Relive the Risky Fashion Moments That Defined the MTV VMAs

From Lady Gaga's infamous meat dress to Jennifer Lopez's bedazzled bandana and matching crop top, take a look at the risky fashion moments to grace the MTV VMAs' red carpet.

By Alyssa Morin Aug 25, 2022 1:00 PMTags
Watch: Necessary Realness: VMAs Fashion Flashback

When it comes to head-turning fashion, there's one red carpet that never disappoints: the MTV VMAs.

Year after year, celebrities dress to the nines to show off their fabulous, fierce and flirty ensembles. It's an event that encourages daring fashion, bold beauty looks and flashy accessories.

Case in point? Only Lady Gaga could pull off wearing a head-to-toe outfit made entirely out of raw meat. Not only was her strapless dress designed with the protein, but so were her shoes and headpiece. Making her fresh number more memorable? She completed her lewk with fishnet tights, statement jewelry pieces and pastel-colored hair.

Another iconic red carpet moment? Jennifer Lopez's bedazzled bandana, crystal-embellished crop top and white jeans.

And, back in 2002, Britney Spears dropped jaws when she walked the red carpet in a dominatrix-styled ensemble. She slipped into a black latex dress that she paired with lace-up heels, a captain's hat and peek-a-boo gloves.

MTV VMAs: The Most Memorable Moments of All Time

And this year's star-studded ceremony will be no different. But before the show on Aug. 28, take a walk down memory lane and see the risky and daring style moments that have graced the MTV VMAs red carpet.

Lady Gaga

Ahh the meat dress. Who could forget this wild moment from the 2010 VMAs? (The answer is no one.)

Britney Spears

The "Stronger" singer said goodbye to the frilly, girly and glitzy gowns she was known for. At the 2002 ceremony, she shocked the crowd with her audacious black halter dress, lace-up heels, gloves and captain hat. 

Nicki Minaj

Nicki arrived at the 2011 show in this larger-than-life ensemble—the remnants of stuffed animals lined her legs, people.


Raise your glass to this fierce lewk. Not one for following trends, the singer graced the red carpet with vibrant pink spikey hair, low-rise jeans, a gold sequins halter top and bold coat.


Vogue! The pop star struck a pose at the 1984 awards ceremony in her iconic white-hot dress, lace gloves and statement jewelry pieces.

Amber Rose

Rawr: In 2018, the model accessorized her bondage-inspired, red latex bodysuit with a cat mask and whip, of course.

Lil Kim

Back in '98, the rapper gave new meaning to color coordination. Her wig, jumpsuit, pasties and lipstick all matched, making this lilac look instantly iconic.


One word: Yeehaw! Diplo surprised fans and viewers at the 2019 event with his wildly colorful get-up. From his patterned suit to the matching cowboy hat and flashy belt buckle, this was an unforgettable red carpet moment.

Justina Valentine

A fashion statement, literally. The 33-year-old rapper had an important message to share as she walked the red carpet in a rainbow-colored jumpsuit.

Jennifer Lopez

The same year J.Lo wore her legendary green Versace dress, she also rocked this all-white ensemble to the 2000 MTV VMAs. From the bedazzled bandana to the glitzy Sean John crop top, this is a lewk to remember.

Cindy Crawford

The Versace design that dropped jaws and turned heads. The supermodel sizzled at the 1992 ceremony with this dominatrix-esque dress.

Katy Perry

The "Fireworks" singer brought the glitz and the glamour to the 2008 ceremony. However, she kept her ensemble playful and flirty with purple heels, a feathered accessory, a diamond hairpiece and a patriotic purse.

Destiny's Child

Triple threat! The trio mixed dazzling with daring at the 2000 show. From the bedazzled bustiers to the latex leather bottoms, Destiny's Child stunned in these uniquely designed outfits.

Miley Cyrus

In 2015, Miley let it all hang out in this bedazzled chrome number. 

Ava Max

Bam! The 26-year-old star was a force on the red carpet with her superhero-inspired ensemble.

Gwen Stefani

Gwen's iconic '98 style will forever be admired, including this get-up. The blue hair, matching bikini top, face jewelry and hula-hoop skirt paired with pants truly embodied the "more is more" approach.


Sky almost freed the nipple with her sparkly pasties, which perfectly matched her 2018 sparkly suit.

Christina Aguilera

The "Dirrty" singer's Y2K uniform pretty much consisted of this always—barely-there mini skirts, scarves as tops and page boy-esque hats.

Baddie Winkle

Channeling her best Britney Spears in "Toxic," Baddie's red carpet outfit packed major personality.

Rose McGowan

Before Rihanna hit the CFDA Awards in 2014, there was Rose at the MTV VMAs in this see-through number. 

Rita Ora

She never lets us down! Arriving on the red carpet in 2018, the Brit left little to the imagination with this sheer gown.

Bella Hadid

The supermodel left the typical dress at home, and instead, opted for something fun, flirty and fierce.

Macy Gray

Back in 2001, Instagram wasn't yet a thing, so Macy took it upon herself to throw in some shameless self-promotion.

Jessie J

We applaud the singer's determination to not let her injury get in the way of a fabulous outfit.

Amber Rose & Blac Chyna

Twins! Leave it to Amber and BFF Blac Chyna to make a serious statement on the red carpet. 

Farrah Abraham

In 2016, the reality star went full Wonder Woman—literally.

Mariah Carey

The "Fantasy" singer brought... well, the fantasy to the red carpet in 1997. Although her black co-ord set is simple, it's oh so striking.

This article was first published on Aug. 17, 2020, at 1:57 p.m. PT.

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