The Grammy Awards returned Sunday, roughly a year after the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus outbreak a global pandemic and much of the world began to fall under social restrictions.
To reduce any opportunities for virus spread, only a subset of nominated acts appeared in person to accept their awards outdoors. But, of those who showed up, many donned elaborate, colorful outfits that presented a stark contrast to the casual styles that have dominated the stay-at-home world.
“Muted colors and minimalistic aesthetics took a back seat to bright shades, head-to-toe patterns and sexy dressing at this year’s Grammy Awards,” Edited retail analyst Avery Faigen said. “Memorable moments were made across colors and silhouettes.”
Faigen highlighted the bold hues of seen on some of the female standouts. Best New Artist winner Megan Thee Stallion wore a vibrant orange strapless Dolce & Gabbana gown with an oversized bow detail on the back. Miranda Lambert, meanwhile, wearing a shiny, metallic sleeveless Genny dress, channeled Pantone’s co-color of the year Ultimate Gray. Three-time Grammy winner Lizzo sported a mint green Balmain minidress with “mermaid goes to the prom” vibes.
Maximalism, too, was in full effect, Faigen added, pointing to the avant garde styles worn by Noah Cyrus, whose voluminous white Schiaparelli Couture gown Twitter users compared to “bed sheets” and “a used tissue.” Jhené Aiko, meanwhile, stepped out in a massive, bubblegum-pink, Monsoori dress overflowing with effervescent ruffles.
Floral patterns—Fashion Snoops identified botanical prints and motifs as one of the trends on its radar after last year’s S/S ’21 fashion shows—were spotted on Taylor Swift, Billie Eilish and DaBaby. Swift, this year’s Album of the Year winner, showed up in a three-dimensional, long-sleeve, mini dress by Oscar de la Renta with a matching face mask. Eilish, now a two-time Record of the Year winner, was kitted out in an all-matching shirt, pants, gloves, face mask and hat ensemble from Gucci. DaBaby was suited up in a floral-patterned Dolce & Gabbana number.
“The female artists also brought sexy back, from Beyoncé’s leather mini dress and gloves, Dua Lipa’s barely-there sequin ensemble, and Doja Cat’s dramatic neckline that plunged to her waistline,” Faigen added.
“Watermelon Sugar” hitmaker and heartthrob Harry Styles, who like Eilish appeared decked out in Gucci, showed up in a yellow plaid jacket, plaid sweater vest, brown velvet trousers and a purple boa that was swapped out for a black leather suit and green boa during his on-stage performance.
K-pop superstars BTS, meanwhile, showed that the comfort trends of the past year may not be entirely on their way out. The supergroup showed up wearing a more relaxed version of suiting with oversized and loungewear updates, offering a more current take on occasionwear, Faigen said.
After a long year, signs are pointing to movement away from stay-at-home fashion. Speaking in a call with investors earlier this month, Urban Outfitters CEO Richard Hayne said his company saw comfort fashion’s dominance break in February. By the last week of the month, he said, the company’s Anthropologie brand saw dresses account for seven of its 10 best-selling items. Over the past year, he noted, the company counted itself lucky if one or two dresses made the list.
Though the Grammys saw viewership hit a record low this year, declining 53 percent compared to last year, images from the event still hold a lot of power. Given the apparent momentum behind go-out fashion, the ceremony could help further motivate a move away from the sweats and leggings that dominated 2020.