I Don’t Want My MTV: When celebrity fashion takes a very wrong turn
Once upon a time, the MTV Video Music Awards were something I couldn’t wait to watch. In fact, they should be airing soon since August is nearing its end. Today, the show is tucked away with my other adolescent interests and although the end of summer is kind of sad, at least I don’t have to face mounds of homework. Epiphany: I guess this award show was always marred by back-to-school blues, so why did I always wish I could fast forward to Labor Day?
Looking back, the voting process for the various categories was a joke. Take 1998, for example. The Backstreet Boys won the Best Group Video award for “Everybody,” beating out Radiohead’s “Karma Police.” What kind of world allows this to happen? Some of the musical guests seemed great in theory and promised “big surprises,” but they generally were a let down (too many examples to list). And let’s not forget the lackluster hosts. Ben Stiller, anyone? Coincidentally, that also happened in 1998. As I write this, I have to revisit my reasons for wasting hours (that add up to days) of my life over the years. Despite my jaded persona, I just always held on to the hope that MTV would deliver something fantastic for the pop culture record books.
Of course, the show never failed to bring on the scandal. Yes, scandal and the MTV Video Music Awards have been inextricably linked since the show’s beginning. And, no, the whole Madonna/Britney Spears/Christina Aguilera “performance” doesn’t count, unless you want to discuss the Christina media snub. But this blog’s purpose is all about the fashion. I’m sure many of us can recall at least one fond memory. For me, I still vividly remember 1999 as I watched rapper Lil’ Kim carefully strut down the red carpet in her purple sequined jumpsuit, complete with one pasty. Oh, and matching purple wig, along with Diana Ross’s reaction (Oh no she didn’t … oh yes she did).
Why the nostalgic trip down memory lane? The Cut recently published a really neat slideshow: “The 50 Most Scandalous Dresses in History.” (Note, the slideshow contains graphic fashion DON’Ts.) Consider this a lighthearted, “end-of-summer” post to share with my fellow celebrity fashion skeptics.
Nevertheless, on a serious note, let this be a lesson when selling promotional apparel. Scandal gets attention. However, while they say “no publicity is bad publicity,” that doesn’t hold true in our industry. So do yourself and your clients a favor: Just say “NO” to bad fashion. Promotional apparel doesn’t have to be unattractive or boring. After a quick search on Promo Marketing’s Search Engine, I found a lot of fun options. Here are just a few:
(Editor’s Note: In your opinion, what was the biggest fashion scandal throughout the history of the Video Music Awards?)