Lit looks at the MTV VMAs

The good, the bad and the baddest on MTV’s white carpet

Beyoncé and Blue Ivy arrived early to the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards (VMA) and shut the whole thing down.

Not that this was surprising. Mrs. Carter has been a world-class red-carpet slayer since her days as the breakout star of the R&B group Destiny’s Child. Actually, what am I saying? You know Mama Tina and Daddy Knowles probably installed a fake practice red carpet in the basement of their Houston home as a kindergarten graduation present for Beyoncé and her ride-or-die sister, Solange.

Anyway, this was Blue Ivy’s first official turn on the red — or white — carpet as her mom’s date, and the 4-year-old had the photographers (and viewers at home) losing it. Beyoncé wore a feathered, sparkly blue wing dress by Italian designer Francesco Scognamiglio (adds to list of people I need to know) and baby girl was decked out in a tiered, frilly tutu, pink high-top sneakers, lots of sequins and a mini goddess tiara.

Beyoncé also brought along an entourage of incredible ladies to be a part of her #BeyHive. Actress Quvenzhané Wallis, model Winnie Harlow and the mothers of shooting victims Trayvon Martin, Oscar Grant, Michael Brown and Eric Garner were invited to appear on the red carpet alongside the singer, who had 11 VMA nominations for her visual album Lemonade, including a nomination for Video of the Year for her song Formation and one for Best Female Video for her song Hold Up. But what’s an award when you and your crew can swipe the top style prize from anyone who dares to follow in your wake?

Singer-songwriter Beyoncé Knowles and guests attend the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards at Madison Square Garden on Aug. 28 in New York City.

Kevin Mazur/WireImage

After the “Ladies of Lemonade” dropped the fashion mic, all the other stars on the white carpet at Madison Square Garden in New York sort of disappeared into the late-summer haze of the Manhattan night. The VMAs, now in their 22nd year, were never meant to be a serious affair, and thankfully, the fashion choices of the attendees are always among the least formal of any must-see TV award show. Cue rapper Kanye West and his wife Kim Kardashian West, who apparently decided to come to the VMAs straight from a tough Bikram yoga class. Wet hair, white T-shirt and a see-through bathing suit cover-up — this is a Hollywood couple who rolls to the beat of their own drum machine.

Kanye West and Kim Kardashian West attend the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards at Madison Square Garden on Aug. 28 in New York. (Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)

Best-dressed man of the night goes to actor/rapper Jaden Smith, who at 18 is more sincerely stylish than people who’ve been on the scene for longer than he’s been alive. The long blazer over a mesh tank top and upswept dread locks were at once sophisticated and intriguing, with overtones of colorful African pattern mixing and Belgian menswear styling. Here’s a kid who can walk the streets of any city in the world and look modern and hip. Rappers, actors, models, stylists and artists of any gender — hey, take your pick these days! — should be taking notes from Will and Jada Pinkett Smith’s kid. Well done.

Actor and model Jaden Smith attends the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards at Madison Square Garden on Aug. 28 in New York. (Kevin Mazur/WireImage)

Yes to rapper 2 Chainz! Tie that double-G, aka Gucci, silk scarf tied around your brow! Throw on all that diamonds and gold jewelry with a button-down, black trousers and desert boots designed by Alessandro Michele. More is more is more. Pile it on, boo. You look great.

Rapper 2 Chainz attends the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards at Madison Square Garden on Aug. 28 in New York. (Kevin Mazur/WireImage)

Meek Mill and Nicki Minaj, partners in rap and real-life love, arrived on the white carpet and the Sesame Street song One of These Things (is Not Like the Other) immediately came to mind. The Pinkprint rapper’s royal blue cutout gown with a mermaid train was elegant and sexy, which needed a bit more of a boyfriend assist than black jeans and a letterman bomber jacket. But love means never having to say you’re sorry, especially if your man gives you a ring the size of a Buick. Extra gold star points to Nicki for the best makeup and hair of the night.

Rappers Meek Mill (L) and Nicki Minaj attend the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards at Madison Square Garden on Aug. 28 in New York. (Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage)

Jill Hudson is the senior style writer for the Undefeated. She is an evolved nerd, a caffeinated shoe fanatic, and a maker of long lists and perfect martinis.