Red carpets aren’t always red, but the memorable ones are always filled with wild outfits. The Met Gala that shocks with a Kendall Jenner dress. The GRAMMY Awards ceremony that gives rise to an iconic Jennifer Lopez look. The MTV Video Music Awards night that spurs Miley Cyrus to let it all hang out. Join us now as we revisit more than 75 of the most memorable, daring, seriously scandalous red carpet moments from the giants of the oeuvre. Or, to make it plainer: here are lots of pictures of Chrissy Teigen, Kim Kardashian West, Rihanna, Cardi B, Lady Gaga and more stunning stars doing their best on the red carpet to make us look.
The Jennifer's Body actress and her "Bloody Valentine" singer beau, Machine Gun Kelly, made headlines at the 2021 Billboard Music Awards thanks to their steamy red carpet PDA and daring red carpet attire.
Fox wore a black cut-out Mugler dress while MGK showed off his chest tattoos in a black jacket. He topped off his look with a painted black tongue and black-and-white nails.
The gown, by the Italian fashion house La Perla, featured 85,000 crystals. La Perla creative director Julia Haart told Elle that the crystals were strung into a single piece of “very strong, very flexible, incredibly thin” nylon string. The string plus the jewels became -- voila! -- the Jenner dress. “Aside from her underwear,” Haart said, “that’s it.” So, upon further review, maybe there wasn’t that much more to that head-turning dress after all.
Jaimie Alexander modeled this attention-grabbing number at the 2013 Hollywood premiere of Thor: The Dark World. Alexander starred in the Marvel Cinematic Universe film, and its 2011 predecessor, Thor, as Sif, the franchise hero’s Asgardian battle buddy.
And while her MCU character is usually seen clad in armor, the actress herself is probably best known for her five-season run on Blindspot, in which she played a woman who is found sans clothing in New York City’s Times Square. It could be said then that Alexander’s Dark World dress -- a “floor-length black Azzaro gown with completely sheer panels,” per The Hollywood Reporter, was far more Blindspot than it was Thor.
You know how you dress up to go out, but dress down to stay at home and watch television? Well, guess what? Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue alum Irina Shayk is just like you!
On Oscar night in 2015, the same year Shayk coupled up with actor Bradley Cooper, the Russian-born star wore an understated white suit to Elton John’s annual Academy Awards viewing party. But later that same evening when it came time for her to attend an after-party bash sponsored by Vanity Fair, the striking supermodel upped her game, and threw down in this black, sheer, utterly jaw-dropping dress.
When you look at this picture of Rihanna at the designer-honoring 2014 CFDA Awards in New York City, perhaps you see a glittering Adam Selman gown. Or you may see “a crystal do-rag,” as the star’s hairstylist called the headpiece. Or possibly, let’s be frank, you see what’s under Rihanna’s dress. Well, we’re here to tell you that Rihanna herself sees nothing in this picture -- nothing but regret, that is.
As the GRAMMY-winning “Diamonds” singer told Vogue, the dress looked so much better before she up and ruined everything by wearing “a thong that wasn’t bedazzled” underneath it. “That’s the only regret I have in my life,” Rihanna concluded. When pressed by Vogue to clarify if she meant to say that the thong was the biggest actual regret of her actual entire life, Rihanna didn’t flinch: “Yes,” she said.
Angela Sarafyan’s look from Vanity Fair and L'Oreal Paris’ Toast to Young Hollywood event in 2017 is a sneakily revealing red carpet look. If the actress -- she plays the host (or android) Clementine Pennyfeather on HBO’s Westworld -- were to have approached you head-on on the red carpet, you probably would have thought it was an ordinary white dress. From the front, the dress presented itself as a perfectly standard -- and perfectly lovely -- off-the-shoulder evening gown.
It wasn’t until Sarafyan offered the cameras a profile view that the Celia Kritharioti gown’s talent for ventilation was fully on display. Though this isn’t the only time the star has turned heads on the red carpet, this is certainly one of her most memorable frocks.
