The question of what the purple carpet, that bizarre celebrity model ritual that attained its apogee in the early 21st century as a marketing and advertising/social media/trend Frankenstein’s monster, would develop into in a Covid-19 earth — could it nevertheless exist at all, when most people today have supplied up on bash dressing completely — was eventually answered Sunday night time at, of all spots, the 2020 MTV Online video Songs Awards. And it was answered by Lady Gaga.
Held dwell around New York City, socially distanced but without an viewers, the V.M.A.s were being the last of the summer time award exhibits, and the to start with to try some semblance of old days pizazz, somewhat than Zooming-from-your-residing-place relatability. Keke Palmer hosted, and the two acknowledged the tragedies of the working day — the loss of life of Chadwick Boseman, the capturing of Jacob Blake — and engaged in numerous-costume modeling.
Not everybody wanted in. Taylor Swift accepted her prize remotely. So did BTS, though the band executed in a prerecorded segment in incredibly snazzy suits and ties. There was a room where hosts and performers could pose on their ownsome for arrival pics to display off their outfits, but they did not really reach the common vital mass: Sofia Carson, in purple Giambattista Valli with a huge poufy peplum Joey King in a brief rose-print Versace Machine Gun Kelly in sizzling pink Berluti.
It was good to see them make an hard work, and to knowledge a little bit of a vicarious dressing-up thrill, even if without having the attendant crowds and paparazzi. It also felt as if something were being missing, like a very hot-air balloon slowly and gradually deflating. (Why are all those folks all gussied up and standing there by by themselves?)
But then arrived Woman Gaga. She puffed it back up all by herself.
She approved her lots of awards in individual. She carried out. She changed clothing each solitary time she appeared, and she appeared 7 situations. And virtually every time she appeared in her 7 distinctive outfits, she wore a different face mask.
In the procedure she utilised her picture to do for mask style and designers what utilised to be accomplished for, say, Dior and Chanel.
To start with came her entry-making silver circular Space coat, with a matching apparent face protect/astronaut helmet by Conrad that built reference to the V.M.A. Moonman himself. To settle for her artist of the yr award, she wore an Iris Van Herpen hen of paradise dress with a swirling pink Cecilio Castrillo experience mask for the song of the year award, a gigantic iridescent emerald inexperienced shirtdress ball robe from Christopher John Rogers and a matching bejeweled and tusked Lance V. Moore mask. She looked like some type of superglamorous mastodon.
And so it went. In her efficiency from “Chromatica,” Gaga appeared in a pink and black bodysuit, mask by Diego Montoya and Easy Technological innovation. And ultimately, she wore a big feathered Valentino couture cape and silver bodysuit with a silver Maison Satisfied mask, which she also wore for her final change into a silver cape by Candice Cuoco to settle for the Tricon award.
Her clothing have been eye-catching, but her masks ended up unforgettable. Even on an night that also provided Miley Cyrus poking entertaining at her personal record in a sheer Mugler dress, not to mention sporting a sequined tank top and panties on leading of a disco ball.
Thanking anyone at the finish, Gaga stated: “I may well audio like a damaged file, but dress in a mask. It is a indicator of regard.”
Masktivism! That’s 1 way to inject which means into what had turn into, by any evaluate, a format more and more sapped of its soul and primary objective (self-expression). As we move forward into far more crimson carpet functions — future up is the Venice Film Pageant, which commences this 7 days and exactly where Cate Blanchett, as jury president, has vowed to don only robes from her own closet — the bar has been lifted.