The 60th Annual Grammy Awards are under way in the Big Apple today, with stars set to strut the red carpet before they alight the steps of Madison Square Gardens. James Corden kicked off his ceremonial duties by rolling out the red carpet, showing early form in the unforgiving role as host to the live streamed event, which reached an audience of 26 million viewers last year alone. This year’s Grammy’s unleashes a more exciting brand of Red Carpet which is a reflection of the industries big personas, so let’s dive into the celebrations with a look at music’s night of nights!
In an exclusive with ET‘s reporter Keltie Knight, Corden revealed that he will refrain from taking center stage in tonight’s opening act, opting instead to inject “pockets of joy” throughout the event. This should come easy to the host of The Late Late Show with James Corden, which has reached viral acclaim for running skits like Crosswalk the Musical and Carpool Karaoke. His ability to disarm the celebrity with his brand of every-man humour and situational comedy will surely be used to his advantage at the star studded event.
“I think it’s very important to know the room that you’re in, and the room that you’re going to play, and this is unlike any other awards show. It isn’t about a host in any way. It’s just about the performances and the music, and that’s what the show’s about,” Corden explained.
Corden, who is reprising his hosting duties from the 2017 awards ceremony, has opened this year’s show with a montage that pokes fun at his own relevance.
“We don’t just have the most diverse group of nominees in Grammys history, we also have, for the second year in a row, the least diverse host in Grammys history,” he joked.
James is not wrong, diversity is certainly the operative word when it comes to describing today’s red carpet. Lets take a look at the highs and lows from the field.
And The Award Goes To…
- Best Support Act – “The War Of the Roses”
According to Nick Allen from the UK Telegraph, there was a rush on white roses at New York Florists to be donned by some of the biggest industry names and insiders, in ongoing support for the Me Too movement against sexual harassment. Women’s rights have been at the forefront of 2017 following sordid sexual allegations that have rocked the entertainment industry. The white rose stands out as the best accessory of red carpet whether in the form of a corsage, boutonniere or single stem like the one held by Miley Cyrus. This display of solidarity is a promising sign that positive change is afoot.
- Most Controversial Statement
On the flip side to women’s rights, activist and singer Joy Villa chose to make her position clear on abortion with her not-so-subtle ensemble. The wedding dress featured a hand painted fetus inside a rainbow womb, alongside a clutch with the words “choose life” blazoned across. According to Fox News, the young artist gave up a child at the age of 21 for adoption and stands by her choices.
“I’m a pro-life woman. This year I chose to make a statement on the red carpet like I always do,” she told Fox News. “I’m all about life.”
This is not the first bold statement from Villa and not likely to be the last. In line with conservative values, the pro-Trump supporter donned a patriotic front with her “Make America Great Again” dress from the 2017 red carpet.
The power of the red carpet is not lost on these artists. Statements in public spaces carry a huge opportunity and, in hand with that, a responsibility to deliver appropriate messages. The symbolism of the white rose is as effective as it is subtle. Its message to audiences is clear, its support is evident and overall it does not intrude on the celebrations of the event or even the fashion stakes. That said, when your message is more controversial and your position a minority, it takes a more brash approach to publicise one’s stance. Villa’s dress was a stand out – but for very different reasons, there is a political freedom at work here that cannot be categorised as a fashion-faux pas, because the dress is all message. Agree or not, Villa’s desire to raise debate has proven head-turningly success.
- Best Dressed
From the va-va voom velvet number on Rita Ora, to Eve’s geometric two-piece and Lana Del Ray’s sweet frock, this trio had it in the bag… or should I say clutch!
- Best Swan Song since that Bjork moment
Not since the 2001 Academy Awards have we seen such a display of white plumes like that of Bjork’s iconic swan dress. The Iceland artist sported a literal fabric bird around her neck during the 73rd Oscars Red Carpet that became one of the most iconic and controversial outfits to grace a red carpet – ever! Whilst these frocks on fellow nominees Cardi B and SZA will not likely find them selves in the same hall of fame as Bjork’s Swan Dress, there are some striking similarities at play here.
- Best Beehive
Two time Grammy nominee Andra Day entered the red carpet today in a double-breasted pink overcoat with red contrasts from the lips and lapel to the suede kicks. The look was sexy and a touch lost by the beehive updo, which channeled more ex-wife-to-the-president than Grammy-hot-contender. Ivana Trump’s Beehive is a signature few can pull off. This look would have been served by slicked back wet hair à la Kendall Jenner’s locks at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival.
- Best Suit Trend
This dusty pink look sported on Zane Malik should be a staple colour at upcoming events in 2018 – just perfect for the races. The embroidered political white rose added all the detail needed alongside the single oak fastener. The camo socks pushed the look a bit far, but for the red carpet exceptions can be made. Zane Malik is one of those exceptions!
- Most Colourful Combo
Elton John is one of those rare few who seem to dress for every occasion as if it were a red carpet. On this occasion he was in his element – the quintessential poster boy for glam rock donned his signature glasses and kept his look youthful and bright eyed. As for the girls, nominee Kalia Uchis look was a stretch – literally. Though playful it lacked any modernity. Pink, who is also nominated for best pop solo performance for her song “What about us”, will perform in tonight’s show. The Singer sported a multi-coloured feathered gown cinched at the waist with a black belt. The belt helps to show off her form but the colour clash brings the sophistication level of the gown down, a single monochrome colour would have made this a home run.
- Best Diva Dress
Volume on the red carpet is a true sign that you own the red carpet real estate. Lady Gaga knows the power of a dress to create an impact, the sheer size of this dress means she will rarely be in shot with another artist.
- Best Dressed Couple Goals
There is little to be said about perfection.
The 2018 Grammy Awards seems to have evolved in step with the red carpet revolutions of 2017. Namely, the fall out of the Weinstein effect that blindsided public media and caused the entertainment industry to take a long hard look at itself. Suffice to say, the magical world was not exempt from the harsh reality of real life sexual assault, sexism and even gender bias. NZ singer Lorde made a point of skipping this year’s red carpet to express her view that there is still much more to be done. As the only female Grammy nominee for album of the year, she was not offered a solo performance spot unlike all her male nominated counterparts. Is this an unfortunate oversight to keep air time down, or are industry insiders simply that stubborn? According to Elle.com, the singer wore a red Valentino gown with these words stitched blatantly to the back:
“Rejoice! Our times are intolerable. Take courage, for the worst is a harbinger of the best. Only dire circumstances can precipitate the overthrow of oppressors. The old and corrupt must be laid to waste before the just can triumph. Contradiction will be heightened. The reckoning will be hastened by the staging of seed disturbances. The apocalypse will blossom. “
As in the case of Villa’s dress, the Artist feels backed into a corner that only a bold act will out. The Grammys have been full of memorable moments like these throughout it’s red carpet history. Whilst fashion is beautiful, it is also a statement that can offer some serious thought.
What has this year’s Red Carpet Provoked for You?