Grammys fashion: What the stars' risque styles really reveal about them

Feb 11, 2013 at 6:00 p.m. ET

No butt cracks, thongs, under boobs, side boobs, sheer frocks, nipples and, wait for it, no overly demonstrative groin areas. The confrontational email from producers setting out the rules for dressing for last night's Grammy Awards was enough to make even music’s most out there performers blush. As Jennifer Lopez put it, some of the words in the letter she wouldn’t let her children say at home! And they might have threatened the end of fun for any other red carpet night.

What does it all mean?
Kathryn Eisman

Despite the plea for a little piety, fortunately music’s biggest stars used their own style compass and most safely navigated the delicious line between risque and rude, stylish and sexy, glam and ghetto to perfection. After all, the Grammy’s red carpet, more than any other night, is about pushing the envelope… and last night they did so without going too far.

So how did last night's biggest stars interpret the new fashion rules? Here is my Style Shrink analysis of Grammy fashion and what it reveals about the wearer.


Rihanna at the 2013 Grammys

What her outfit says: “I own my power and finally feel like a part of the establishment.”

Ri-Ri’s stunning lipstick-red custom Azzedine Alaia gown speaks volumes about her self-perception. No longer the rebel outsider or Jay-Z’s creation, last night she stepped into her own power and felt like the main act and an icon in her own right.

The gown’s long A-line shape reveals a new sense of grace and ladylike composure. The sheer bodice sends the message that she has nothing to hide, is very comfortable in her sexuality and is not ashamed of her past or who she is today. She will always have edge, but now she feels more feminine. This is her version of sticking to the rules while breaking a few at the same time.

The long flowing hair is Rihanna’s most classic hairstyle since she was first discovered. It shows she has dealt with many of her demons from relationships past (no more buzz cuts for the moment) and believes once more in the fairy tale. This is a return to innocence.

Katy Perry

Katy Perry at the 2013 Grammys

What her outfit says: “I’m a woman and I own my curves.”

The inspiration for Katy Perry’s mint green Gucci gown was none other than Priscilla Presley. Perry, who in the past has gone for more girly looks, wowed the crowd with her very grown up, bejeweled cleavage- baring ensemble. It sent a very clear message to the world…”I’m all grown up!”

Green, the color of envy, is often worn by those who have experienced negative energy in their recent past. Wearing this shade shows the “haters” that don’t have anything nice to say about her that their animosity is just born out of jealousy. Including her ex!

Breast baring top — Katy is blessed with great cleavage and after years of feeling that she had to hide her sexuality (from her religious parents or her young fan base), she now realizes that she has nothing to hide and that they are gifts from God.

Skin tight silhouette — Gone are the tulle tutus and candy cane corsets, this slinky long-sleeve dress shows a new sophistication and reveals that she is comfortable in her own skin. It’s taken a lot to get here, but Katy finally feels like a woman who has nothing to hide.

Jennifer Lopez

Jennifer Lopez at the 2013 Grammys

What it says: “Look at me!”

I’m a huge fan of J.Lo and always look forward to her red carpet moments, but last night’s look was a little on the desperate side of daring. Of course Jennifer looked flawless — she always does — but her almost crotch baring Anthony Vaccarello gown, which was on the cusp of a “wardrobe malfunction” all night, screamed “I’ve still got it… look at me!” a little louder than perhaps she needed it to.

The sleek hair and makeup was pitch perfect, conveying an almost “naked but better” feeling, revealing just how comfortable she is being in the spotlight. She was born a star and feels most like herself as the center of attention.

The bondage style black and gold shoes reveal her raunchy side. She feels free to do things her way and is in her sexual peak… watch out Casper!

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Photo credits: Adriana M. Barraza/