Most award shows feature a parade of perfectly coiffed starlets in next season’s couture with dewy skin and polished hair. In fact, J. Crew’s Jenna Lyons just told Into the Gloss that she and Vogue’s Anna Wintour have discussed the need to muss everyone up a bit, “Everyone was so perfect! Everyone’s tan and primped and coifed and there’s no ease.” It’s probably not what she had in mind, but MTV’s Video Music Awards are this weekend—and it’s the one red carpet on which everyone lets their freak flag fly. Artists show off their most creative outfits, from sort of funky to just plain bizarre, making the red carpet its own show.
To mark 30 years of VMA wildness, we’ve rounded up 16 looks that were so far from the norm, we’re still talking about them.