The 2014 Much Music Video Awards mark 25 years since their 1990 debut, and with such a milestone comes the reminder that the MMVAs have evolved in a big way from their humble beginnings.
With Kendall and Kylie Jenner slated to host, Lorde set to perform, and Jena Malone making an appearance, the awards have officially cemented themselves as a straight-up international event – and guests are dressing accordingly. So in celebration of the MMVAs’ anniversary, here’s our contribution: an evolution of MMVA red carpet style from 2003-2013. (Not pictured: the outfit I wore when I passed out from heat stroke in 2003.)
Read on for more below the gallery!
1. Avril Lavigne, 2003
Behold, the most 2003 photo in the world. In addition to Avril’s token pop-punk aesthetic, her flat-ironed hair represents the beauty regimens of countless teens in the early 2000s (especially mine). Add her super low-rise capris pants, skate shoes, tank top, and wristbands to the mix, and it’s official: as far back as 2003, the MMVAs were considered relatively casual (meaning you could moon the audience…).
2. Hilary Duff, 2004
Now here’s a look that’s so yesterday. (High fives self over bad joke, begs you to keep reading.) Like the rest of us, Ms. Duff also took to the cropped shrug of 2004, using it to dress up a simple tank top-and-black pant combo. Also helping to add a little depth was an almost spiked belt, which proved the former Disney star was ready to flaunt a little edge — or provide proof of her impending adulthood.
3. Ashlee Simpson, 2005
And so the red carpet game officially gets upped. But while Ashlee Simpson’s sparkly black dress is more formal than the fashion choices of yesteryear, it’s arguably still “fun” enough to be more appropriate for the MMVAs than, say, the Golden Globes.
4. Rihanna, 2006
Yes, it’s a far cry from this year’s CFDAs crystal dress, (I’ll tell you that much for free), but like everyone else in 2006, Rihanna also embraced dress shorts. Though instead of pairing hers with a tank top or band t-shirt, she wore them with a crop-top and sandals, paving the way for more red carpet risks, and “I’ll wear what I want, thanks” attitude. Which is exactly why we don’t question Rihanna.
5. Hilary Duff, 2007
What a difference two years makes: reflecting both her personal style evolution and that of the MMVAs, Hilary Duff opted for a colourful strapless dress to go with her (then) brunette hair. Obviously, the singer was officially growing up, and as such, dressed for a ceremony that was also starting to become a little more fashion-centric in its age. Or at the very least, meant to appeal to more than just the teen audience.
6. Kim Kardashian, 2009
We think it’s safe to assume that Kim Kardashian has nothing like this dress in her closet today (but then again, who knows?). The reality star was just popping up on our cultural radar and officially beginning her rise as TV’s most controversial figure (as well as bona fide businesswoman.) As for how her red carpet choice reflected the MMVAs? Simple: she was there. Kardashian's appearance reflects not just the larger net Much Music was (and still is) casting (since they'd obviously begun reaching out to the socialite pool), but that the red carpet boasted more style clout. Or at least it does now that we know how much fashion influence Kim K wields.
7. Miley Cyrus, 2010
Three years before her shocking VMA performance, Miley Cyrus began hinting at a break from her child star self with red carpet pieces like this. But in addition to her several costume changes throughout the night, it was this leather dress that graduated her from the school of Hannah Montana to up-and-coming fashion force. Because love her or hate her, the fashion choices of Miley Cyrus are saying something (specifically that she knows how to dress).
8. Selena Gomez, 2011
Then, a year later, Selena Gomez also cemented the MMVAs as a coming out event for actors who once played it safe for Disney. And while she didn’t rock a neckline as plunging as Cyrus’, she did use the red carpet to prove she was capable of carrying off more mature (albeit interesting) formal pieces – like her textured neutral mini-dress, paired with purple pumps.
9. Carly Rae Jepsen, 2012
Jepsen’s floor-length, black, liquid-like gown put the red carpet of ‘03 to shame, and seeing someone so dressed up for the MMVAs was no longer a shock. However, though the dress is long, Carly didn't look like she was headed to prom; high slits and a tighter fit kept it looking modern and fresh (which is ideal, since this is a music show, after all).
10. Taylor Swift, 2013
And when Taylor Swift shows up, you know you’ve made it. Last year, the country-pop all-star showed up in a simple black and white piece which solidified the MMVA red carpet as one worth watching.