Fetch or Wretch: VMA Red Carpet

My dear friend Andy Garden and I used to play this game when we lived in the same city. We'd all congregate at someone's house to watch an awards show red carpet, and Andy I would deem (and by "deem," I mean "scream at the TV") the looks "fetch" (h/t Mean Girls) or "wretch." "Fetch," obviously, was the a look we loved, "wretch" was...well, you get it. 

This list was never about the body in the dress, but about whether the dress was an absolute trainwreck of a choice. And it's the VMA's, so there are bound to be some. 

I recognized some obvious characters, but lots of this this red carpet was one long, sad question: "Who ARE these kids?!" 

...is 27 the new 87? 'Cause I'm feelin' old, friends. 

Let's take a walk. 


1. Beyoncé

...obviously. It almost didn't matter what she wore last night because the level of slayage was so high. Although I am sick to DEATH of this sheer dress "check out my underwear" trend and want it to die in a fire, if we have to look at it, this is a pretty fabulous execution. I love the feathery collar (stacked sky high and reminiscent of Victorian couture), I love the color, I love it all. Beyoncé is not about practicality in this dress. She's telling you to bow down. Which you should. 

2. Justine Skye

"Who?" I know. Exactly. I seriously feel like Jack Skellington when he goes to Christmastown. "What's this?? What's this??" ...anyone? No? 

Well anyway, I really love this freakin' jacket. LOOK at it! It has a life of its own. Great shoe choice. She's clearly having fun with it, and that's the point of the VMA's red carpet. 

3. Hailee Steinfeld

Hailee is channeling Kylie Jenner, who wore a similar Balmain look to something I'm not going to look up because I'm trying not to #keepupwiththekardashians these days: 

It's well done, I guess, but it's just so basic. Remember when Lady Gaga showed up in a freakin' egg?? Those were the days. Where's all the theater gone? 

Similarly, remember when the Kardashians hadn't taken over the fashion industry and influenced people to wear barely-there, naked dresses and Balmain? I do. I do. 


4. Britney Spears

Again - basic. BUT. With Britney, sometimes "basic" is a great thing. Sister knows that all eyes are on her with the release of her newest album, Glory, and she's playing it smart. No weirdo outfits, no risks - simple, body-con, black pumps, killer hair. I know it's boring, okay? I know. But #leavebritneyalone because she looks great, even if it could've been a more exciting look. 

4. Hailey Baldwin

Hailey is also representing the second alternative spelling of "Haley" in this post. Good for you, girls. Plant those flags. 

In what is now becoming a pattern of looks that I can't really fully get behind but have to because the others are so SO bad, this is just polished enough to be on this side of the list. It's tailored, it's beautiful, the head styling is really nice, and I really wish the pants were opaque. 

Is it so much to ask that I don't have to look at the panties of every celebrity who steps outside? Somebody get her a beach towel to wrap around her waist. 

5. Stella Maxwell

I have no idea who this person is, but I have nothing but respect for this outfit choice. Is it crazy? Sure it is. But this is the Video Music Awards, site of such legendary moments as Britney and Madonna making out, Lady Gaga and the meat dress, Kanye beginning the Taylor and Kanye feud, Miley twerking all over Robin Thicke. It's where Beyoncé announced she was pregnant. CAN WE GET A LITTLE DRAMA?

Of COURSE this outfit is insane. And yes, the top makes her boobs look like the eyes of a chameleon. But it's dramatic, bold, and risky - exactly what the VMA red carpet should be. And it's well-styled to boot. Stella may have just won the night in my book. 

6. Nicki Minaj

To be honest, I passed over this look the first time. The amount of cleavage was off-putting at first. But the more I look at it, the more I realize that this is actually a good look for Nicki. Great color, styled well...I mean, I feel like I've already made my point about the sheer/naked dress movement, so I wouldn't be redundant, but I'll give this a solid B. 

...and that does it for "Looks That Didn't Make Me Violently Ill." 

Let's get down and dirty with the not-so-good. 


1. Naomi Campbell

Would have been a slam dunk, except that I'm way too distracted by whether Naomi Campbell's Naomi Campbell is about to make an appearance. We couldn't have moved that slit over just a BIT?? I mean, I guess I did ask for dramatic looks, but damn.

2. The Guy From The Fault In Our Stars

A case study in what happens when you make an average white guy feel cool. Overkill, my man. Get some sewing scissors, snip those threads off your pants, and go home to think about your choices. 

3. Whoever These People Are

This is a joke, right? Where's Ashton Kutcher? 

This looks like one of those lists featuring the worst Wal Mart family photos of all time. To just say it out loud so we can all bask in the ridiculousness, this woman, arguably in her third trimester of pregnancy, has elected to wear no shirt and boob jewelry to a nationally televised red carpet event. 

Listen, I fully plan to turn into Jabba the Hutt when I'm pregnant and eat literally anything that crosses my path, so let me first say that this girl looks like a million bucks. But like...shirt. Shirt. Just put a shirt on. Somebody gave you some bad advice, girl. 

3. Goth Barbie

I didn't think the sheer dress trend could get any worse, but this is both sheer AND crotch-centric. And doesn't have a lining in the top. So...yep. That really happened. 

4. Baddie Winkle

Had not had the pleasure of meeting Ms. Winkle until this moment, but apparently she's an 88 year old "American Internet Personality." So there's that. 

Ms. Winkle, if I may - it seems that you have been misguided by an evil stylist and/or a mischievous grandchild. Might I suggest you call Dame Helen Mirren and get some tips from her? I feel like she could point you in the right direction. Because we can see your winkle. 

My Eyeballs. 

5. Dascha Polanco

Daya! No! You're beautiful and you can do better than this. Let's hook you up with Christian Siriano, who has done a beautiful job dressing some of your colleagues from OITNB. Love you!! 

6. ...ugh. 

He looks like he just got finished painting a house and she looks like she just got out of the shower. Can't even with these two. Actually cannot. Let's stop giving them what they want and talk about something else. 

7. Nick Jonas

Nicky Nicky Jo Jo. Ya got rick rack on your jacket, my man. Take it to Hobby Lobby and have them do something about that. 


And that concludes our red carpet report! Hope everyone has a great Monday - sorry for the damage these outfits inevitably caused to your brains first thing on a weekday. We should all go wash our eyeballs in one of those sinks they have in science labs for when you get a chemical burn in your retinas. See you tomorrow.