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  • Written by Alexandra Sullivan


The 2023 MTV Video Music Awards was a tapestry of fashion, humor and of course: music. The award show was held in Newark, New Jersey on Sept. 12. Performances and fashion fused, creating a highly energetic and visually captivating show to watch. Nicki Minaj hosted the show for the second year in a row and stunned in a handful of different outfits; most notably a bridal Barbie-inspired outfit by Dolce & Gabanna. Dripping in pink from head to toe, the rapper, who was nominated for 6 awards, wore a sheer pink gown with a lace veil with her waist perfectly cinched in a matching corset.

As the performances got bigger, the fashion got better. Shakira was honored with the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award and gave a jaw-dropping performance (for the first time in 17 years) in a custom Ludovic de Saint Sernin metal mesh bra and skirt, embellished in Swarovski crystals. As for Italian rock band, Måneskin, who took home “best rock”, their electric performance was coordinated by Rick Owens outfits. Wearing sheer elements alongside cropped blazers, asymmetric lines and high-heeled boots, the band’s look showcased their eccentric and androgynous styles.

This VMAs marked the first time that only female artists were nominated for Artist of the Year, since the first VMA ceremony held in 1984. Doja Cat, Shakira, Beyoncé, Karol G, Nicki Minaj and Taylor Swift, were in the run for the title that was finally awarded to Taylor Swift. Winning 9 of her eleven nominations, Swift also took home a new award category, "Show of the Summer" for ‘The Eras Tour’. The singer donned a halter-neck black Versace gown lined with gold buttons — a look that Donatella herself deemed as “gorgeous.”

On the “pink” carpet, Cardi B was covered in hair clips from… chest to toe. The ensemble, created by Dilara Findikoglu featured thousands of metal hair clips, and was a custom iteration of the designer's Fall/Winter collection called “girl armour”, a tribute to the resilience and beauty of women. The rapper wore the stunning silver gown, complete with cuffs around her wrists with even more hair clips on them. Her “Bongos” partner, Megan Thee Stallion strutted the pink carpet in a sultry black see-through gown. Completed with black piping, the custom Brandon Blackwood gown was corseted, strapless and form-fitting.

Karol G had all eyes on her in a sheer FW23 Ashi Studio gown, mixed with a matching floor-length cape. And Selena Gomez brought the “red” to the “pink” carpet in a custom hand-beaded Oscar De La Renta gown, featuring a halter neckline and a cascading floral skirt. Embroidered with thousands of scarlet bugle beads, the dress featured a corseted top that perfectly hugged the singer and actress who took home a Moon Man for Best Afrobeats.

From Taylor Swift becoming the second-most-awarded artist in the history of the VMAs to NSYNC's surprise appearance and Shakira becoming the first South American to receive the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award, this rendition of the VMAs promises to be one for the history books.


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