Best Dressed Stars At The 2020 VMAs

The 2020 VMAs was like no other show in history. That's mostly because parts of it were live, other moments were pre-taped, and it was completely staggered and staged so that performers, presenters, and winners could remain safe and socially distanced at all times. Performances and speeches occurred outdoors in New York City, and there was no elated audience cheering the excitement on. Still, it was a televised sight for event-deprived eyes. 

And while the COVID-19 pandemic did prevent the usual frenzied red carpet affair from taking place, it could not and did not stop musicians and stars from showing off their oh-so-unique aesthetics. Yes, the MTV Video Music Awards is not for the faint of heart or the conservative of style; stars are always encouraged to express their personalities via weird, wacky, and wonderful fashion choices. And while there were fewer famous attendees than usual, those A-listers who did show their (often-masked) faces turned up and turned it on. From Lady Gaga, the biggest winner of the night, to Miley Cyrus to Bella Hadid to Jaden Smith to host Keke Palmer, these best-dressed stars did not disappoint.

Bella Hadid dared to bare at the 2020 VMAs

Bella Hadid could have worn a paper bag to the 2020 VMAs, and we still would have been in complete awe. It's impossible to not look striking when you're the ultimate super model. Wearing a sheer camisole with patches over her breasts and sleek and slim black trousers (via Elle), Hadid was all business on the bottom, but party central on top. Presenting the Tricon award to Lady Gaga (via MTV News), Hadid gave off major '90s vibes, though we're not sure how many people actually wore see-through camis back in the day.

Before the VMAs, Hadid was rumored to have reunited with her ex The Weeknd during New York City rehearsals for the event, as reported by the Daily Mail. And given an interview with Elle, we bet Hadid was happy to be doing something new in the city. Discussing what she misses most about pre-pandemic life in NYC, she told Elle, "Smiling at people. I miss hugging, a lot. I miss walking around and listening to music. It's different when you're in the city. You can walk forever — going nowhere and somehow still feeling like you've got somewhere to be."

Keke Palmer looked stunning as host of the 2020 VMAs

As the host of the 2020 VMAs, Keke Palmer wore all sorts of fabulous ensembles. This sleek black cross-halter gown may have been tamer than some of her other sartorial selections, but it was absolutely stunning, nonetheless — especially styled with those gorgeous emerald and diamond drop earrings. 

The actress opened up the show by joking that the only reason she was chosen to host was because, well, no one else wanted the gig in the age of COVID-19. After a few quips, Palmer took a more serious tone to address the social unrest in our country and acknowledge the essential workers who have kept us going throughout the pandemic: "We've seen heroes go above and beyond whether they drive a delivery truck, work at a grocery store, or serve on the front lines at a hospital." She continued, "And with the Black Lives Matter movement, we've seen our generation step up. ... We must continue the fight to end systemic racism. The leaders of that movement are you, us, the people watching tonight. It's our time to be the change we want to see."

Madison Beer modeled Mugler at the 2020 VMAs

Talk about a little black dress. "Selfish" singer Madison Beer was scantily clad (and totally stunning) in a slinky, sheer Mugler dress that clung to her body, exposed her bronzed shoulders, and extended into sleeves with gloved fingers. Less is more, so the 2020 VMAs presenter kept her look clean and minimalistic. Her shiny, straight mane, on-point brows, and plump lips were all the accessories she needed for the night.

The singer — who, as noted by People, was discovered by Justin Bieber back in 2012 — announced days earlier on social media that she is one year free from self-harm. "I never thought I'd be able to say this [and] I am so proud of myself. It has been an uphill battle, so whether you might be one day, one week, one month, or one year clean — I'm so proud of you," she shared, as reported by Glamour. "Please please please do not ignore the signs if you think someone you know might be struggling. Reach out to your friends." She added, "[You] truly never know what goes on behind closed doors."

At the 2020 VMAs, Doja Cat looked fiery in a hot Versace number

TikTok made her famous, but Doja Cat's textured Versace dress made hearts go pitter-patter at the 2020 VMAs, as noted by Vogue

As an attendee and performer at the MTV Video Music Awards, the singer made her mark and made a statement with a plunging neckline, plenty of accessories, and fringe to spare. A long and sleek braided ponytail and dramatic cat-eye makeup finished the sexy look. Nominated in multiple categories, Doja won for PUSH Best New Artist (via MTV News). In her acceptance speech, she thanked her fans, exclaiming that their "support meant everything" to her.

Earlier in the night, Doja donned a show-stopping bodysuit for her out-of-this-world, alien-inspired performance. Embellished with light-up gems (because extra is the name of the game at the VMAs), Doja took to the stage to sing two hits: "Say So" and "Like That." All the while, background dancers made moves in masks. Oh, 2020, you're so quirky like that.

