silver sequins. He definitely made sure that his look could secure a place in future VMAs history books.
We love Lizzo for her larger-than-life personality, and she embodied her fieriness in this show-stopping ensemble. The “Truth Hurts” singer resembled a modern-day Jessica Rabbit in a sexy lipstick-red sequined gown. But it wasn’t your ordinary frock! It featured the word “Siren” boldly written all over it and was accompanied by a matching feathered boa. Rather than keeping her hair and makeup simple, Lizzo wore her tresses in a heavens-high beehive as she seduced the cameras. She knew she looked good as hell, and wanted the world to soak in all of her glory.