Breaking Down Tracee Ellis Ross' 10 American Music Award Looks: Sequins, Leopard Print and a Political Message

The host made a sartorial splash with every look she rocked during the annual award ceremony.

By Samantha Schnurr Oct 10, 2018 1:52 PMTags
Tracee Ellis Ross, 2018 American Music Awards, OutiftsGetty Images/Melissa Herwitt, E! Illustration

When it comes to hosting the 2018 American Music AwardsTracee Ellis Ross goes all out in the style department. 

With the help of pro stylist Karla Welch, the Black-ish star strutted into Tuesday night's award show with not one, not two, not even nine like last year, but a whopping 10 costume changes. As the two-time host proclaimed before the start of the show, the looks weren't pulled solely for their style, either. 

"I've featured black designers in all of my @AMAs press looks, and will do the same for all my show looks tonight!" she confirmed on Twitter ahead of her headline-sparking opening medley dance number.

"For the American Music Awards, from press to stage, I featured Black designers in my looks. Not every piece of what I wore was by a Black designer, but I wore a Black designer in every look and Pat McGrath on my face," the star later explained on social media. "It was the story I wanted to tell and Karla Welch made it happen. I was inspired by Issa Rae and Jason Rembert, who did it first at CFDA Awards back in June. I strongly believe in using my platform to shine light in directions I believe in, and I believe in, love, and celebrate my people."

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Tracee Ellis Ross' Best Looks
Related: Tracee Ellis Ross Talks Hosting 2018 AMAs, In-N-Out and More

The star kept her promise as she kicked off her own glamorous fashion show of sorts in an array of designs, from head to toe leopard print by Sergio Hudson to floor-length gold sequins by CD Greene. Fortunately for all the fashionistas watching, Ross was not interested in blending in. 

"That is what tonight is all about—having fun and clothes…it's also about clothes," she candidly declared at the start. 

As she joked after her 20-minute opening routine, "J.Lo, I do not know how you do this all the time." Well, Tracee, we couldn't handle 10 outfit changes and slay every one of them like you did.

Here's a recap of all of those fabulous looks, from the red carpet to the grand finale:

Power Pink

The night's host kicked off the evening in a pink Pyer Moss suit with black trim with matching black Christian Louboutin pumps. 

A Sequin Starter

To start the show, Ross stepped out in a sequin bodysuit by Nicolas Jebran topped off with a Dapper Dan cape for Gucci and Nike Air Force 1 sneakers. 

Fashion's Golden Girl

The actress continued the lineup of eye-catching ensembles with a gold sequin long-sleeved column gown by CD Greene. 

A Forever Trend

Ross sent a powerful message with her next look: a Shanel Campbell red floor-length skirt paired with Aminah Abdul Jillil heels and an x Karla "I am a voter." T-shirt. After all, voting never goes out of style. 

Layering Up

Ross gave us a dose of evening wear with a blush and cream tulle design by Off-White. 

A Fashionista in the Wild

Donning a leopard bodysuit with a matching beret and gloves by Sergio Hudson, the actress poked fun at herself, quipping, "I'm basically really shy."

A Colorful Statement

The star made yet another fashion statement when she stepped out in a red and blue printed gown with voluminous statement sleeves by LAVIE by CK. 

A Boost to Black Tie

Ross kicked the classic tuxedo up a few notches in a Balmain double-breasted and collared sequin black gown. 

Royal in Blue

The star oozed modern glamour in a royal blue DÈSHON belted suit with a train. 

A Grand Fashion Finale

As the pièce de résistance on her ultra stylish night, Ross stepped out in a red off-the-shoulder jumpsuit by CUSHNIE by Carly Cushnie.