The Low Down on Fashion at the 2016 Grammys

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As Blair on Gossip Girls proclaimed, “Fashion is the most powerful art there is. It’s movement, design and architecture all in one. It shows the world who we are and who we’d like to be.”

The Grammys are known to be the place where performing artists can step out of the fashion box and make a statement, whether that’s in avant-garde garb or a classic getup.

Those willing to take risks with their fashion even sometimes end up setting trends that will be seen for years to come. There’s a difference between the Grammys and other awards shows with movie and TV stars. Musicians and singer-songwriters mostly create their art behind closed doors and then when it’s ready for consumption, it’s primarily audible. So for many of us who don’t look up music videos or troll internet images, awards shows like this are the first time we’re putting a face with a name. By that point, we’ve formed our opinion of the music, so what we then see either enhances or challenges that judgment. And when these artists do make their public appearance, they can intentionally let their creative sides unapologetically show. And then of course there are those that the full experience includes both the brilliant vocals along with an entertaining visual (ie: Lady Gaga, who didn’t disappoint).

Even though they may be famous, celebrities’ current mood and attitude, much like ours, can determine their clothing choices — the difference being that we’re going to work and they’re on live TV. Most of us are familiar with having to choose what to wear when we’ll be surrounded by peers or facing possible critique and wanting to hit that “sweet spot” of balancing fitting in and standing out…for the right reasons. Similarly, celebrities likely try to gauge what they’re wearing to either be comfortably inside the box or hashtag-worthy. We may question these celebrities’ choices, wondering if their portrayal is truly them versus their stage persona. Regardless, their fashion choices, on awards show nights in particular, say a lot about the artist’s level of confidence, current relevance, desire to stay in-the-conversation, and the image they want to portray. And the viewers certainly likely make a lot of assumptions based on what we see coming down the red carpet.

I think Taylor Swift’s “outfit” screams how she’s not just for your 9-year-old fangirls. Oh, and, “I don’t care about Kanye’s attempts to feud with me, I’m just going to own this evening and all of my dominance.” Relative newcomer, Andra Day slayed with her vocals and made little pops of “I know ya’ll see me” with her furry sandals paired with her conservative dress. Sam Hunt confidently and cutely claimed he’s a real man by donning a pink suit. Finally, icon Stevie Wonder wore camouflage: I can’t see you, you can’t see me!ts

Those who wear more timeless outfits perhaps display a different level of self-assurance that says “I’ll let my voice speak for itself” (ie: Adele). Also: Carrie Underwood who wore a classy, black dress and simply showcased her ridiculously blingy necklace she received for Valentine’s Day. Oh, and her amazingly toned legs with a tasteful high leg slit.

There were a couple women rocking the menswear and you’ve got to give it to a girl anyone who will sport a mullet in 2016 and kind of make it look cute. Thank you for that, Zendaya.

Then there are those who will try to look like they’re not so put together, yet everything truly is perfectly placed so that it doesn’t quite look unkempt or unsuccessful. I’m talking to you, Hollywood Vampires, the band comprised of Alice Cooper, Johnny Depp, and Joe Perry.

Do you pay attention to the outfits or just tune in for the performances? Who was hashtag-worthy? If it was your first time actually seeing an artist on screen, did the image fit the lyrics? Did anyone’s appearance change your opinion of who you thought they were?

My personal “inside the box” best dressed awards this year go to Ellie Goulding, Tori Kelly, Sam Hunt, Common, and of course my dude, John Legend.

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