November 23rd, 2009
02:21 PM ET
Nobody died and dubbed me the arbiter of all things fashionable, but I can spot a "don't" pretty easily, and last night at the American Music Awards in Los Angeles, there were plenty to go around. In fact, there were so many, like J.Lo, you could have tripped on them. Let's take a "trip" down memory lane.
Janet, "Miss Jackson" if you must, looked like a Crate and Barrel couch that had too much bedazzling.
Speaking of bedazzled, Shakira's shorty black number made Janet's look positively dowdy with all the sparkle and glitz. It was sort of a latex, LED tube dress that fit her like a glove. The hips don't lie.
Rihanna is usually lauded for her ensembles, and while I don't always love the '80s outfits she dons, I can appreciate her ability to pull them off. So what happened last night? Rihanna was covered from neck to ankles in what looked like a white velour "onesie." You know, sort of like little kids pajamas. It was offset by horizontal cutouts that looked like tan stripes, which one person described as a glorified Cinnabon and another termed "Ace bandages." She was wearing a short white shrug that looked like football shoulder pads with spikes jutting forth.
Lady Gaga... you expect a dramatic look from her, it's part of the schtick. But her weirdly proportioned nude leotards, oddly wrapped with the accessory of the night, "Ace bandages," offset by a contraption that looked like a ribcage with Christmas tree lights, and very "Alienesque" headgear were beyond the pale. I kept looking at those straps trying to figure out why they were there and what they were hiding.
Jennifer Lopez is another woman who normally looks very elegant. In this case perhaps she was channeling her inner borough with the boxing theme. She jabbed her way through the audience wearing a short, silky robe, then dropped it to reveal shorts cut like those you wore in the '70s. You know the ones I'm talking about, with the white piping... they never looked good on anyone. She was no exception: as she sang "Louboutins," I kept trying to figure out what it was about this bizarre "Thunderdome" outfit that appealed to her. Her second costume was borrowed from a page in the Carrie Underwood book, the hot pants blown up into gold stiff bloomers. Then J.Lo slipped, the world "Twittered" and west coasters had to see it on YouTube. Note to J.Lo: don't dance in the Louboutins. They are made for sitting on barstools.
Alicia Keys took the ever-popular black leggings and paired them with a shorty black jacket emblazoned with gold chains that ran from shoulders to hips. Lots of movement and Forever 21. Leggings show off every flaw, by the way.
I'm not asking for the ladies in the house to look the same, and certainly with risk comes reward. But I'm not sure there was a lot of payoff for what these ladies paid out. Full disclosure: I am sitting here writing this in jeans and a hoodie. I'll remind you that I don't get paid to perform on stage, just write about it. Call me a "hater," but was there anything on that stage that appealed to you last night? If so, I'd really like to hear it.
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