Words by Jason Kwame
The 63rd Grammy Awards this week were not without some expected controversy. After all, there’s bound to be when you – like Kanye West protested – bring together a group of artists at the precipice of musical excellence, and keep them at the edge of their seats as they gun for limited trophies.
In the case of the coveted gold gramophone, the winner really does take it all. With lower than usual ratings, matching the sparse and socially-distanced low attendance (the show was set in various spaces around the Staples Center) and boycotts from various snubbed artists like the Weeknd and Zayn Malik; there was a lot to unpack.
At the same time, there were some highlights: silver – or in this case gold – linings hidden between all the tensions, and some fashion moments worthy of recognition.
Beyonce and her record (and internet) breaking evening
Undoubtedly, this year was Beyonce’s for the taking, as she was crowned the most awarded female artist in Grammy history (28 trophies to be exact). The deal was sealed as she took home Best R&B performance for Juneteenth-inspired Black Parade, Best Video along with Wizkid and her child prodigy Blue Ivy for Brown Skin Girl, and two others for her rap blessing on Megan The Stallion’s Savage Remix.
But that wasn’t all. She showed up and showed out. Styled by her go-to creative partner Zerina Akers, Bey went against the grain of the evening’s flowery, rosy bouquet theme, by wearing a black leather off-the -shoulder mini dress. The outfit was topped off with matching Black Panther-type leather evening gloves, tipped with gold decorations made to look like nails. Everything, even down to the oversized sculptural earrings, were custom Haute Couture Schiaparelli. A big flex. Then of course, in true performer fashion, Beyonce changed into a Burberry metallic chain-mail kind of number, uncannily similar to a Knights armour, reinterpreted with a head wrap and veil.
Burna Boy brings the Grammys to the other side of the globe
Burna Boy definitely took the award for innovative fashion that night, along with his Best Global Music Album win for Twice as Tall. “This should be a lesson to every African out there: No matter where you are, no matter what you plan to do, you can achieve it”, he said as he dedicated the grammy to Africans around the world.
Tuning into the ceremony virtually, Oluwaburna opted for an unconventional crisp white Dior FW21 x Kenny Scharf suit, with a large ombre tassel, intergalactic themed shirt and midriff art. Of course, the look was runway complete with signature dior logo gloves and slipper-like footwear. He also ended the opening ceremony with a live medley of his hits, performed right at home on Nigerian soil. Keeping it all the way patriotic, he stood in front of the National Arts Theatre, right under the Nigerian emblem in a faint yellow-hued suit, detached & slit at the shoulders, tagged all over with black swift tacks. All whilst standing tall in his Balenciaga stacked formal shoes. It’s definitely clear that creative genius runs in the blood, since he was styled by his sister Ronami Ogulu.
Dua shines for London
Our very own British-Kosovan Dua Lipa embodied a modern day Cher, and lit up the outdoor setting with a butterfly inspired, skin tight & sparkly Versace piece, with Bvlgari gems to match. The tailor made dress – cutout at each hip and embellished with purple, blue and pink hued Swarovksi crystals – gave off a 70s-esque psychedelic disco shine. That same blinding Michael Jackson “Rock With You” kind of shine, or the mesmerising shine that an image of a young Donna Summer always gives off. Dua’s outfit was very fitting (in both senses of the word), since she bagged Best Pop Vocal Album for her funk-filled Future Nostalgia project.
The Belle of the Ball Meg the Stallion
Meg encapsulated a true debutante, by winning her first two Grammys for Rap Song & Rap Performance for Savage Remix, in full hollywood glamour. She gifted the Grammys with her presence wearing an orange long-trained and high-slit Dolce and Gabbana dress, with a huge bow at the back.
The unchanging and unrelenting Billie Eilish
Billie Eilish stayed true and consistent to her rebellious and unapologetic vibe, with a signature, monochromatic baggy set. She secured Record of the Year for Everything I Wanted in a head to toe subtly floral patterned fabric, sequined in black with tiger graphics…even down to the bucket hat. Deja Vu hit though, as like the 2017 Adele-Beyonce Grammy incident, Eilish dedicated her speech to Megan the Stallion, whom she felt was more deserving of the award.
Here were some other notable mentions
Host Trevor Noah’s back to back compilation of svelte tuxedos and brooches through the night, with a fresh quarantine afro.
Chloe and Halle Bailey going (and growing) strong in Louis Vuitton.
Jay-Z kept it understated and incognito in his black hoodie and suit…with a huge rock (or roc) on his finger, custom made by L’enchanteur.
H.E.R comfortably taking home two grammys in a relaxed and elongated bohemian fit – embellished and velvet.
Lil Baby’s militant drip for his performance, which strikingly addressed police brutality.
Kaytranada bagging two dance wins and looking slick wearing Virgil Abloh’s Louis Vuitton.
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