Miley Cyrus shone like a disco ball at the 2020 VMAs

Miley Cyrus knows how to do the Video Music Awards right, so we are always excited to see what she will wear, say, and do. 

At the 2020 VMAs, she arrived in a sheer strapless black dress by Mugler that left little to the imagination. Embellished with smalls mirrors, she sparkled like a disco diva, foreshadowing her Video Music Awards performance, which had a decidedly '70s vibe. Singing "Midnight Sky," Cyrus' performance also brought back her infamous wrecking ball — this time bedazzled to look like a disco ball. (We have to appreciate her commitment to a theme.) 

Cyrus' blonde shaggy mullet, chunky gold accessories, and bold red lip completed a stellar look that only she could pull off. The performer and former VMAs host was also nominated for Best Art Direction and Best Editing for her song "Mother's Daughter."

Machine Gun Kelly popped in pink at the 2020 VMAs

The 2020 VMAs Moon Person winner for Best Alternative, Machine Gun Kelly certainly made an impression arriving at the pre-show wearing a sleeveless hot pink turtleneck, matching straight-leg trousers, and a pearl necklace — tattooed arms on full display, of course. He was hard to miss, to say the least. But standing out and showing your true colors (pun intended) is par for the course at the wildest of all the award shows.

During the show, he performed his songs "My Ex's Best Friend" and "Bloody Valentine" (the latter of which earned him a VMA) with Blink-182's Travis Barker and blackbear. When MTV announced his win via tweet, he responded on social media: "THIS IS THE BEST TWEET IVE EVER GOT!!!! where are the fans at, i'm coming to your f***n living rooms right now to hug everybody!!" We appreciate the enthusiasm, but let's stick to social distancing, Blonde Don.

Sofia Carson wore a show-stopping scarlet gown at the 2020 VMAs

While many celebrities opt to take sartorial risks at the Video Music Awards, former Disney Star and triple-threat Sofia Carson went full retro movie star chic in a breathtaking red gown by Giambattista Valli Haute Couture, Jimmy Choo shoes, and Vhernier jewelry for her presenting gig at the 2020 VMAs, as noted by Just Jared Jr.

In a tweet before her speech presenting the Video for Good award winner, she expressed her appreciation for advocacy and gratitude to those doing their part to make a difference in our world (and more specifically in our divided country): "There's nothing more powerful or more important than using your voice. This year, countless artists have inspired us all and used their voices for GOOD. I cannot wait to see who wins." On her Instagram account, she took her message a bit further, encouraging fans to rally and to channel their passion on Nov. 3. "Now, it's YOUR turn. Your vote is your voice," she wrote. "So UNMUTE your voice this Election Day." 

No one wore masks like Lady Gaga at the 2020 VMAs

Lady Gaga always knows how to make an impact, and at the 2020 VMAs, her style doubled as a social statement. Throughout the show, she changed her dramatic ensembles, and she also appeared in several masks throughout the night to reiterate the importance of protecting others and yourself from the threat of COVID-19. She even donned a mask while performing a medley of her songs, including "Rain on Me" with Ariana Grande. 

She wore another iconic mask — this one with husks — while accepting the award for Song of the Year. In a gorgeous green gown by Christopher John Rogers, Gaga shared words of inspiration: "I remember thinking I had cried so many tears that it felt like an unfathomable downpour from my eyes. ... Even though it feels like you are [drowning], you can still swim. And if there's a strong current with a bunch of waves and they keep crashing over you, if you keep swimming you'll reach the center of the ocean, where it's calm, still, and peaceful" (via MTV News). 

Gaga also received the Moon Person award for Best Collaboration, had the honor of being named Artist of the Year, and won the first-ever Tricon award, proclaiming that, despite these difficult times of uncertainty, "a renaissance is coming."

At the 2020 VMAs, Joey King looked gorgeous in a bright Versace dress

Joey King's 2020 VMAs look could be described as Versace meets the mod squad. The adorable actress looked equal parts glamorous and 1960s-inspired in a high-fashion long-sleeve floral dress paired with thick gold accessories, including a heavy chain, dueling hair barrettes, and multiple rings. Yes, the Kissing Booth star looked sweet and chic to present at the Video Music Awards. 

According to a report by PopSugar, when asked how she was found her look for her presenting gig, King cheekily replied, "Uh, I'm wearing Versace. My first time wearing Versace. What's up?" She added, "And what all went into it is I'm wearing a lot of Spanx, I've got some fake makeup on my legs so that they look shiny, and yeah, I have extensions in my hair. So you know, I don't really look like this."

