Finally Getting Us ‘Off the Couch With Some Real Fashion,’ the AMAs Didn’t Skimp on Style

Shirley P. Olin
Taraji P. Henson wears Carolina Herrera on stage at the 2020 American Music Awards at Microsoft Theater on Nov. 22, 2020, in Los Angeles, Calif.
Taraji P. Henson wears Carolina Herrera on stage at the 2020 American Music Awards at Microsoft Theater on Nov. 22, 2020, in Los Angeles, Calif.

“I’m just happy to be off the couch with some real fashion,” Taraji P. Henson crowed in the opening monologue of the 2020 American Music Awards on Sunday night. OK, so maybe we were still on the couch in our matching tie-dyed sweat sets (I know it’s not just me), but not wasting a minute of her on-stage opportunity, the host donned 10 looks (real talk—we think there were more) throughout the night, including four hair changes (including a full Diana Ross-style natural mane that we will be attempting to emulate ASAP).

Taraji P. Henson wears an optical illusion-printed gown by Area.
Taraji P. Henson wears an optical illusion-printed gown by Area.

In fact, while Sunday night was all about music’s winners, when it came to fashion it was really Taraji’s show—with or without her now-red tresses on display, as proven by the ‘60-inspired silver spangled Armani mini-dress she sported in the AMAs red-draped photobooth, paired with a matching headwrap.

Our favorite of Taraji’s looks for the night once kept her hair under wraps—this time, a sparkling mesh snood hung beneath the black fedora she paired with a red beaded mini by Pyer Moss, featuring an appropriately music-themed motif.

But Taraji wasn’t the only lady stunning and stunting for the AMAs in red—or donning a Black designer to do it. Replacing the ice blue blowout she debuted last week with quarantine-friendly cornrows, Ciara wore Balmain (designed by Olivier Rousteing, another of whose designs was also worn by new Bachelorette Tayshia Adams on the AMAs red carpet) to present the award for favorite Soul/R&B album. Of note: her robe-like silhouette was both forgiving to postpartum snapback (not that she needs it) and to our mid-pandemic bodies, should we ever make it out of these lounge sets.

In fact, red proved to be the color of the night, as The Weeknd (Abel Tesfaye) also sported the color on his suit jacket, presumably to coordinate with the bloodstains on his heavily bandaged face. In case you were wondering, no, he wasn’t injured; it was a PSA of sorts, on-theme with his AMA-winning album After Hours and the short films he made for “Blinding Lights” and “After Hours,” reports Elle.

The Weeknd was warning people against drunk driving—and visibly showing what kind of injuries can happen when drunk driving leads to car accidents.

As he explained to Esquire earlier this year, his After Hours song “’Blinding Lights’ [is about] how you want to see someone at night, and you’re intoxicated, and you’re driving to this person and you’re just blinded by streetlights. But nothing could stop you from trying to go see that person, because you’re so lonely. I don’t want to ever promote drunk driving, but that’s what the dark undertone is.”

On a lighter note, Doja Cat continued to prove that cancel culture is a fleeting concept, not only scoring wins for Favorite Female Artist – Soul/R&B and New Artist of the Year, but giving us some…interesting fashuns, including a take on cavewoman chic for her performance with a more extra-terrestrially clad Bebe Rexha.

Laverne Cox was also out-of-this-world for the AMAs, giving us superwoman style in an asymmetrical black and gold gown and bodysuit custom-made by Michael Costello. The designer even provided a sneak peek at the making of the garment on Instagram, which showed off her Amazonian frame (and legs!) to perfection.

And then, there was Meg…who not only stopped the show with her “body-ody-ody-ody” but gave us a message of body positivity to go with it, proclaiming “every curve, every inch, every mark, every dimple…decoration on [her] temple.” We’re still awaiting details on the sheer beaded black catsuit she wore for her debut live performance of her insta-hit single, but until we get them, let’s just revisit how Meg got us bodied Sunday night.

For the rest of the deets on AMAs winners, make sure to check out The Root’s comprehensive recap.

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