Last night’s 35-hour-long BET Awards performance featured a reunion performance by Puff Daddy and the Family, which could have served as an overarching theme for the dress code: summer whites are so hot right now, and half the attendees could have headed straight to the Hamptons after the ceremony for a Diddy White Party.
Grecian goddess was a major theme: Jazmine Sullivan’s short cape gave her a distinct superhero aura—Storm, is that you?—while Monica’s gown was more classic Parthenon, and was only missing a little olive branch crown. Patti Labelle has found the kaftan of my dreams, evoking both resort chill and choir robe formal, as only she could.
Laverne Cox always looks good but here she is particularly luminous, the subtle cut-outs on the sides complimenting the massive leg slit. MC Lyte and Zendaya went more partyzone, with cute minis that emphasized unique detailing. Zendaya in particular looks like a crystal ball.
BFFs Blacc Chyna and Amber Rose wore matching-best-friend ensembles in homage to the USA’s newfound marriage equality; were I their stylist, I would have hemmed Amber’s bustier a bit and swapped out Chyna’s shoes for something simpler, but who am I to stand in the way of love? Farnsworth Bentley stuck to the crispy dress code in satins, and also, that is Farnsworth Bentley. Karrueche broke up the gleaming with sheer detailing and a microbra that looks like it is made of picket fences.
Not everyone was so stark, though! Andra Day had one of my favorite looks (and performances, what they let us see of it): her signature Rosie the Riveter moll style with Billie Holiday pin-up bangs. Speaking of throwbacks, how about the god Faith Evans wearing a mini-fur jacket straight from the “Love Like This” era? Reliable as ever.
I love a full commitment to hue, and Keyshia Cole looks cute as hell in her all-over cobalt blue look (plus I must commend her for finding an outfit in the same color family as her hair dye). Naturi Naughton was lovely in a custom Kyemah McEntyre gown, about which you can read more here.
Even in the summer, though, nothing’s more chic than classic black. Gabrielle Union is so glamorous in a sequin Halston Heritage gown with a cut-out back, while Janelle Monáe gothed it up in an embroidered cape by SAFIYAA London. And oh my goodness, did Kelly Rowland slay. Did you see her when she took the stage in this ostrich feather gown? Did she not look like pure royalty?
Mila J, also in superhero zone with a loincloth-y gown, but here she’s more Resident Evil and looks like she could stomp you out in the streets. Nicki Minaj, in a CEO-ass pencil skirt, can stomp you out on the mic and in the boardroom, thank you very much. Shaun Ross wins for best accessory—one of those motorized segway thingies that probably eliminated the monotony of the step-and-repeat.
Minaj wore two gowns, actually—this lace Givenchy with the oversized zipper corresponded to her lovely mother Carol Miraj’s black-and-gold number. Ciara’s Wes Gordon jam was full of plaid Swarovskis, while B. Scott’s covetable peach fringe party frock brightened up the no-nonsense business zone of Laverne Cox’s red carpet look.
And while everyone here looked lovely, this was their one true spirit guide, hallelu hallelu:
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Images via Getty