Leave it to Lady Gaga to make sure the 2010 MTV VMA Awards got off to a fashion-forward start-the new Queen of Pop brought a new look to the red carpet and, of course, a touch of political controversy.
The inimitable Lady Gaga arrived in a dress by the late Alexander McQueen: the flowing regal gown wrapped her body in royal shades of gold, dark reds and deep greens. The whole look brought to mind a medieval monarch -- only most ancient queens didn't wear metallic golden feathers on their heads that looked like a Mohawk crossed with a Trojan helmet of war.
Naturally, like any royalty worth her weight in gold, Gaga arrived with military protectors. In Gaga's case, her Ladyship was flanked by servicemen and servicewomen who had been discharged from the military for refusing to go along with the US' controversial "don't ask, don't tell" policy. Gaga even directly dissed the policy in her red carpet interview and vocalized her support for SDN.org, a 17-year-old organization formed in reaction to DADT policies.
All in all, Gaga's unforgettable entrance brought to mind her "Alejandro" video by combining commentary about gays in the military with religious iconography. The religious element to Gaga's dress was less noticeable but still present-there appeared to be the face of a saint sewn onto the décolletage of her dress, bringing to mind Renaissance-era religious paintings.
MTV's reality stars made a splash on the red carpet as well. The "Jersey Shore" cast toned down their blown-out hairdos and revealed more traditionally classy hairstyles and outfits. Although Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino (on the left) and the rest of his Jersey Shore friends and frenemies showed up looking like Red Carpet veterans, it was, of course, Snooki who boasted the most shocking fashion switch of all her colleagues. Dropping the sky-high pouf that's become her trademark, Nicole Polizzi sported something we never expected to see her with-bangs! She even appears to be straightening her hair these days, but don't think she's lost her party girl edge entirely. Snooki's dress was a one-shoulder mini dress with loud swirling turquoise patterns. Even if her hairstyle is more reserved, her bold dress and still speak volumes about her brassy personality (as does her signature tan, which doesn't seem to have faded one bit!).
Although the "Jersey Shore" cast certainly made an adequate red carpet impression, they could probably stand to learn a lesson about red carpet regalia from the cast of "The Hills." The ladies from the recently-retired MTV "reality" show arrived in their glittery finest, boasting silver, gold and sequins. Audrina Patridge (below) arrived at the VMAs in a shimmering silvery mini-dress with a lovely matching belt, while Lauren "Lo" Bosworth (above, left) upped the ante from silver to gold with a one-shouldered mini dress. Fellow "Hills" diva Stephanie Pratt showed up in what appeared to be a more conservative outfit, at least upon first glance. Pratt hit the carpet in a lengthy sequined gown by Nicole Miller which, upon closer inspection, turned out to be slightly transparent: No way she's gonna let her "Hills" colleagues outdo her in terms of sex appeal.
Katy Perry (below) arrived in an ice skater-inspired outfit-and in an unintentional tie-in to her wintery outfit, Perry apparently came down with a cold before hitting the red carpet. "I'm sick as a dog," she admitted, but went onto assure us that she wasn't planning on letting the antibiotics stop her from taking advantage of the Awards ceremony's free drinks.
The "California Gurls" singer also showed off a fabulously romantic manicure -- she has fiance Russell Brand's face etched into her black-and-white fingernails.
Not only was Justin Bieber (below) the most debonair dude on the VMAs red carpet but it appears that the baby-faced singer just may be jockeying to be the new "man in black." The 16-year-old international sensation hit the red carpet clad in all black, including a double-layered dark vest and a pair of ever-present sunglasses. He mugged for the cameras with mentor Usher and watched his throngs of adoring fans from behind those oh-so-cool shades. The only questionable part of his ensemble-what's with the wallet chains? Do people still wear those in Canada?