The Recording Academy’s 66th annual Grammy Awards were held last night, cushioning out an already hectic ceremony schedule for global creative talent. Not to mention, this year also saw the introduction of three new categories – best pop dance recording, best African music performance, and best alternative jazz album – expanding the roster even more in a further attempt to diversify the honourees.
Another notable shift was that, prior to the show, the Academy announced that “only human creators” could win, cancelling out the possibility of music developed using artificial intelligence (AI) from snatching an accolade. It put an end to any heightened concern surrounding the possibility of computers taking chances away from “human” talent, a topic that had only been emphasised by the SAG-AFTRA strikes that took place last year, initiated due to demand from screenwriters and actors for more protection from film studios over the potential use of AI.
Such strikes had also led to a build up of schedules among the most in-demand talent in Hollywood, and the ultimate rescheduling of productions and award shows – namely the Emmys – contributing to a backlog of demand for gowns this awards’ season. This combined with the increased reliance on ready-to-wear over evening wear from design houses had led to an apparent shortage of red carpet attire. However, such challenges were not present among the attendees of the Grammys it appears, many of whom took to the red carpet in all the event’s typically costumey theatrics.
The biggest trend of the night was in the skirts. From Taylor Swift’s custom Schiaparelli design – a world away from her usually pared down aesthetic – to Alessandra Ambrosio’s mermaid-esque, figure-hugging showstopper, there was quite literally no limit to the lengths celebs went to to bring some drama. This all came to a head in Caroline Polacheck’s thunderbolt Olivier Theyskens creation, which combined a thigh-high slit, a contrasting lace neckline and an exaggerated train all in one bewitching gown.
In contrast, the colour of the evening, it seemed, was baby blue. The pastel hue was particularly favoured in the form of highly embellished, overtly sparkly fitted pieces, as seen on the likes of Paris Hilton and R&B Performance winner Coco Jones. Meanwhile, Christina Aguilera kept the train theme running in a sleek Maluma look with asymmetrical draping.
Departing from the pastel trend, other attendees stuck more closely to varying takes on the goth aesthetic, which was largely defined on this red carpet by structural sheer numbers and polished accessories. While Lana Del Rey’s look paired the dark theme with details reminiscent of 50s fashion – puffed up sleeving and an A-line skirt – Ella Balinksa’s Dolce&Gabbana also incorporated vintage-inspired shapes, with corset-like boning helping to form the shape.
Moving swiftly away from the darker themes, another trend to grace the red carpet was an alternative take on suiting which particularly revolved around down-sized proportions. It was Best Rock Song winners BoyGenius who stoked the flames of this look, appearing in matching white Thom Browne tuxedos with pink carnations tying the attire together.
A world away from this was the craze for alluring skin-coloured bustier gowns. Doja Cat’s Dilara Findikoglu piece came in the form of a barely-there corset which was elevated with an abundance of tattoos, a major shift from Halle Bailey’s crystal adorned Gucci piece with a deep-V neckline. It was Miley Cyrus, however, that took the trend even further, replacing sheer overlays with her own skin. Her golden Maison Margiela dress was entirely made of safety pins forming a netted textile that stunned with a moulded bralette, structured neckline and delicate draping.
Taking a detour from the glitz and glam, we now look to the stars that took a more casual approach to the Grammy dress code. This trend was led by Song of the Year winner Billie Eilish, who sported a Chrome Hearts bomber with an oversized shirt and pants combo completing the look. Similarly, Kingsley Ben-Adir also opted for a bomber jacket by Gucci in a standout olive green.
Other stars were a little more traditional in their approach, however. This was particularly true for Kelly Clarkson, who adorned classic Hollywood glamour in an off-the-shoulder number. Gracie Abrams’ Chanel two-piece was another pared down yet eye-catching look, as was the vintage Versace gown donned by Olivia Rodrigo, which was covered in red crystals.
Play on proportions
While those attendees stuck to minimalist silhouettes, others experimented with proportions. Emily King’s baby yellow two piece emphasised the shoulders with Renaissance-like fringing, while Chrissy Teigen’s Sophie Couture mini dress came complete with an oversized rose-shaped hemline. Summer Walker, meanwhile, took things to the next level, sporting a fluffy hourglass gown that was paired with a theatrical matching hat.
Men on the red carpet also played with their looks, many taking an androgynous approach to tailoring either through intricate detailing or gender-fluid additions. Jon Batiste, for example, leant on the men’s skirt trend in his all-silver Atelier Versace look, which combined a pleated skirt with a utility-like jacket. Peso Pluma, meanwhile, drew inspiration from the 70s for his Louis Vuitton attire, with flared bottoms and an embellished fitted jacket.
And finally, like the slew of red carpets already passed – namely the Golden Globes and Critics Choice Awards – red had a prominent place at this year’s event. From Dawn Richard’s melodramatic Khosrov number to Kylie Minogue’s corset-heavy gown by Dolce&Gabbana, there was no shortage of scarlets, rubies and cherries – once again reaffirming the hue’s place at the height of 2024 red carpet trends.