by Beth Hammarlund
Ah yes, the MTV VMAs. Always a beacon of taste and restraint. As usual, last night’s award show featured some atrocious fashion, hair and makeup, but fortunately there were some diamonds in the rough. Emma Watson looked adorable with her hair casually pulled back and an opaque pastel pink lip. But what really caught my eye were the evening’s retro inspired beauty looks.
The biggest head-turner of the evening was Rihanna. The singer debuted a feminine pixie that was much softer than the short cuts she’s worn in the past. Paired with an elegantly knotted white gown, contoured cheeks and red lips, she looked as if she’d just waltzed out of another era.
Though I’m not typically a fan of Katy Perry’s fashion choices, the woman has amazing hair. Last night was no exception. I think we can safely assume that what we’re seeing is 90% extensions, but she still looks phenomenal. (I’ve also been cutting her way more slack than usual since Jon Hunt wrote a column that convinced me that it was okay to love “Wide Awake.”) She finished it up with classic smoky eyes and shimmery pink lipstick.
Rita Ora, who is suddenly everywhere, rocked some old school waves and strong brows, but her signature bleached blonde hair kicked it up a notch. She bypassed the traditional retro red lip and instead went for a ’90s-inspired chocolatey brown. Not everyone loved her custom bejeweled Emilio Pucci get-up, but I found it awesomely reminiscent of the classic pearl-embellished suits that The White Stripes wore on their album cover for Icky Thump.
Another retro look that incorporated a bit of a ’90s beauty palette was the always entertaining Kat Graham. Whenever I see a photograph of her at an event or one of her music videos, someone inevitably comments, “Bitch be crazy.” So true, Internet commenters. So true. But she looked surprisingly restrained last night.
Taylor Swift also looked amayyyy…nope, sorry. I can’t do it. She’s a beautiful girl, but she’s 22. She should not be writing songs with lyrics that are less mature than my eighth grade diary. And she should not be dating a high school senior. I cannot comment on her further.
Though the word “retro” often refers to fashion and beauty from the ’20s through the ’60s, Demi Lovato debuted a new hair color that was awesomely retro ’80s. The messy waves, the flippy side part, full eyebrows and red lips are just Early Madonna enough, without veering into costume territory. It was a refreshing change from the pop singer’s recent forays into the wide world of colored hair extensions.
All in all, a bit disappointing. I was hoping for some seriously awesome crazy. Hopefully tomorrow night’s “Avant Garden” benefit for the Walker Art Center will provide a little more hair and makeup inspiration.