See Taylor Swift's MTV Video Music Awards 11-Year Style Evolution
Here's a throwback to the 'Lover' artist's VMAs fashion looks.
Taylor Swift first emerged as a country sweetheart in 2006 with her songs "Tim McGraw" and "Our Song" and has since become a global pop phenomenon with 120 million digital song sales, 10 Grammys and seven MTV Video Music Awards. She is known for deliberate symbolism in her poetic song lyrics and her wildly successful music videos. And her meticulous choices also apply to her red carpet fashion looks and onstage costumes — thanks to stylist Joseph Cassell and frequent custom designs by Jessica Jones.
Swift was also recognized on Vanity Fair's International Best-Dressed List in 2015, co-chaired the Met Gala in 2016 and has graced the cover of Vogue magazine six times, including the coveted 2019 September issue, which just hit newsstands. Now the "You Need to Calm Down" artist will perform Monday evening at the MTV Video Music Awards, just days after the release of her seventh album, Lover. Her red carpet style is expected to be in line with her penchant of late for candy-coated pastel hues and patterns of kitschy clouds and butterflies.
On Aug. 22, Swift released a collaboration with British fashion designer Stella McCartney that continues her new aesthetic, with a pastel color scheme featuring vintage graffiti, her kitten Benjamin Button and the album tracklist, along with dreamy photographs of herself. She recently performed on Good Morning America, at the Amazon Prime Day Concert and at The Billboard Music Awards dressed in colorful, glittery costumes, and she hit the Billboard Music Awards red carpet in a lavender Raisa & Vanessa minidress.
On Monday for the MTV VMAs, she may even arrive in a Stella McCartney design, considering her recent collaboration. In anticipation of the awards show, take a look back at Swift's fashion history from the event.
Swift hosted the preshow at her very first MTV Video Music Awards in 2008, where she was nominated for Best New Artist, along with Katy Perry and Miley Cyrus (none of the three, now superstars, won the award). For the occasion Swift donned a gold sequin slip dress with Deco-like detailing. She paired the flashy dress with simple black patent ballet flats and wore her hair in curls. Following the preshow, Swift looked sweet as can be in an off-white bustier dress by KaufmanFranco and metallic sandals by Giuseppe Zanotti.
The following year, Swift won Best Female Video at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards and her acceptance speech moment will live on in infamy. Wearing a stunning one-shoulder, skin-toned gown adorned with silver beads and sequins (again by KaufmanFranco) and a bold red lip, Swift began to accept her first Moonman as Kanye West ran up and snatched away the microphone, insisting that Beyoncé had the best video he’d ever seen.
Later in the evening, Taylor performed her hit "You Belong With Me" in a red strapless vintage dress with a full skirt and red patent peep-toe heels, which she also wore when Queen B invited her back to the stage to give a proper acceptance speech.
In 2010, Swift went retro with a smoky eye, bold red lip and vintage finger-wave hairstyle. She wore a beige strapless dress with a full skirt by Dolce & Gabbana as she performed "Innocent." The dress looked strikingly similar to the one she wore to her first VMAs in 2008, likely a deliberate choice to represent her innocent persona.
The MTV Video Music Awards were sans Swift in 2011, but in 2012, she made up for lost time. The pop star arrived at the Staples Center in a chic, ivory J. Mendel tux jacket and pants, with gold strappy Tom Ford sandals and dramatic Lorraine Schwartz earrings. She wore her hair straight and sleek, and popped some color with a red lip. For her performance of "Never Ever," she switched gears and danced around the stage in a red-and-white striped sweater and black shorts with bright red sneakers and black sunnies that channeled Audrey Hepburn, one of Swift's fashion muses.
If Swift has a revenge dress, this might just be it. She arrived at the 2013 MTV VMAs at the Barclay Center in Brooklyn in a va-va-voom navy Hervé Léger by Max Azria gown with a plunging neckline that clung to her figure (and teased her bad-girl Reputation vibe). She accessorized with Lorraine Schwartz jewels and navy platform heels. While accepting her Moonman, she thanked the man who inspired "I Knew You Were Trouble," saying he knows exactly who he is.
Swift arrived at the 2014 VMAs at The Forum wearing a look far removed from the vintage Hollywood glam vibe she had gone for in years prior. The patterned baby blue micro-shorts romper from Mary Katrantzou’s spring 2015 resort collection showed off Swift’s long legs and fun, flirty attitude. When she took the stage to perform "Shake It Off" from her 1989 album, she dazzled in a spangled, silver fringed halter top and shorts. Matching short sets and shimmering bodysuits became a staple of her 1989 tour.
The stylish songstress made her most recent appearance at the VMAs in 2015 and has since taken a three-year hiatus. Swift stole the show when she arrived in Los Angeles, with her supermodel squad in tow, wearing a houndstooth sequined crop top and track pants set by Ashish, with pointed metallic-striped sandals by Christian Louboutin, rings by Ofira and edgy black earrings by Lorraine Schwartz.
While the singer is known for her public feuds, the 2015 event was saturated with the spirit of reconciliation. First, Swift presented the Video Vanguard Award to none other than West. Then she joined the stage with former foe Nicki Minaj to perform "Bad Blood," sporting a sparkling red sequined leotard with nude insets and fringed trim complete with matching booties.