The most memorable and iconic fashion moments from the MTV Video Music Awards

Posted by
Stylist Team
backgroundLayer 1
Add this article to your list of favourites

The 2015 MTV Video Music Awards airs this Sunday night. Miley Cyrus is hosting and after her outrageous 2013 performance, we can only assume we’ll be in for a treat.

This year’s awards are already shrouded in controversy, after Taylor Swift's reaction to Nicki Minaj tweeting her disdain at missing out on a nomination for Video of the Year for ‘Anoconda’. Kanye West is being awarded the prestigious Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award and performances are due from Justin Bieber, Pharrell and A$AP Rocky.

From the first ever VMAs in 1984 when Madonna rocked out in a bridal-inspired dress singing Like A Virgin to Britney Spears accessorising her outfit with a live python, Lady Gaga's meat dress and Miley Cyrus’ infamous latex undies, we chart the most memorable fashion moments from the history of the VMAs.

“I’ma let you finish, but…”

(Images: Rex Features, Getty)

  • Madonna, 1984

    Madonna opened the very first VMAs singing Like A Virgin while wearing a bridal dress and dancing in front of a giant wedding cake.

  • Madonna, 1990

    The star paid homage to Marie Antoinette when performing her single Vogue in an 18th-century-inspired gown.

  • TLC, 1995

    The Scrubs girl group performed three songs and won four awards at the 1995 VMAs, wearing matching outfits throughout.

  • Spice Girls, 1997

    The Spice Girls invaded the 1997 VMAs and had everyone fall head-over-platform-heels with their performance of Say You'll Be There all the while wearing their signature looks.

  • Rose McGowan & Marilyn Manson, 1998

    Rose McGowan and then boyfriend, Marilyn Manson made an impact at the 1998 VMAs in some seriously sparkly numbers. But it was McGowan's chain-link dress that had everyone talking...

  • Rose McGowan, 1998

    ...from the back, McGown's dress left very little to the imagination. We salute her body confidence. But that thong looks a little, er, uncomfy. 

  • Gwen Stefani, 1998

    Two blue buns, the bindis and a fury bra. Stefani's 1998 VMAs outfit will always be remembered.

  • Lil Kim, 1999

    American rapper, singer-songwriter wore a purple onesie to the 1999 VMAs with her left nipple covered by an embellished seashell. Diana Ross famously gave it a little nudge to test the adhesive while Mary J. Blige looked on.

  • Britney Spears, 2000

    Midway through her performance, Britney Spears ripped off her sequined black suit to reveal an nude bodysuit.

  • Jennifer Lopez, 2000

    The singer graced the red carpet with then boyfriend Sean Combs (Puff Daddy) wearing a bandanna, crop-top and head-to-toe white.

  • Britney Spears, 2001

    Britney famously held a python during her I’m a Slave 4 U performance.

  • Macy Gray, 2001

    The singer wore a self-pomotional gown. When she turned around, it read "Buy it!" on the bottom.

  • Lady Gaga, 2009

    The artist accepted the award for Best New Artist in a blood-red lace dress and mask.

  • Lady Gaga, 2010

    Lady Gaga's third and final outfit change of the 2010 VMAs was an outfit made entirely out of meat. She wore it to accept her Moonman for Video Of The Year and later told Ellen DeGeneres the dress by designer and artist Franc Fernandez was a symbolic choice:

    "Well, it is certainly no disrespect to anyone that is vegan or vegetarian. As you know, I am the most judgment-free human being on the earth. However, it has many interpretations, but for me this evening ... If we don't stand up for what we believe in and if we don't fight for our rights, pretty soon we're going to have as much rights as the meat on our own bones. And I am not a piece of meat," she said.

  • Beyoncé, 2011

    The star broke the news of her pregnancy with her and husband Jay-Z's first child when she unbuttoned her purple-sequined Dolce & Gabbana tuxedo jacket to reveal a bump at the end of her performance of Love On Top.

  • Lady Gaga, 2011

    Lady Gaga opened the 2011 VMAs as her alter-ego Jo Calderone in an androgynous suit and dirty white tee. She didn’t break character once throughout the entire show.

  • Nicki Minaj, 2011

    The rapper wore a futuristic, Harajuku-esque ensemble which consisted of a structural purple bodice, a tutu, chunky accessories which included a soft-serve ice cream necklace, cartoon-covered socks, leg warmers and slippers. She topped off the look with a Japanese face mask and blond, red and yellow locks.

  • Miley Cyrus, 2013

    Miley's 'ensemble' of nude latex underwear for her career-defining VMA performance in 2013 certainly made the world press take note and erased her innocent 'Hannah Montana' image. Taking to the stage with Robin Thicke, Miley brought twerking to the masses and for that, we shall never be the same.

  • Miley Cyrus, 2014

    Miley opted for a little more coverage the year after her big performance, in these high-waisted leather trousers and matching bralet. When she won the award for Video of the Year, the singer sent up a homeless teenager, named Jessie, to accept the award on her behalf to raise awareness about teen homelessness in America. 

  • Amber Rose, 2014

    Taking inspiration, no doubt, from Rose McGowan's 1998 VMA dress, Amber Rose turned heads when she took to the red carpet in 2014 in this chain-mail number.

  • Katy Perry & Riff Raff, 2014

    Katy Perry and rapper, Riff Raff, donned matching patchwork denim get-ups in 2014, paying homage to noughties pop royalty Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake. 

  • Katy Perry, 2011

    Katy wore this Atelier Versace kimono with matching parasol at the 2011 awards. With her pastel pink hair and sweetie shoes, Perry looked good enough to eat.

Share this article


Stylist Team