For a red carpet whose most famous looks have involved purple pasties, a gown made from flesh, and a chandelier loincloth (the last one was just last year), the MTV VMAs are one of few opportunities where, "The fuck you wearing?" can be a compliment. It's a place where big personalities and bigger egos can win you more brownie points than a speech remembering to thank everyone. All things considered, the MTV Video Music Award red carpets are not a place to look "pretty."
All that's to say, tonight is fun, especially for those of who consider the red-carpet part of an awards show just as important as the main event. In a year where the link between fashion and politics, women's rights, social justice, and just plain expression is more obvious than ever, the bar's been raised to its highest yet.
Click through to see the stars that delivered. (And for the musicians, celebs, and artists who did go the pretty route — we wish them well and hope that they got everything they wanted out of that mermaid dress!)