This Chrissy Teigen number from the 2016 American Music Awards was initially reported as a wardrobe malfunction. After all, the black Yousef Akbar gown, with its beyond-thigh-high slit, appeared to be held together, and precariously so, by a single golden safety pin. But Akbar would deny the fashion piece had gone awry; Teigen, he said, “wore the creation perfectly.”
As for the Chrissy's Court star, John Legend’s supermodel-turned-cookbook author wife knew exactly what she was wearing when she ventured into public with the sizzling gown. In an Instagram post, Teigen thanked Akbar, her shoe designers -- and, most key, her laser hair removal team. “[A]pologies to anyone harmed mentally or physically by my hooha,” Teigen wrote.
When photographers first encountered Bella Hadid in France for the 69th Cannes Film Festival in 2016, the model was decked out in Nike sneakers and a midriff-baring Nike T-shirt. (In her defense, she’d just gotten off an airplane.)
Over the course of the next couple of weeks, the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show stunner was spotted in decidedly more glamorous attire -- arguably none more memorable or eye-catching than the red Alexandre Vauthier show-stopper that Hadid wore to the screening of the French-language film The Unknown Girl. The celeb wore the dress with confidence, and as her stylist Elizabeth Sulcer told Vanity Fair, a little bit of top-stick tape.
Rapper Wiz Khalifa attended the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards with then-wife Amber Rose. He wore a shirt that promoted suicide prevention. And while the getup drew some attention to him and his cause, Rose’s getup drew a lot more attention to her, well, let’s just say it drew lots of attention to her.
The model wore a Laura Dewitt number that was alternately described as being akin to a knight’s chainmail armor and a chain-link fence. Some compared her look to Rose McGowan’s sheer mesh gown at the 1998 MTV Video Music Awards. As for Khalifa and Rose: their marriage story ended about a month after this red carpet event.
Speaking of Rose McGowan’s 1998 MTV Video Music Awards gown, this is it. And the backstory on the gown is more compelling than the dress itself. Maja Hanson, who designed the dress, said the style was a game-changer for the Hollywood red carpet. “I don’t remember anyone doing it before [McGowan],” Hanson told the New York Post. “... [S]he was the first to really have that ‘wow’ moment.”
As for McGowan, the Charmed actress and activist has revealed she donned the dress as a statement. “It was a reclamation of my own body after my assault,” she wrote in her 2018 memoir, Brave. “It was, of course, misinterpreted and sexualized, which was the exact opposite point I was trying to make. That’s the thing that other women who have copied me have gotten wrong through the years; when they copy the dress, they do it to be sexy and turn society on. I didn’t do it to be sexy. I did it with power, not to titillate or turn on the boys and men of the world. I did it as a big middle finger, and there’s the difference.”
The “Wrecking Ball” singer wore a number of revealing outfits at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards. She also hosted, performed and destroyed any remaining psychic connection in the audience’s collective mind to Hannah Montana.
There was, as Yahoo reported it, the “see-through PVC dress with candy-colored dots.” There was the piece that, according to The Hollywood Reporter, consisted of a “crop top in the shape of eyes and a red skirt that looked like lips.” And most memorably, there was this: a shimmering, silver mashup of Hee Haw and Showgirls. The New York Times judiciously described the custom Atelier Versace design as a “jeweled apron and silver strap.”
In 1999, Jennifer Lopez presented at the GRAMMY Awards in a gold, sparkly minidress. She looked good, and certainly livelier than her co-presenter, Jerry Seinfeld. But it was Seinfeld’s monochromatic-suit look that would prove to be famous -- immortalized via Regis Philbin on the then-soon-to-debut game show, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.
A year later, in 2000, Lopez returned to the GRAMMYs, this time in a silk-chiffon Versace dress with a neckline that plunged past the performer’s belly button. The actress-singer would never be a fashion also-ran again. “I felt like an energy. Like everything started stirring,” Lopez would tell ET. “I was like, ‘What’s happening?’ And my dress was happening and I didn’t know it.”
Maggie Q modeled before she segued to Hollywood and TV roles in series such as Designated Survivor and Nikita. So, she knew how to work a number when she really worked a number in 2014 at the Los Angeles premiere of the first Divergent movie.
