The toughest job in the world is to be a fashion critic during the MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs), and the 2013 red carpet on Sunday night was no exception.
It's no surprise, really. The VMAs, much like its counterpart, the Grammys, always brings out some of the most outrageous -- and skin-revealing -- red carpet looks, as seen in its nearly 30-year history. It all began with Madonna in 1984 with her bustier white-lace wedding gown and belt reading "boy toy," as she rolled around on stage performing her hit "Like A Virgin." And who could forget Lil' Kim's breast-baring dress in 1999 (which Diana Ross couldn't resist touching), Rose McGowan's bare bum in 1998, Lady Gaga's meat dress in 2010 or Britney Spears' snake ensemble in 2001? That's what VMA style is all about, reaching new heights in unforgettable, ridiculous, over-the-top fashion.
As predictable as it was to assume style would be at its lowest ebb, once again, this year still shocked many and surely will live on in our memories. Held in Brooklyn, N.Y., at the Barclays Center for the first time, there was no shortage of wacky outfits on the VMA red carpet Sunday night.
Let's begin with the biggest victim of the night, Miley Cyrus. You know it's bad when Richard Simmons, wearing a similar themed look of neon-green spandex pants and a neon bird-printed shirt, even looked better. The 20-year-old singer donned bejeweled leggings and off-the-shoulder crop top by Dolce & Gabbana, and posed all night on the red carpet with her tongue sticking out. Though she changed into an even more offensive ensemble to perform, er, twerk -- a bizarre bodysuit with a bear also sticking out its tongue -- the star kept her hair in two pigtail buns very much like Scary Spice of the 1990s, where that style should have stayed.
We don't expect much from Lil' Kim, but the rapper really needs to fire her stylist, at this point, if she even has one. After sparking plastic surgery rumors back in June, when she was nearly unrecognizable at a Hot 97 concert, the star, who has put on a few pounds over the years, looked suffocated in her shiny unitard, which she paired with a waist-cinching belt.
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In contrast, Rihanna was completely understated in jeans and a T-shirt from her River Island collection. At least we don't have to shake our heads with this one.
Thankfully, some ladies kept it classy and wore their best threads, and kept us all a bit saner for the evening. Selena Gomez wore a dark blue long-sleeved gown by Atelier Versace with a showy, lacy bustier in a look that was edgy yet polished. Channeling her inner Marilyn Monroe, fellow tween queen Taylor Swift went va-va-voom with red lips and classic curls paired with a navy blue gown with a low-neck by Herve Leger by Max Azria. Katy Perry donned an audacious leopard-print gown by Emanuel Ungaro that model Coco Rocha wore to the 2013 Met Gala back in May. We'll forgive her for stealing Coco's look only because she looked dazzling.
Ciara also looked gorgeous in a nude mesh long-sleeved gown by Givenchy with white beading and plumage. Singer Rita also donned major feathers for her gown by Alexandre Vauthier Couture with a long, plumage train and beaded, long-sleeved bodice.
When you can put Snooki in the "best dressed" section, you know things are grim. The "Jersey Shore" actress wore a glitzy black gown with silver bering and a bejeweled criss-cross neckline and Jeffrey Campbell shoes. Fellow Jersey pal JWoww also looked polished and feminine in a white silk gown with black lacy bodice.
Electronic Dance Music (EDM) favorite Ellie Goulding also stood out wearing a studded Brian Atwood gown. So did singer Jennifer Hudson in a midi-gown by Christian Dior with a houndstooth pattern on the top and leather pencil skirt.
And it gets even weirder. Lady Gaga showed up on the red carpet looking, well, normal. The singer looked more lady-like than ever with her black hair in loose Veronica Lake-esque waves with a patent-leather black dress and glittery train by Prabal Gurung. Then, of course, she changed into some ultra-crazy costumes for her performance, like seashell breast plates and nun cloak. Well, I guess we can't have it all.
Who do you think were the best- and worst-dressed celebrities on the red carpet at the 2013 MTV VMAs? Check out the slideshow above and sound off in the comments below.