The hype around all of the celebrity
looks at the 2018 AMAs show is almost as big as the show itself. To be fair, pretty much nothing could have over-hyped Taylor Swift's opening performance, which almost broke Twitter for a few minutes — but the red carpet looks for the American Music Awards did not disappoint. The awards show (which is kind of like the more extroverted sibling of the Grammy Awards) gave way to a wide array of styles, from old-school Hollywood glam to punk-rock edgy.
There didn't seem to be a unifying theme for the style at the American Music Awards. Rather, the red carpet served to prove how many looks can completely work, if you ever have the chance to strut on a red carpet and need to plan your vibe. From Busy Phillip's black sequined suit to Chloe and Halle Bailey's colorful, flowing gowns, nothing was off limits at the AMAs this year.
Previously, the AMAs have been known as a place for celebs to surprise and experiment. No one can forget
Selena Gomez's shocking blonde hair, Kendall Jenner's fake bangs, or Kylie Jenner's leather and chains get-up in recent years. And while it doesn't seem that there were any shocking hair-related mic drops, there were plenty of over-the-top outfits to satisfy, surprise, and delight audience members at home.
Here are some of the most iconic looks from the 2018 AMAs:
Busy Phillips Frazer Harrison/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
Who knew sequined flare plants could look straight-up sophisticated? Phillips is a woman for the people, and she didn't disappoint with this edgy yet classic black outfit.
Jennifer Lopez Emma McIntyre/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
Jennifer Lopez is better at bringing down the house than pretty much anyone, but she doesn't always go for a soft, ethereal look. It's probably surprising to no one that she looks just as natural in a bright pink, goddess-y gown as she does rocking it through a medley performance in
a series of glitzed out outfits. Camila Cabello Frazer Harrison/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
Camila Cabello took a different page out of the same book as Phillips with this corset-and-pants combo, notching the whole vibe off with some classic black pumps.
Tracee Ellis Ross Frazer Harrison/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
As host of the AMAs, Tracee Ellis Ross wore a whole slew of outfits, and every last one of them was fantastic. But even better than the literal style was the point she made by wearing them: all of Ellis's outfits
were made by black designers. Cardi B & Offset Frazer Harrison/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
Cardi B and Offset aren't exactly the type of couple that you would ever expect to be low-key, so it's no surprise that they brought the heat with their his-and-hers couple outfit. Cardi B rocked a flower extravaganza of a gown (complete with matching heels), and Offset wore a dark purple suit to bring out the colors in Cardi B's gown. Talk about couple goals.
Rita Ora Emma McIntyre/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
When you can't tell if someone is going to the American Music Awards or to the Grammys, you know they've slayed their look. Rita Ora crushed the game with her black ballgown, which somehow managed to be equal parts classic and edgy.
Post Malone Frazer Harrison/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
Usually the various suits that make their way onto the red carpet don't tend to mystify– but Post Malone has never been someone who wants to fly under the radar. So it's fitting, then, that he would rock a bright blue suit accessorized with some snakes and a pair of sparkly cowboy boots to really stand out.
Taylor Swift Emma McIntyre/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
Taylor Swift essentially crushed the AMAs. She opened the show with a performance that left the internet gasping, she won multiple awards for her album,
Reputation, and she wore the shiniest outfit to grace the red carpet. Tyra Banks Frazer Harrison/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
Tyra Banks may or may not have been one of the first fashion icons to make modeling and the fashion world feel tangible through
America's Next Top Model. Decades later, she's still pushing boundaries and following her fashion instinct. Not everyone could pull off that skirt, which is probably why she chose it to begin with. Dua Lipa Frazer Harrison/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
Dua Lipa rocked what was arguably the most timeless look of the night. You could have placed her in this outfit at any event, at any point in human history, and she probably would have been voted best-dressed.
Shawn Mendes Frazer Harrison/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
Given that Shawn Mendes is the resident teenage heartthrob for the nation, his look got lots of attention. He seemed to be going with the "if it isn't broke, don't fix it" logic, opting for a simple black suit and a pop of creativity with his shirt.
Carrie Underwood Emma McIntyre/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
Carrie Underwood showed off how to totally own a pregnancy at an awards show in this sleek black look, which had a few accentuations in all the right places.
Vanessa Hudgens Frazer Harrison/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
Vanessa Hudgens is known for being a style icon and she went for a look that most people might find too risky: a pale pink silk gown, that gave off serious negligee vibes. By keeping the rest of her look totally simple, she basically ended up looking like an angel.
Halsey & G-Eazy Frazer Harrison/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
Halsey and G-Eazy are back together, in time for a punk-rock couples vibe at the AMAs. Halsey matched her hair with her dress, and her heels with her boyfriend's suit. G-Eazy's sleek red velvet jacket almost stole the show, especially since he paired it with leather pants.
Zedd Frazer Harrison/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
Like Mendes, Zedd opted for the "less is more" strategy, pairing a sparkly black jacket with an all-black look that was equal parts safe and stylish.
Kelsea Ballerini Frazer Harrison/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
Generally, going for a black and yellow color scheme doesn't do anyone any favors. But Kelsea Ballerini might have some people rethinking that, after totally rocking a yellow, black, and zebra print mini-dress. The fact that it was covered in sequins almost felt like an afterthought.
Ashlee Simpson & Evan Ross Frazer Harrison/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
Ashlee Simpson and Evan Ross won the night with this bold outfit combo that honestly shouldn't have worked, but somehow did. There are so many things going on in this situation, from Simpson's blue sequined-number to her husband's decision to go shirtless beneath a plaid suit. But that's the fun of fashion: it has the power to surprise you when you least expect it.
The moral of the AMAs red carpet seemed to be all about authenticity and playfulness. It celebrated people who celebrated themselves, from Underwood's life-giving style to Simpson and Ross' mismatched romance. Fashion can often be rigid and unforgiving; but at the 2018 AMAs, it was a refreshing change of pace to see a celebration of different styles on display.