Award season means never having to say you’re finished scouring photos of old award season dresses. And do you know what? That’s okay. Sure, we could revisit the best and brightest of the last year or two, but where’s the fun in that? Why visit a few websites when you could take a walk down memory lane?
So that’s what we did. We started at the bottom, and now we’re here. That’s right: we looked at the Grammys dresses that still stand on their own, but seem to be overlooked in all Grammy retrospectives and over the course of time. Well no more: here are some of our 10 forgotten favourites in honour of the 2014 Grammy Awards which air on Feb. 26.
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Who: Aretha Franklin, 1975
Here’s something we don’t talk about every day: how Aretha Franklin has had a jump start on fashion since before our parents even knew how to put on jeans. Pairing a full-length fur with a black and white lace dress, she epitomizes a style we’re still not ready to let go of. (You know: sophisticated and timeless.)
Who: Tina Turner, 1982
Believe it or not, subtlety once had a place at the Grammy Awards, and it came in the way of Tina Turner, who donned a military green piece in 1982 that most of us could probably get away wearing to work now. (Or, well, to a work function. Okay fine, a drink with someone from work, at a location far away from actual work.) Minimalist and accessorized only with heels and a belt, Turner lived up to a pretty famous reputation: simply the best.
Who: Cyndi Lauper, 1984
But there’s something to be said about being oneself. Today we see an onslaught of musicians living up to their public personas, but Cyndi Lauper was one of the first. In a decade where experimental fashion had yet to take off, the “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” star stuck to her image, laying the groundwork for the Gagas and the Minajs of the world. Oh, and that skirt is to die for.
Who: Whitney Houston, 1986
Tragically, we lost Whitney Houston right before the 2011 Grammy Awards, and with such a textured legacy, it’s easy to forget the singer in her early days. In her floor-length, one-shouldered gown, the singer was radiant over two decades before – accessorized only with a simple necklace and pearl earrings (as well as the Grammy that started it all). We miss you, Whitney.
Who: Gloria Estefan, 1990
Seemingly right off a 2013/2014 runway, Gloria Estefan landed in 1990 to prove that metallic dresses are a must-have forever. Of course, today we’d add a little height to the heels, and slick back the hair, but despite the atrocities of the late ‘80s/early ‘90s (you guys, there was just so much fabric in the 1980s – so much) the singer still managed to make an impact we can stand by today.
Who: Eartha Kitt, 1991
This may not technically count as a dress, but we can go right ahead and bow down to Eartha Kitt’s beaded, gold jumpsuit. It’s unique, it fits perfectly, and it allowed her to throw one leg in the air (where she likely waved it around like she just didn’t care). In what world has this been overlooked for so long? And how do we find similar ones for us to wear on a regular basis?
Who: Faith Hill, 1995
Okay, Faith Hill, we get it: you were waiting for us to write a piece on the overlooked dresses in Grammy history and figured at some point, someone would get to you. Well, congratulations, it’s happened. Today is the day we sing the praises of your thigh-high slit, your classic neckline, the length to balance said slit, and your classic dress colour choice. If not for you, there’d be no Taylor Swift. And if she wears white at any point this year, we will personally send her this photo and remind her of such.
Who: Mariah Carey, 1996
We’re living in an age of two-piece formalwear, and according to the 1996 Grammys, Mariah Carey is our matriarch. But while the look is, of course, vintage-inspired, it did experience resurgence in the mid-to-late ‘90s as evidenced by both the singer’s gown choice, and Bianca’s prom dress in "10 Things I Hate About You." (Never forget.) As for the shimmery top and black bottom, Mariah Carey obviously set the standard for glamour that decade. Forget "Glitter", it’s all about Mariah now and in 1996.
Who: Gwen Stefani, 1998
Gwen Stefani’s 1997 floral-print look nearly made it, but it was the No Doubt frontwoman’s sheer ’98 style that caught the attention of viewers, yet – according to us -- seems to have been overlooked since. Today, we see more than enough sheer on the red carpet (see: Jennifer Lawrence’s "Hunger Games: Catching Fire" premiere dress), but aside from Sheryl Crow the year before, the Grammys still weren’t 100% versed in non-traditional garb. That, and her platform sandals were everything we ever wanted (and still do).
Who: Courtney Love, 1999
Courtney Love got a lot of attention in the ‘90s for her baby doll dresses and her Oscar and Golden Globes gowns, but her nude, one-strapped Grammys piece not only stood out then, but would work just as well now – flower crown and all. Unfortunately, Love’s fashion tends to be overlooked on a regular basis, so here’s hoping we start paying attention now so we’re not left with our heads in our hands this time two decades from now. (Flower crowns and all.)