Fashion at the MTV VMAs should not be what we see at the Emmys or the Oscars. Are we seriously hoping for Oscar de la Renta and no fun at an award show that’s notorious for over-the-top ridiculous spectacle? Remember, Lady Gaga once showed up in an egg. Last night, the host of the show, Doja Cat, wore an outfit that involved a chair on her head. And then bird feet at the end – Vulture has a round-up of all her looks and whether or not she was putting together some kind of Da Vinci Code LOL, you can read it here.
My point is, the style standard for the VMAs is don’t play it safe. And for so many of these artists, who are young and keeping it tight and right, not safe means sexy. You expect a lot of skin at the VMAs. How, then, do you give skin but still keep it fresh and interesting?
I love this look. I love how solid it feels, how un-flimsy the material is while serving all that skin. But not just skin. There are design elements here: the oversized boxy jacket with the popped collar and the mega cuffs, the straps going in all different directions, the situation around her waist that’s not shorts but not a skirt but not a diaper, but a combination of all three. And I also like the homage, at least that’s what I’m seeing. The Fifth Element. Leeloo’s white bodysuit. The vibe is there, non?
And we haven’t even gotten to Normani’s performance yet.
This is Normani’s reputation now. Two years ago at this event, she gave us “Motivation”, one of the standout performances of the night, setting a standard for what Normani can bring to the stage: sick choreo, flexibility, sensuality, off-the-charts charisma, provocation, and of course the vocals. She did it again last night with “Wild Side”, featuring a cameo by Teyana Taylor…
...and at the same time a tribute to Janet Jackson:
Normani is amazing, reliably, every single time, for these big performances, and everyone is always talking about her the next morning, which is why there’s been so much anticipation for her debut solo album, and so much frustration that it still hasn’t arrived. As Cody wrote back when “Wild Side” first dropped, the song is a low-key jam, not exactly a banger although it is establishing Normani in a different mode than what we’ve seen from her in the past. Still, there really hasn’t been that much hype about “Wild Side” so this VMA performance should give it a boost but then…where does that momentum go if there’s no album to follow up with? This is also what Cody wrote last year, because it keeps happening with Normani – a ground-shaking performance that proves that she’s the total package…but we’re still waiting for the package.
While it isn’t quite clear exactly what’s taking so long, there have been rumours that it’s the label that’s getting in the way of her potential. And if that’s the case, well, it’s a waste of time and talent. Sometimes the best way to “manage” a star on the rise is to step aside and let her do her thing.