Lady Gaga may have stormed the Grammys in a giant egg (and with three different Thierry Mugler looks), but the glitz and glitter from European couturiers grabbed plenty of attention Sunday on the red carpet. Nicki Minaj turned heads in a Givenchy Haute Couture leopard gown with a matching wig, and last-to-arrive Katy Perry, with husband Russell Brand in tow, floated in wearing a white angel-winged Armani Privé gown (the first of three she donned during the evening). Even though she was also in virginal white, Rihanna upped the sexy factor in a see-through tiered and ruffled Jean Paul Gaultier Couture number, stopping long enough to give a shout out to Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino, comparing abs with him from afar. A more wholesome Justin Bieber also stayed with the white theme, bounding down the red carpet in a D&G suit a good distance ahead of his reported girlfriend Selena Gomez. Of the term “Bieber Fever,” which throngs of young women on the red carpet clearly had, he said: “It’s an epidemic. I’m not the one that made it up. So talk to my fans.”
Some A-listers chose to bypass the red-carpet chaos, like Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban, who discreetly strolled in hand-in-hand, as did Will, Jada and Willow Smith. As usual, most of the big names arrived just minutes before the show, what with all the prep time squeezing into tight, sequined numbers. Kim Kardashian literally had to have Ken Kaufman and Isaac Franco come over to remake her dress so she could get her famous derriere into it. Others stayed out too late the night before at Clive Davis’ pre-Grammy bash at the Beverly Hills Hotel and the Cash Money Records fete at The Lot. Drake didn’t arrive until midnight and Minaj stayed on to hear Jay Sean and Lil’ Wayne give a surprise performance at 1:30 a.m., gushing, “This is a moment for life.”
This story first appeared in the February 15, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.