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These 2023 VMA best-dressed looks are keeping red carpet fashion alive

Taylor Swift went viral, not just for her wins but also for the black Versace gown she wore on the red carpet. – Photo by @PopBase /

The VMAs aired on Tuesday, which was a bit of a weird time to host an award show, in my opinion. That night, Taylor Swift took home several handfuls of awards, NSYNC reunited to present an award and, of course, celebrities dressed to impress. And they really impressed this year.

While everyone was focused on the music, I was more interested, as always, in the fashion. So here, in my very unprofessional opinion, are my favorite looks of the night.

Taylor Swift's Versace dress

If you're a Swiftie, you're probably already familiar with the black Versace dress Swift wore to the VMAs. Not only was Swift in the news for the awards she brought home but also due to the outfit she came in. In fact, the day after the VMAs, one of the only things I heard people talking about was this dress.

The gown itself is a gorgeous asymmetrical buttoned-up piece with a perfectly placed leg slit. This, coupled with her layered necklaces and rings made for a sultry, bold look that many on the internet are taking as a hint that "Reputation (Taylor's Version)" may be announced soon.

Selena Gomez in floral Oscar de la Renta

I absolutely adore the Oscar de la Renta dress Selena Gomez wore. I’m not usually a big fan of florals, but the red color and almost see-through fabric looked perfect on Gomez and on the pink carpet. The vine-like florals draped to her ankles, and the dress sort of doubles as both floor and thigh length.

Shakira in gold Versace

I personally haven't seen a lot of people talking about this dress, but it's one of my favorites of the night. Her Versace dress combines everything I love about current red carpet fashion: slinky metallic fabrics, draping cowl necks and a backless finish. The silhouette never fails to impress and it looked fantastic on Shakira.

The whole getup just makes me wish she'd reenter the spotlight because I need to see more looks like this on red carpets.

Cardi B's custom Dilara Findikoglu

As always, Cardi B went with an absolutely outrageous look for the carpet. Her outfits are often hit or miss for me, but this custom Dilara Findikoglu was a major win for me.

If I was rating this look in terms of mobility, it would be pretty low on my list, as it almost doubles as a work of art. Literally, it looks like something out of The Museum of Modern Art. The dress is bold, daring and like something I’ve never seen before. Its place on my list is solidified by the matching gloves, or should I say arm-warmers?

Sabrina Carpenter in silver

Lately, I've been absolutely obsessed with Sabrina Carpenter's fashion choices, her stylist has really been hitting the mark which is great to see for a rising star. The fabrics she wears are always draped perfectly over her and the touch of shimmer and glitter really make her look like a character out of Greek mythology.

No matter what Carpenter's stylists put her in, I'm always geeking out about it and this half-mini and part-floor-length gown is no exception.

Honorable mentions

One of my honorable mentions is Emily Ratajkowski in Jean Paul Gaultier, which looked incredible on her but ultimately didn't live up to the other looks on the carpet.

At first glance, I also loved Madelyn Cline's look, but the more I analyzed it the more it looked like three dresses stapled together, not a cohesive piece.

I also love Olivia Rodrigo's silver look, but as usual, I think her stylists are doing her a great disservice in terms of accessories and hair. This Ludovic de Saint Sernin decked in more than 150,000 Swarovski crystals is no doubt stunning. Rodrigo looks incredible in it, but her straight hair out of any updo and lack of jewelry make the look fall a little flat.

Usually, music award shows don't impress me that much, but with events like the Academy Awards disappointing me in recent years, the VMAs have been my saving grace. There were too many fantastic looks to mention, so just know if I didn't put an outfit you loved on the list, it was still probably one of my favorites of the night!

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