Was it a demure rebellion against their youthful co-host, Britney Spears? The rockers, rappers, hip-hop divas and sugar-coated pop princesses of Monday night’s American Music Awards launched a not-so-hostile takeover of music’s prevailing bellybutton chic. They looked downright ladylike — at least by rock music standards.
Their new polish allowed for rhinestones galore and lots of leather, but Madonna herself admits they’re de rigeur for the stage. Even Pink cleaned up her act, performing in a Dietrich-style Gucci white tuxedo and top hat.
“I think with short hair, pants look sexy and sophisticated,” said a Chloe-besuited Toni Braxton. “Like a female David Bowie,” she laughed. The Bowie thing may have worked for the carpet, but come time for her performance, Braxton had changed into a red corset.
Janet Jackson was inspired by another fashion icon.
“This suit was made after an Yves Saint Laurent tuxedo,” she explained. “I wore suits all the time as a kid when my brothers were getting their start in Hollywood.”
Despite her penchant for skin, Jennifer Lopez slipped out of the belly-baring top she performed in, taking her seat in a Forties-glamour white Versace.
Destiny’s Child went for home-made couture in the form of crystal-studded printed dresses stitched by Beyonce’s mother, Tina Knowles.
“We never disagree on clothes,” Beyonce said. “Because when someone makes clothes for you individually, you always get what you want.”
“But we love Gucci and Versace too,” fellow Child Kelly Rowland added. “We love everybody — as long as it looks good on.”