Dark, Moody Glamour Won the Red Carpet at This Year’s MTV VMAs

The MTV VMAs red carpet has a history of creating memorable, flash-and-awe outfits. I mean, it’s the birthplace of Lady Gaga’s meat dress, for crying out loud! The annual music ceremony’s step and repeat is not synonymous with the words “subtle” or “pared-back”—however, this year, some of Hollywood’s top performers switched things up and embraced a slightly more stealthy M.O. The evening’s best looks were all in demure shades of navy and black—creating an unexpectedly dark, but still glamorous mood at the event. Still, despite the demure color palette, these were anything but dull. 

Lizzo kicked things off on the carpet when she emerged wearing a voluminous gown from Jean Paul Gaultier’s spring 2022 couture collection, designed by Glenn Martens. The romantic, off-the-shoulder look was a cloud of pleated fabric, and couldn’t help but turn heads. Blackpink’s Lisa, Jisoo, Jennie, and Rosé continued this energy when they then emerged in black ensembles from Dior, Saint Laurent, Chanel, and Celine (all labels of which they are faces of, no less). Their fabrications, whether in lace or thick wools, were an unexpected switch-up from the vampy, skin-bearing designs that many pop stars wear to the VMAs.

Even the night’s men embraced a quieter fashion sensibility. Host Jack Harlow wore Hermès’s sleek leather suit, paired with a structural turtleneck underneath. The always-stylish group Maneskin, who will perform this evening, chose flamboyant Gucci black ensembles complete with corsets, capes, and sequins they sported. Compared to past years, when the VMAs could blind you with the array of bright looks, this new color palette was a fresh switch-up that made you focus on the silhouettes and details. All-black isn’t boring; instead, it can be downright romantic.