The MTV Video Music Awards (or the VMAs, as it’s more commonly known) is a mix between an actual awards show and a crazy house party-meets-rave extravaganza. This show has produced some of the most memorable performances and pop-culture shocks we’ve ever seen, including Britney dancing with a boa snake around her neck, Britney and Madonna locking lips, and Kanye stealing the mic from Taylor Swift mid-speech. It’s the teen alternative to the Grammys and it honors music videos for achievements in many categories. Ultimately, the VMAs remind us all what MTV is really about: music television. Of course, every awards show, no matter how performance-centered, is really all about the red carpet fashion. Enjoy some of the good, the best, the bad, and the plain ugly from the red carpet of the 2012 MTV Video Music Awards!

Alicia Keys in Vauthier

Eh. I hate beginning a fashion wrap with a dress I feel so lukewarmly about, but there it is. I just don’t love this dress. Her hair is pretty great, totally fits her face and looks chic-er than ever, but the first time I saw the dress I thought of one of the shiny, plastic tablecloths you can get from Party City. I still stand by that, but I do think she looks good, just not great or outstanding in any way. I hate the one sleeve and I hate the mid-section (is that ruching?), but all in… not terrible. I’m just underwhelmed.

Amber Rose

Oh, wow. This couple. Look at his ankles for a minute. Does he not look just hysterical? The answer is yes. Okay, moving on to Amber Rose, who’s pulling a serious Beyonce baby bump reveal right here! The dress is pretty, although I think it looks a bit too severe, buttoned up, and fancy for this event. Fancy dresses are definitely encouraged for this event, but they tend to be on the edgier, more revealing side. I feel like she is probably sweating bullets, too. How is that dress possiblly comfortable? She could’ve definitely looked better, but I have to say, she does look great either way.

Demi Lovato

One word: amazing. From head to toe. Hair, makeup, and dress are all fantastic. She looks great and so happy and healthy, which makes me really happy. The dress is awesome and perfect for the event–miniature, sparkly, black, and edgy. She looks fierce–especially with those closed platform booties and the cropped leather jacket with spikes.  Aside from receiving fashion accolades, Demi also received the award for “Best Video with a Message” and being my personal best-dressed of the evening!

Emma Watson in Peter Pilotto and Tom Ford Shoes

Emma Watson, pictured here with the terribly dressed but gorgeous specimen that is Ezra Miller, is usually flawless. The truth is, even in this heinous design, she still looks flawless. Her face is gorgeous as usual and her hair and general manner are all perfect. But… that dress. I always ask why of celebrities and, of course, there is no answer because they don’t need to explain their crazy fashion picks, but I really wish Emma would explain this one. It kind of reminds me of the type of train wreck that Kristen Stewart would wear. The top and bottom clash with each other and everything in between clashes as well. The skirt looks knit and the top looks mesh and none of it works.

Kat Graham

This. Is. Intense. Is this whole color called Bordeaux? Like, wine? Burgundy? Either way, it’s very in for fall but I feel like this is going a bit far trend-wise. You have the cheetah print bandeaux popping out, the spikes on those (hideous) shoes, and then the super tight suit. I love that suits made a few appearances on the carpet (see: Taylor Swift) and it looks very chic indeed, but it definitely needs to be toned down. Kat Graham is known for her no-apologies style and, truthfully, I think it does pay off. Even with this uber trendy and intense ensemble, she looks striking and completely chic.

Katy Perry in Elie Saab, Jimmy Choo Shoes, Sethi Couture Ring

It’s kind of like a t-shirt with a veil extending to the ground, isn’t it? I’m loving the leather detail and I love-love-love the black with bright blue and red sparkle with the train, but something isn’t working. It might just be that we’re all used to seeing Katy in costumes designed for limited edition Barbies and Harajuku dolls. Katy definitely looks classy and put together, but keeps it laid back and edgy. Love!

Ke$ha in Zaldy, Prada Shoes, Karma El Khalil Rings and Earrings, Marie Todd Ring

This kind of reminds of the rebel/crack addicted offspring of the already awful Katy Perry figure skater dress from the 2010 VMAs. Remember that one? It was terrible. Ke$ha, who apparently designed this herself, is obviously trying to clean herself up. Case in point: her face isn’t caked under smeared kohl and glitter. She doesn’t have feather and/or vomit in her hair. She is not wearing a garbage bag. (See: Ke$ha at the 2010 VMAs.) From the neck down, nothing about this works. The dress is just ugly and does absolutely nothing to flatter her figure. The shoes are even worse than the dress and even worse than both of those is that weird-ass feather bag. Absolutely terrible (worst-dressed of the night!), but I do applaud her makeup and hair artists–she looked gorgeous!

