Multi-Grammy winner Adele arrived looking radiant in a swanky black beaded Giorgio Armani gown and massive 12.4 carat diamond Harry Winston ring. She later donned a similarly sleek gown from Burberry, the victory dress in which she won "Album Of The Year."
Bonnie McKee isn't a household name like most of her red carpet competition, but she competes against pop's leading ladies of shock value. This deranged and tasseled Gladiator look by designer Falguni & Shane Peacock reminds us of something Lady Gaga would have tried on, then discarded, in 2008.
Cyndi Lauper, spunky as ever, came dressed as a peppy version of The Wicked Witch of the West, proving age imposes no limits on letting your freak flag fly. As is the case for a few of the evening's more eccentric looks, this one came courtesy of Parisian hellraiser Jean Paul Gaultier.
A year after upsetting the Best New Artist category, winning over Justin Bieber, Esperanza Spalding looked at ease in a multi-hued dip-dye gown, providing a ray of light on the red carpet and a nod to fashion's recent fascination in harnessing the power of Mother Nature.
Fergie arrived in a jawdropping look, courtesy of – who else? – Jean Paul Gaultier. The gown was the color of fire, composed of cutaway lace, and worn over nothing but black lingerie. Too far? The 36 year old doesn't think so. "This was the safe choice," she told Ryan Seacrest, perhaps half-jokingly.
Katy Perry was every bit the ice queen in an electric blue up-do and frost-hued crystalline gown from courtier Elie Saab. As she continues to navigate the entirety of the color spectrum, updating her wardrobe and hair along the way, we're admit really enjoying her Blue Period most.
Unlikely red carpet mates Paris Hilton and Deadmau5 strolled in front of the cameras last night, with Hilton showing off leg and neck in a belted Basil Soda gown, and he in his traditional mouse "head gear," insolently decorated with Skrillex's phone number.
Rihanna channeled Michelle Pfeiffer in Scarface with a plunging and slit custom look from Giorgio Armani, for whom the Bajan singer serves as a muse. Calling the look "simple but sexy, and a little gangsta at the same time," her hair metal-worthy lioness mane threw the look into beguiling contrast.
Risktaking pop heroine Robyn played it surprisingly safe for the Grammys, keeping true to native Sweden's love of minimalism in a stark white Calvin Klein mullet skirt look. But paired with platform work boots, the net effect fell on the unfortunate side of Nineties nostalgia. Usually no trend victim, she proved that even the most modern of pop thinkers can make a rare style misstep.
Who is Sasha Gradiva? It doesn't matter that you don't know yet: her Barbie-worthy low-cut pink gown and Terminator-esque machine gun armature painted a more vivid portrait than any three-minute pop song. We're not sure what she was "aiming" for here, but fellow Russian cheap thrills merchant Kira Plastinina is probably intrigued.
Anyone expecting Taylor Swift to arrive in a demure frock may have done a double take when the statueseque country singer arrived in a spectacular gold head turner of a gown by Zuhair Murad. The look, replete with dramatic back cut-outs, sent Twitter and style blogs into an excited frenzy.
There are no words for this look, or, indeed, for anything Nicki Minaj did at the 2012 Grammys. Dressed by Versace as (we guess?) an evil Red Riding Rood, or perhaps a crazed cardinal, the gonzo pop star scared the old man on her arm into playing the Pope, then mock-terrorized a priest onstage during the live debut of "Roman Holiday," a song that will now forever be associated with exorcisms and occult ritual. All we can say is that Vigilant Citizen should have a field day with this one. As did the Catholic League.
Nicki Minaj's insane presentation made Lady Gaga suddenly seem subtle, but it appeared Mother Monster wanted to keep it low key this year. Still spectacular in a dramatic black mourning veil (to shield the disappointment of losing to Adele?), and funereal Eliza Doolittle getup, we think maybe silence is her new statement of choice. Had she won any awards, we wonder if she would have mimed her thanks.