Tuesday, November 24, 2009


I don't watch music awards shows, but a commenter just wrote something about Carrie Underwood's AMA dress and I realized, shit, thanks to my HuffPo recaps I am sort of a fashion critic now, albeit a completely unqualified one. And I owe it to you guys to be a dick about other people's clothing choices. So thank you, commenter. You've inspired me to create a new category on the blog: Red Carpet Ridicule (my Emmy post was the unofficial first entry, I guess).

So, the AMAs. I don't really get what they are. How are they different from the Grammys? Other than being less important? Can someone school me in this? Irregardless, let's hit the carpet.

We'll start with Carrie. Here's the (it turns out quite astute) comment:

Sorry for the off topic comment, but I immediately thought of you when I saw the "Best Dressed" slide show for the American Music Awards on Huffington Post. Am I crazy or does the dress Carrie Underwood is wearing look almost exactly like the hideous and universally-panned dress Christopher designed for the divorcee challenge on Project Runway? Can you explain the difference to me so that I can understand how this style made the "Best Dressed" list?

Let's see, shall we?

Shiny, poochy, belted... it does bear a strong resemblance to Chris' disaster. Let's do a super-scientific side-by-side analysis...

Wow. Okay. The pictures don't lie. Someone's been sniffing the Jiffy Pop lately. Although I will hand it to Carrie that her dress is much more polished, and the nude pearlescent sheen suits her, against all odds. As to why it landed on the "Best Dressed" list, well, scroll down to see what she was up against.

That wasn't Ms. Underwood's only nod to ProjRun. Later, she performed onstage wearing this:

I can't tell if this is a Mandee's knock-off or a bona fide version of...

Carol Hannah Whitfield's opening Bryant Park dress. Right? Except with shorts that make it look like a Racine Belles uniform from A League of Their Own. Sigh. That's such a good movie.

(UPDATE: This is NOT Carol Hannah-sanctioned. And she hates the shorts, too.)

Anyway, Carrie ended up being the fashion winner of the evening, ice-dancer sparkle and all. How, you may ask, was this allowed to happen? Well, there are so many people to thank.

First, I'd like to thank Rihanna...

...for showing us that poster board and stencils can go a long way during a recession. This dress, however, raises some questions, including but not limited to:

-Do those rose cut-outs show us her, um, rosebush?
-What would an aerial view reveal?
-If unfurled, does this double as a Science Fair exhibit about fertilizer?

RiRi was even more revealing onstage later in the evening:

I hope that she's taking a moment to thank her waxer. Also, what's with the cigarette butts sticking out of her enormous cap sleeves?

No matter. Let's move on, and thank Alicia Keyes...

...for dusting off her Bedazzler and Spin-Art and finding a way to re-wear her old bridesmaid shoes from that hideous mid-90s wedding with the Titanic theme.

I'd also like to thank J-Lo...

For going the way of Gaga and scalping Janice from Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem in order to fashion her skirt. In all honesty, she works it, but her eyes are pointing in different directions (as I've helpfully noted via Photoshop), which could be a smizing attempt gone awry.

If she is seeing double, though, it would explain the falling on her ass.

But hey, at least she was already wearing a pelvic cast.

Man, I should have written these down. So many people to thank for Carrie Underwood's fashion win. Oh! Kristen Bell.

Thank you, Veronic Mars, for wearing what amounts to a high-fashion tube top that—the Fug Girls point out—smacks of Crystal Barbie.

I'd also like to thank Nicole Kidman, for wearing a color combo that Benjamin Moore might whimsically call "Grandma's dust-ruffle" meets "rosacea."

Keith Urban is whispering, "Honey, this is a bad angle. Why don't you show some full-frontal action."


Um, no, not better. It doesn't even look good next to that stoned chick whose chest manages to look flat and saggy at the same time.

Speaking of which, what up, KHud.

Look, I know it's not the Golden Globes, but you could at least brush your hair.

In closing, I would like to issue a public service announcement to Val Kilmer:





  1. I would like to thank you for not picking on Kelly Clarkson, when there were so many other worthy targets to choose from.