Miley Cyrus in Emilio Pucci, Edie Parker Clutch, Christian Louboutin Shoes, Lorraine Schwartz Jewelry

Miley is so close right here to being my best-dressed of the evening (this title has already been awarded to my lovely Demi Lovato), but the hair has totally killed this whole look for me. The dress is amazing–love the sheer, love the color, love the cleavage. She looks edgy and chic and classic and daring all at once. But that hair? Why does it need to be so high? Why does it need to be so straight up in air? She would have just looked so much better with her hair flat and perhaps done up a little messily. I appreciate the high fashion element of hair like this, but sometimes high is too high. Amiright, ladies?!

Nicki Minja in Versace

Aaaaand we can always count on dear old Nicki to provide us with some fashion entertainment when we get bored of the same old sparkles, sequins, and high slits. What can I say about this outfit? She’s wearing a cop hat from a blinged out Halloween costume, some kind of Lady Gaga yellow hair redux style, and… a jumpsuit. Um. That’s what this is. I cannot describe it further than that. The fishnets pull this all together, I guess? The shoes are fierce. Honestly, this makes as much sense to me as quantum physics, but it wouldn’t be MTV (or an event with Nicki) without a little fashion confusion which, ultimately, is the most fun anyway.

P!nk in Stella McCartney, Loree Rodkin Jewelery, Giuseppe Zanotti Shoes

This dress is so silly. First of all, why is she wearing a long, high collar, long-sleeved dress? So. Hot. Overall, I definitely like this dress. It’s kind of ladylike with a very rocker and edgy feel. Very off-beat glamor. I could’ve lived without the earrings, the pumps are nothing special, and her hair is styled in typical Pink fashion. I wish the slit had been higher but, hey, we can’t all be Angelina Jolie.

Rashida Jones in Narcisco Rodriguez, Giuseppe Zanotti Shoes, Graziela Earrings, Neil Lane Cuff and Ring

Ah-maayyyzingg!! I’ve been seeing Rashida in such blah pieces lately, so it’s refreshing to see her in something so form-fitting and edgy! She just looks great–showing a lot of skin, wearing the fierce leather, hair pulled back. I love everything about it. It’s nothing outrageous or hall-of-fame awesome, but she looks freakin’ awesome.

Rihanna in Adam Selman, Neil Lane Earrings, Jacqui Aiche Rings

Ooh, so casual! Looks like Clavin Klein a bit… should I not say that? It reminds me of Calvin Klein, OK?! I actually kind of hate this. Apparently people are thinking this is an amazing ensemble–I definitely love her new hair and that red lip (she looks gorg)–but the dress looks like a beach sarong tied around a tank top. I like the concept and general look of the pain and chic white dress, but it’s just not working. And those sandals gotta go. Sorry, RiRi.

Rita Ora in an Emilio Pucci Jumpsuit, Jimmy Choo Clutch, Christian Louboutin Pumps, Alex Woo Necklaces

HOLY wow. It looks like the sequin section of Michael’s craft store exploded on this jumpsuit. Doesn’t this look like it probably hurts to stand in, let alone sit down in? Everything about this is wrong. I love the totally bling concept, but in practice, it seems to fall flat, no? I’m trying to find something about this I like, but unfortunately I cannot. She may be ousting Ke$ha in the worst-dressed category….

Taylor Swift in a J. Mendel Suit, Tom Ford Shoes, Lorraine Schwartz Jewelry

 Dayum, TayTay. First a fierce new breakup single that breaks industry records and then this totally chic, I’m-in-charge, white hot suit at the VMAs? I am impressed, and that’s saying something for a person who worships the ground this woman walks on. The shoes are an awesomely fun addition and I love how perfectly tailored the suit is. Also loving the shout-outs to her new album (“Red”) with the red lip and nails. The long, straight hair is also amazing–so grown up and mature. She looks faboosh.

Zoe Saldana in Ferragamo, Alexander McQueen Clutch, Ludevine Earrings, Kathy Rose Ring, Karma El Khalil Ring

She’s wearing a blanket that is in the middle of unraveling. Dress is blah, color is blah-er, shoes totally don’t go with this updated grandma look. Plus, her hair is messy. Also, stand up straight woman! She was standing like that the whole night. Why?!

Agree? Disagree? Tell us in the comments below!