The 16 Most #BreakTheInternet Looks From The VMAs

Some red carpets are all about showcasing how elegant a celebrity is — with flowing ball gowns, six-figure jewelry, and poses that say, "I worked out with a personal trainer for three years to get my arm to look this swan-like." The MTV Video Music Awards carpet, however, is about making a different sort of statement. Stars seem to feel more compelled to #breaktheinternet than worry about landing on a best-dressed list — and thank baby Jesus for that.

On VMA night, when rules are made to be broken, expect the opposite of Champagne-colored gowns with fishtail hems. Crazy cutouts and super-high slits? Sure, why not? Rompers, pant suits, and shoulder pads? Yes — and why not all in one outfit? So, whether or not you tuned in to see Miley's squad face off against Taylor's, or to see if Baddie Winkle would break her no-pasties rule, click on to behold the can't-miss looks from the night that took big fashion risks — which had even bigger payoffs.
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Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images.
Tyler Ford
From the pastel braids to the studded, zipped-up biker vest, this look from Miley’s bud and agender writer Ford has to be one of our favorites of the night — statement-making without trying too hard.
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Photo: Larry Busacca/Getty Images.
K-Pop superstar CL, from group 2NE1, might have been missing the rest of her girl gang, but she came to the VMAs with her family ties represented: She wore a Moschino creation designed by her BFF, one Jeremy Scott. This choker-to-waistbelt chain harness is definitely more interesting than your garden-variety accessory.
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Photo: Jason Merritt/Getty Images.
Gigi Hadid
We’re giving Gigi major props for this look on multiple levels, from the hard-to-pull-off goldenrod hue to the full-on leotard silhouette. Emilia Wickstead is typically a more demure designer — think more Princess Kate than Queen Bey — but this frock proves that her bark also has a bite.
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Rolling up with Taylor Swift’s “Bad Blood” crew, Serayah stood out from the squad in a sliced and slashed white dress with coordinating booties. She keeps her underparts covered with a chic tighty-whitey set.
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Photo: Steve Granitz/Getty Images.
Hailee Steinfeld
Steinfeld went the minimalist route with a sleek Stella McCartney jumpsuit and thick Jennifer Fisher collar — proof that a more muted look can still draw major attention. No cutouts, no sparkles, just a total power move.
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Photo: Steve Granitz/Getty Images.
Arielle Vandenberg
Vine star Arielle Vandenberg kept it relatively classic compared to some of her fellow attendees, donning a sultry, blue-velvet Cushnie et Ochs number paired with equally sexy bombshell hair. She usually goes for the babely, bedhead, no-makeup look on Insta, but she pumped it up for the red carpet.
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Photo: Jason Merritt/Getty Images.
Baddie Winkle
Baddie Winkle brings her signature style to the red carpet in full force, with a Discount Universe sequin mini, Gelareh Mizrahi bag, metallic sneaks, and a pink faux-fur jacket. Take note, young starlets.
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Photo: Steve Granitz/Getty Images.
Chrissy Teigen
Ah, pelvage — we’ve missed thee! Teigen shows off (the entirety of) her stems in this sheer Marchesa show-stopper — with a high neck, a dramatic back, and a mix of fringe, floss, and fraying.
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Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images.
We’re actually getting used to seeing fringed-up looks like these on the red carpet, but Ciara plays with proportions in this mini Alexandre Vauthier with extra-long fringe overlay. Black may not be the most daring shade for a statement-making night like the VMAs, so Ciara took it up a notch with a peek-a-boo, car-wash effect and equally strappy heels.
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Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images.
There will always be that cool girl at a party wearing a jumpsuit, while everyone else is in a dress. During the VMA red carpet, Halsey was that woman, and the two-toned, deep-V-neck one-piece she wore was accessorized simply (just a choker, a swipe of lipstick, and that arm tattoo).
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Photo: Jason Merritt/Getty Images.
Rita Ora
With a massive feather skirt that could rival Scarlett O'Hara’s, and a bodice that’s more slingshot than shirt, Rita Ora’s custom Vera Wang gown is one of the most audacious she’s worn yet. Ora’s never one to do anything minimally, and this dress is a one-piece wonder that makes a maximum impact.
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Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images.
Holland Roden
With a mock neck, cap sleeves, and a hemline that can most accurately be described as “Easter-appropriate,” there’s nothing very prim or proper about Roden’s embroidered mesh dress. Worn atop high-waisted briefs and a strapless bralette, this look is sweet, sure — but it’s the spicy part we like even more.
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Photo: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic/Getty Images.
Miley Cyrus
As the host, Miley Cyrus was sure to have all eyes on her, but just in case anyone’s attention was in danger of wandering, this outfit made sure it didn’t. Custom Versace suspenders, a jeweled loincloth, and above-the-knee silver boots had some more conservative onlookers clutching their pearls for fear that some body parts might make an inadvertent appearance. But Cyrus proved there was no need to worry, dancing her way down the red carpet. Plus, if you caught her interview with Jimmy Kimmel earlier, you know that the girl (and her girls) comes prepared.
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Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images.
Emily Ratajkowski
Ratajkowski is a bit more covered up than usual in this Altuzarra top and full-length skirt — instead of revealing her legs, she’s sporting a pair of over-the-knee boots for an unexpected twist.
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Photo: Jason Merritt/Getty Images.
Nicki Minaj
We’re not totally clear on the physics of this dress staying up, but Nicki showed off her signature curves in a golden Labourjoisie gown that likely required plenty of fashion tape (and maybe even superglue?). These days, a deep plunge doesn’t just stop below the boobs — we’re talking all the way down to below the belly button.
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FKA twigs
FKA twigs has never struck us as someone who plays into the celebrity red carpet game, but that’s not to say that she’s a wallflower by any means. In an Atelier Versace dress that’s part bondage, part boudoir, and part Bob Mackie, the singer is here to ask anyone who read Fifty Shades to get on her level.