Another dress of the deceptively demure variety, the Anthony Vaccarello creation was all business in front, and all party -- and drafty -- on the side. The Evening Standard judged that the outfit “left little to the imagination,” while other media coverage at the time focused on how (or if?) Maggie Q went “commando” to make the look complete.
In 2019, Cardi B debuted her second, so-called “Season 2” collection for Fashion Nova with a red carpet event at the Hollywood Palladium in Los Angeles. The “Clout” rapper turned heads with one of her own wares, I Got the Drip, a flared, vegan leather jacket with a single hook-eye closure to keep everything legal and in place and such.
“I hope you females enjoy it,” Cardi B said in a video posted to her Instagram on the day of the launch. The GRAMMY-winning entrepreneur said it was her further wish that gentlemen would purchase her clothes for their girlfriends, mothers and “side b**ches.”
As her social media feeds and famous topless selfie with Kim Kardashian West attest, Emily Ratajkowski will not be body-shamed. She is going to wear, or not wear, what she wants, no apologies.
One of the model-actress’ most famous no-apology outfits is the gravity-defying dress that she showcased at a Harper’s Bazaar event in New York City in 2016. The Julien Macdonald gown featured two straps that doubled as sufficient amounts of fabric to keep the modesty police at bay. Ratajkowski herself couldn’t have been happier with the look -- and feel. “It’s actually very comfortable and simple,” she told Harper’s Bazaar, “and I feel great.”
Bleona Qereti is a multi-hyphenate performer known simply as Bleona. Once upon a time, according to an official bio, she was a little girl who dreamed of becoming an Albanian icon. She was born in Albania, so it tracks. When that goal was achieved, she said she set her sights on conquering the United States. And guess what?
Bleona scored a hit on the Billboard dance club chart, landed a starring role on the Bravo reality series Euros of Hollywood, and lit up the red carpet at the 2014 American Music Awards with a “sparkling mesh dress and silver nipple pasties” that turned heads and made headlines. Fairy tales do come true!
The sizzling star steals the spotlight at the Men in Black 3 German premiere in 2012.
The rapper’s purple pastie outfit at the 1999 VMAs is one of the awards show's most unforgettable looks of all time.
The British model hits up a 2017 Harper's Bazaar party with her chest on display through a sheer jumpsuit.
The "Barbie Dreams" rapper descended on Paris Fashion Week in 2017 with just a small piece of fabric hiding her nipple.
The Being Mary Jane actress gets hotter with every passing year as is evidenced by her fashion statement at the 2017 Vanity Fair Oscar Party.
The 26-year-old model attended the 2018 Calzedonia Summer Show in lingerie covered by a barely-there dress.
The singer brought side boob back at the 2016 Billboard Music Awards.
Who could forget the 37-year-old pop star's teeny denim skirt at the 2002 MTV Video Music Awards?
The only thing sexier than Gaga's boots was her strategically-placed jacket at the 2017 GRAMMY Awards.
The 2016 American Music Awards were no match for the celeb's sexy style.
The Love & Hip Hop: Miami star made money moves in a dollar bill skirt by Kota Okuda, but it’s her chainlink top that landed her on this list.
A beauty in Balmain, the Keeping Up With the Kardashians star put her physique on display at Paris Fashion Week in 2016.
A bejeweled Beyoncé left little to the imagination at the 2015 Met Gala.
In 2014, the model strut her stuff at the after-party for the annual Victoria's Secret Fashion Show.
The British beauty rocked a plunging neckline at the CR Fashion Book Issue N°5 : Launch Party in 2014.
The red-hot singer walked the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards carpet while working to avoid a wardrobe mishap.
The "Fancy" rapper and her very carefully-situated gown look flawless at the 2013 MTV EMAs.
The model's 2013 MTV Video Music Awards' dress flaunted her fit figure.
The Orange Is the New Black actress chose a lace dress for the 2018 MTV Video Music Awards that's more skin than dress.
The model's hip was the focal point of her revealing fashion statement at the 2012 Met Gala.
The singer turned up the heat at the 2016 GRAMMY Awards.
Only the legendary musician could pull off a cheeky look like this at the 2016 Met Gala.
