Due to a Covid-affected world, the BET Awards took a different path this year: a digital one. So while there was no red carpet per se, it didn’t stop the stars and nominees putting on a fashion show, turning to Instagram to showcase their looks for the evening.
For host, comedienne Amanda Seales, a virtual format was not going to rain on her fashion parade, wearing a whopping 13 outfits, and notably, all by black designers. Beyoncé, Lizzo and Megan Thee Stallion opted for dramatic black gowns, while Alicia Keys posted a photo of herself clad in tough black leather with a powerful message:
“There’s so much on our minds and in our hearts! My favorite thing about music is how it reminds us that we’re not alone. This performance for the BET Awards touched me deeply. What did u feel?”
A lot. Heartbreaking, empowering, emotional. In the wake of the death of George Floyd and the subsequent – and long overdue – racial revolution, Black Lives Matter, the ceremony was more important than ever.
While there was a much deeper sentiment at play, we can still admire the fashion of these talented, strong, proud black women. Below, some of our favourite fashion moments of the night.
Lizzo, who won the BET award for “Best Female RB/Pop Performer”, was a knockout in a custom off-the-shoulder black velvet gown with tumbling white frill down one side by Mônot.
Megan Thee Stallion
Winner of Best Female Hip Hop Artist, rapper Megan Thee Stallion, also chose black velvet but with a little less fabric, the dress featuring waist cut-outs and a lotta skin.
Honouring George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and all the other countless victims of police brutality with a powerful performance of “A Perfect Way To Die,” Keys wore a glossy long-line leather trench with matching pants a black bandeau peeping from beneath.
“Welcome to my red carpet 😭☺️,” said 15-year-old Black-ish star, Marsai Martin, who lay on a pool floatie in a simple marigold knit dress and bare feet. Like a ray of sunshine, her take on at-home red carpet dressing was both refreshing and age-appropriate.
Tracee Ellis Ross
Arguably the night’s winner in the beauty stakes, Ross paired a polka-dot dress with a standout hair and makeup look she did herself. She rimmed her eyes with dark kohl, lips in a poppy shade of fuchsia and her hair was pulled back into a slick bun with her “grown woman hairs” framing her face. Ross captioned it “cursive extravagance” (fitting) but a few of her followers joked around, asking what exactly she’d spelt out with her hair and her answer? “NUNYA”. Amen to that.
The night’s host had a remarkable 13 outfit changes including Pyer Moss, Sergio Hudson and Lavie by CK, but she was obviously a big fan of this lipstick red latex number by Khala Whitney, high at the neck and ruffled at the (micro) hem. “Quarantine did a body goodt!” she captioned the video on Instagram, and judging by those moves, damn straight.
Michelle Obama presented the pop icon with the prestigious Humanitarian Award, and to accept the honour she wore a ruffled black strapless gown and blinding multi-strand diamond choker. She’s a Queen after all.