The American Music Awards kicked off the winter awards season with some stellar performances — Christina Aguilera brought down the house with a musical tribute to the 25th anniversary of the Whitney Houston classic, The Bodyguard, while Pink performed a gravity-defying aerial routine on the side of a Los Angeles high-rise hotel.
As is tradition for the ceremony, fashion styles were all over the map. The made-for-TV music awards show is fraught with peril for attendees because options can range from Oscar-worthy gowns to club kid styles and anything in between. Striking the right balance can land a star on best-dressed lists. But playing it too safe or going too over-the-top is a recipe for fashion disaster.
Here are some of our favorite hits and biggest misses.
Host Tracee Ellis Ross made a dramatic entrance at the American Music Awards in a crinkly tiered copper foil gown that looked like a castoff from her mom's 1978 movie, The Wiz. It set a fun tone for the evening, although some likened it to a foil cupcake liner.
Lea Michele looked heavenly on the red carpet in a light pink J. Mendel gown — one of the evening's best looks. The fitted bustier saved the gown from veering too much into princess territory (a big no-no at the AMAs). And she may have started a fashion trend with mismatched earrings.
Yara Shahidi, the 17-year-old costar of Black-ish, was one of the cool girls at the AMAs in Prada sequined shorts, collared shirt, trench coat, gray knee-high socks, and silver metallic platform sandals.
Selena Gomez captured the moment in a Coach moto jacket mini dress, studded heels, and Roberto Coin jewelry. But most fans were talking about her newly blonde hairstyle with black roots.
Hailee Steinfeld also stood out in a fashion-forward way with a sharp-shouldered black tuxedo jacket and pants by Mugler over a leather bustier bra accessorized with black Casadei heels and Bulgari jewelry.
Imagine Dragons showcased their fashion individuality.
Stranger Things costar Sadie Sink, in a Prada cocktail dress with chain link detail, was another young actress who looked effortlessly hip and cool. Sink, 15, is a native of Brenham, Texas.
Pink's frothy tulle orchid-embroidered gown had a strong '50s prom vibe, not necessarily a look that singers want to showcase at the AMAs. But she's cool enough to pull it off.
Kelly Rowland's sheer black Galia Lahav gown with colorful embroidery seems more suited for the boudoir than the red carpet.
The South Korean boy band BTS made a big splash at the AMAs. They showed up on the red carpet in classic fitted Saint Laurent pants and jackets before showcasing just about every denim style imaginable during their performance of "DNA." Their haircuts channeled '60s Paul McCartney and the crowd reaction rivaled the Beatles legendary performance on The Ed Sullivan Show.
Jenna Dewan Tatum added a dose of glamour to the AMAs in a glittery gold Julien Macdonald body-hugging number.
On the red carpet, AMA Lifetime Achievement Award honoree Diana Ross channeled a wayward showgirl in one of the most puzzling looks of the evening.
Diana Ross redeemed herself — fashion-wise — at the end of the show when she received the AMA Lifetime Achievement Award in a showstopping black gown with matching opera gloves, an eye-popping necklace, and a purple tulle cape.
The magenta shade of Lilly Singh's gown was camera-ready, but was marred by a skirt that looked like it had been caught in the elevator door on the way to the event.
Nicole Kidman got the vibe just right for the AMAs in an Olivier Theyskens black velvet tank dress with an asymmetrical hem and Giuseppe Zanotti over-the-knee boots.
Viola Davis, who was on hand to introduce Christina Aguilera's Bodyguard tribute, exuded movie star glamour in a sparkling custom white crystal-embroidered caped Michael Kors Collection gown.
At the AMAs to support her mother-in-law Diana Ross, Ashlee Simpson sparkled in a gold ombre sequined gown with bell sleeves by Christian Siriano. But some critics carped that it clashed with her platinum blonde hair.
The color red is almost always a fashion winner, but not on Julia Michaels' tulle-smothered gown. CocoPerez likened her gown by designer Phuong My to a loofah shower sponge. A strange keyhole cutout and sword-like tie at mid-chest added to the confusing look.
It looks like Machine Gun Kelly got trapped in camouflage hell.