The Real Housewives of Miami star opted for cutouts at a 2014 pre-GRAMMYs party.
The Pussycat Dolls member attended a 2012 ELLE Women In Music event in Hollywood in a very sheer outfit.
The Sharknado actress ditched her bra for a 2017 red carpet event.
The stunning Portuguese model stepped out at Fashion for Relief Cannes 2018 during the 71st annual Cannes Film Festival.
The English TV personality wore a tiny pink dress to the 2000 Snatch premiere in London.
The 2018 Cannes Film Festival heated up with the help of the stunning DJ.
The Scottish singer, and Brooklyn Beckham's ex, barely covered up in a slinky black dress at a 2018 Magnum VIP Party during the Cannes Film Festival.
There’s no doubt that the 39-year-old model likes taking risks on the red carpet, and this 2005 MTV Video Music Awards dress certainly stands out.
The stars were out (literally) as the adult film actress attended the 2015 Adult Video News Awards in Las Vegas.
The Love & Hip Hop: Hollywood personality went with a #FreeTheNipple look for the 2018 BET Awards.
The "I'm a Mess" songstress debuts one of her most revealing red carpet looks to date at the 2017 American Music Awards in Los Angeles.
The model ditched her drawers for the 2016 European premiere of Suicide Squad in London.
The “Sorry Not Sorry” songstress got temps rising in a tiny black top at a Z100 event in New York City.
Little Red Bunny
The model stripped down for a red carpet appearance at the 2015 Adult Video News Awards in Las Vegas.
The Oscar winner attended the 2003 School of Rock premiere in Hollywood in a braless, black look.
The RuPaul's Drag Race Season 7 winner rocked a revealing dress at amfAR's Inspiration Gala Los Angeles in 2015.
The S Club 7 member looked radiant in red at a 2004 Seeing Double premiere in London.
The influencer's netted, sheer dress was on trend for the 2018 Cannes Film Festival.
The Orange Is the New Black actress strutted her stuff in a sheer black Hakan Akkaya dress.
In 2014, the actress walked the A Haunted House 2 Los Angeles premiere red carpet in a sexy LBD.
The supermodel posed in a see-through red dress at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival premiere of Once Upon A Time... In Hollywood.
The sexy singer showed off her goods, and her GRAMMY, at the 2001 GRAMMY Awards in Los Angeles.
The English media personality showed she’s not shy when it comes to fashion at FHM Magazine's 100 Sexiest Women Party in London.
The Crank: High Voltage actress is no stranger to revealing red carpet styles, and this unique number worn at the 2015 International Fashion Film Awards may be one of her most risqué looks yet.
Her white-hot look at the 1998 MTV Movie Awards is one of the celeb's sexiest red carpet styles ever.
This New York icon is known for her costumes, so it's no surprise she stood out in this daring piece at The Last Witch Hunter New York premiere in 2015.
Lady Victoria Hervey
The English socialite hit up a 2014 Golden Globes after-party in this nearly-nude fashion.
The adult film actress donned a transparent tank top for Jenna Jameson's VIP Birthday Party in 2005.
We see London, we see France. We see Noa Lindberg's...
The RuPaul's Drag Race alum bared (almost) all on the red carpet at a 2019 Golden Globes after-party.
The GLOW actress hit the red carpet at the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards in a revealing black minidress with a plunging neckline.
The Pose star went braless at the 78th Annual Peabody Awards Ceremony.
The Big Little Lies actress shined in a gold mesh bra and black skirt at the 2019 Vanity Fair Oscars Party.
The “Without Me” singer sizzled at the 2018 amfAR Gala in a black Georges Hobeika gown with a super-high slit.
The model has stepped out in numerous see-through styles, but this lacy black number may be the most revealing of them all.
The model put her cleavage on display in this racy number at the 2016 GQ Men of the Year Awards.
On Wednesdays -- and at the 2017 iHeartRadio MuchMusic Video Awards -- the “Fancy” rapper wears pink.
The Devious Maids star dazzled in a see-through gown at the 15th Annual Latin GRAMMY Awards.
The Famous in Love alum attended the 22nd Annual Critics' Choice Awards in an edgy, mesh gown that nearly bared all.