MTV 2011 Video Music Awards Best-Dressed: The Stars Play Dress-Up

Met Museum Costume Institute Gala this is not. The VMAs aren’t about high-class couture, but showing off and having a blast. While many stars took the safe route (aka Vegas-showgirl glitz) via heavily sequined mini-dresses, a few stood out from the sea of sparkle, thanks to either an eye for the subtle, a daring spirit or a savvy stylist.

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Adele in Barbara Tfank

A nod to the days of Motown, a soulful Adele nails late-fifties retro with a cinched Barbara Tfank dress, curled side ponytail, mega lashes, and – making the look – ultra-long and dagger-sharp nude fingernails.

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Beyoncé in Lanvin

The new mommy-to-be went for seventies-inspired elegance with a dramatically draped, blood-orange Lanvin gown and asymmetrical ponytail to match, showing off glittering jewels and a baby bump!

Selena Gomez in Julien Macdonald

While she’s verging on doing her best young Morticia Addams impression, Selena gets points for daring to be different. She’s showing pop star prowess with this highly dramatic mullet gown, along with Brian Atwood pumps and a Judith Leiber clutch. Pale lavender nails and an easy updo mellow out a bold look.


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Zoe Saldana in Barbara Bui

The VMAs is the red-carpet opportunity to be playful and fun. Read a beaded mini and sky-high platform. Zoe does the look right (cast of “Jersey Shore,” take note!) with her leather-paneled Barbara Bui dress, perfectly placed bangles, and snakeskin Balenciaga sandals.

Katy Perry in Tom Ford

Katy’s three other outfits (among them, Christian Dior Couture pop art and an Atelier Versace kimono, complete with parasol) were total cartoon-chic, but she actually looks genuinely chic in this sheer lace embroidered Tom Ford gown.

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