    For the record, the AMA's are special because the public votes on the winners... much like the People's Choice Awards, which I believe have music categories. But the big AMA claim to fame is that it's really a concert version of the latest edition of Now That's What I Call Music, with all the biggest Top 40 acts performing.

    I'm glad that everyone else noticed the Carol Hannah knock-off Underwood was wearing. That was crazy and needed to be publicly criticized.

    Great post!

  2. Thanks for clearing up the AMAs for me, O. And yes, I love Kelly Clarkson SO HARD. She has looked better, but I couldn't bring myself to mock her when, as you say, there were so many other worthy targets.

  3. That was a satisfying read!

  4. Anonymous6:16 PM

    Dear Una,
    I am tickled by this long and absolutely hilarious response to my anonymous post about Christopher's dress. You just made my day. (And you DID indeed answer my question. The other looks are truly appalling). Your description of the color combo of Nicole Kidman's dress made me positively snort with laughter. I agree completely that this should be a regular feature, and it will help those of us who are already suffering anticipatory withdrawal symptoms from the absence of your Project Runway commentary.

    (P.S. Sorry to post anonymously--I'm just too lazy to fill out the registration, even for a pseudonym. On your HP blog I'm "feeny1")

  5. Anonymous3:34 AM

    Anonymous Andy here. Again.

    I love your summary, it's spot-on. And because I'm having another bout of insomnia I'm going to throw out some of my pithy commentary and a few burning questions that are keeping me awake.

    It really was good to see these girls repurpose so many scraps and random materials. I thought Rihanna was particularly creative. Who knew that packing straps could be turned into such a tasteful garment?

    But I'm wondering, is this unhealthy pasty flesh pink/most drab shade of gray combo the newest fashion trend? Because pretty much all of them went there (or with plain old boring black) except for Alicia Keyes, who went for cankles and thunderthighs. Nothing says "smokin'" more than cutting yourself into stubby little boxes.

    I swear to God, when I saw that dress that Nicole Kidman had on I immediately thought "it's grandma's dresser!" because she had a grey tatted doily with a little box of pink face powder in that awful shade of pink sitting on it. Do all grandma's bedrooms have those colors?

    And it took me a while to figure out that Kristin Bell's midriff wasn't a pink belt.

    Kate Hudson let her boring silver bag/dress slump down towards her pinkish shoes. The top of that dress is just inexplicable. Couldn't they pin the straps up or something?

    Even Carrie's has that feel, with the fleshy color of the dress and the grey/silver belt and shoes. Tell me, what do these people have against color?

    But I think J Lo was my favorite all around. That first pic? One word: Ostrich. Seriously, just go to google images and throw "ostrich" in the box. She's even stamping her little ostrich hoof and everything. And her hips in that second pic defy description. Are those Fatbob tanks off a Harley? A couple of Gold Star hams? Has the excess flesh from her torso been shoved down into a pair of vases? It just looks painful.

    And when did it become necessary to be as close to naked as possible to sing or be in the near vicinity of singers? If they put actual clothing on does it render them mute? Is it really necessary to force an unsuspecting public without warning to determine the difference between the moles and the nipples on Kate Hudson's bony chest? Enquiring minds want to know.

    I'll end this little insomnia-fulled ramble by pointing out that Carrie Underwood wasn't the only contestant in the HuffPo best-dressed slideshow that made it into your round-up. Val Kilmer was there, too. Oy... ;-)

  6. Val Kilmer was ROCKING that John Taylor/Sheena Easton mullet (that I MAY have sported myself circa 1986). Dude, what HAPPENED to him? He has gone the way of Mickey Rourke, hasn't he? Both used to be HAWT, and now? Not so much. Still, many thanks, milady, for posting the fab-you-lous clip from possibly the perennial slapstick comedy of all time, Top Secret.
    - Shannan

  7. Hi all, and thanks for the comments! I have been so lazy in checking them. Andy, I tip my hat to you -- I didn't even check HuffPo's best dressed! And Shannan, Val Kilmer is one of the great stud to have fallen victim to a mutant strain of middle age spread. He's one rickety step away from looking just like Kathleen Turner.

  8. Laura Tollin4:50 PM

    Rihanna's outfit smacks of the outfit worn by Milla Jovovich in The Fifth Element... ;)


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