As parts of the VMAs were pre-recorded for social distancing purposes, King was able to share a photo of her VMAs look a few days before the event on Instagram. In the post, she also shared a short video of her seemingly taking a little snooze on the job. Sleeping in Versace... there are worse ways to pass time.

Nicole Richie lit up the 2020 VMAs in lime green

In case you were wondering, Nicole Richie definitely has still got it. The reality TV star and mom of two arrived at the 2020 VMAs wearing a lime green Cong Tri taffeta dress with draping to spare and a train trailing behind her sassy self. In a post on her Instagram feed, Richie captioned her look, "Representing ALL the greens tonight." She followed her message with emojis of green-hued fruits and veggies, a nod to her garden-loving alter-ego in her Quibi parody series, Nikki Fre$h.

While Richie looked like a natural in her fancy ensemble, she admitted to Variety in July 2020 that she prefers dressing down. "I'm not really in gowns unless I have to be; Nikki Fre$h is in gowns from the moment she wakes up," she shared. "She wears gowns in the garden. There are headpieces. There's makeup. They're, like, full-blown looks." 

Speaking of head pieces, Richie's bun was accessorized with a spike-embellished black headband — an edgy tiara-like accessory befitting the queen of green.

Jaden Smith debuted a colorful look at the 2020 VMAs

Jaden Smith was a sight for color-deprived eyes at the 2020 VMAs. He paired a boxy watercolor floral-esque blazer with a pair of light-wash jeans and thick athletic sneakers. As noted by Vogue, the simple styling "helped make the structured jacket feel more youthful." The fashion publication also indicated that the color-blocked blazer was in the signature style and silhouette of Chanel. (Would you expect anything less from Will and Jada's son?)

The performer, who debuted his single "Cabin Fever" in July 2020 (via Rolling Stone), talked to MTV's Travis Miller at the official VMAs pre-show and expressed his enthusiasm about presenting a Moon Person award. "I'm soaking it all in," he said, elaborating that he was most eager to watch BTS perform live. When asked about his album, Smith said it is his "most cohesive" project yet – all about "peace and love" — and that he is "excited to deliver it to the world."

Bebe Rexha's edgy and sleek ensemble made an impression at the 2020 VMAs

Bebe Rexha certainly knows how to celebrate an big occasion in big-time style. The "Say My Name" singer marked her 31st birthday by attending the MTV Video Music Awards in New York City. Wearing a double-breasted leather jacket with side slits and a plunging neckline, paired with matching biker-inspired shorts, she showed off a fierce manicure while blowing kisses for the camera. 

The singer could barely contain her enthusiasm for the 2020 VMAs, captioning an Instagram post on her feed, "OMG the @mtv @vmas are today!!! Don't miss them!! So excited to be presenting Video Of The Year on my birthday!!! Don't miss it! Xoxo." Her sleek high ponytail, neutral lip, and gorgeous cat-eye makeup completed the sexy, edgy look.

So, who was she able to crown the Video of the Year winner? The Weeknd snagged the coveted Moon Person award for his mega hit "Blinding Lights" (via MTV).

Maluma looked like a winner at the 2020 VMAs

Maluma smoldered on the 2020 VMAs pre-show carpet wearing a Versace double-breasted satin suit and a thick gold collar chain (via Just Jared). He looked like a winner, and that he was; Maluma snagged the Moon Person for best Latin video for his hit song "Qué Pena!" 

Accepting the out-of-this-world award, Maluma thanked his support system and expressed his excitement: "Wow. Oh my God. ... I can't believe this." He continued, as shared by People. "Thank you to all my fans for their love and affection you show me every day," adding, "Especially to my mom and dad and little sister who are watching from home. Everything I do, I do for them."

Maluma didn't stay in his black ensemble for the entire night. He also rocked an eye-catching (and almost blinding) lemon yellow suit while performing his tropical-inspired hit "Hawái" on stage. His backup dancers matched his look and wore masks during the outdoor event.

Ariana Grande amazed during her performance at the 2020 VMAs

Ariana Grande joined Lady Gaga on stage to perform their collaborative show-stopping hit "Rain on Me." The performance featured intricate choreography and incredible sets. Donning a mask and killer nails, Grande was a vision in a purple halter and poofed-out mini skirt. Her quirky pigtails completed the 2020 VMAs look.

In an Instagram post featuring highlights from the event, the singer expressed her gratitude and love for Lady Gaga. "Thank [you] so much for having me @ladygaga," Grande wrote. "I love [you] with all my heart always. [You] were so beyond brilliant tonight. So grateful to have been a part of this with [you]. [And] thank [you[ again @mtv."

Grande and Gaga won for Song of the Year, Best Cinematography, and Best Collaboration — all for their stellar work on "Rain on Me." Grande also received the best at-home video award, along with her "Stuck with U" collaborator Justin Bieber (via MTV News).