Roughly one hour after celebrities started arriving on the Grammys’ red carpet, the Styles reporter and critic Guy Trebay had an observation. “In terms of men’s wear,” he wrote, there had been “far fewer outfits that look like it’s graduation day at Clown College than you’ll see at the average Met gala.”
Minutes later, Harry Styles showed up with his bare arms and chest poking through the top of a sparkling harlequin jumpsuit.
Mr. Styles wasn’t the only person to show skin on the red carpet. The singer-songwriter Steve Lacy went shirtless, Mary J. Blige bared her hips, and the singer Gayle wore a dress that revealed a lot more, including the stars covering her nipples. Those who didn’t turn heads with skin did so with bright colors: the rapper Fat Joe in pink, Kasey Musgraves in pale pink; Lizzo in orange; the singer Sam Smith and the singer Kim Petras together in red; and Taylor Swift in a blue just dark enough to be called midnight.
More subtle but no less striking was the Gucci dinner jacket worn by Trevor Noah, who returned to host his third Grammys show this year. Mr. Noah is said to prefer neutrals during hosting duties so as not to pull focus from the nominees. But in the cream-colored jacket, he stood out just the same.
Shania Twain: Most Seussical!
The singer’s unhinged Harris Reed pantsuit might have been the most unforgettable look of the night. The oversize bell hat conjured Yayoi Kusama by way of Linda Perry, and the red wig beneath it harked back to early-career Charli Baltimore. But for a star who just put out a new album after nearly losing her voice to complications from Lyme disease, it’s hard not to admire how Shania Twain dresses unapologetically on her own terms.
Lizzo: Most Coming-Up-Roses!
The orange Dolce & Gabbana cape that covered the singer’s head in flowers was both maximal and elegant. Enhancing the effect were the delicate spit curl on her forehead, the single flower in her hair, and eye shadow in shades that matched her dress.
Mary J. Blige: Most Shine-Your-Light!
If you were too busy basking in the singer’s silvery, crystal-embellished dress by The Blonds, you might have missed her telling Laverne Cox that she was just “grateful to still be here.” After getting to see Ms. Blige in the dress, aren’t fans the ones who should be grateful?
Harry Styles: Most Sexy Clown!
When you’re a superstar known as much for your sartorial swings as your relationships, you can’t do much better than evoke the harlequin, the love struck commedia dell’arte character known for escaping romantic scrapes with pluck — and for wearing a signature pattern of diamonds. Those on Mr. Styles’s wide-leg EgonLab jumpsuit are rendered in rainbow Swarovski crystals. And much to no one’s surprise — or disappointment — he opted for nothing underneath (up top, at least).
Brandi Carlile: Most Debonair!
Mr. Styles may get much of the attention for gender-fluid red carpet fashion, but the singer-songwriter Brandi Carlile’s penchant for twisting traditionally masculine codes is just as compelling. Her satin Atelier Versace suit, bedazzled down the sleeves and trousers, looked downright debonair, especially paired with the hot pink shirt and skinny tie.
Laverne Cox: Most Iconic!
“Cleopatra meets Goldfinger 2023” is how Laverne Cox described the sleeveless reptile skin dress by Kim Kassas that she wore while interviewing guests on the red carpet. According to her, the inspirations for the look included Andre Leon Talley and Claudette Colbert’s performance in the 1934 film “Cleopatra.”
Bebe Rexha: Most Barbiecore!
It wouldn’t be terribly surprising if this entire Moschino outfit was a promotional stunt for Greta Gerwig’s forthcoming “Barbie” film.
Taylor Swift: Most Antihero!
“Meet me at midnight,” are the first words on Taylor Swift’s new album. Her look tonight, true to the singer’s form, was right on theme: a dark blue Roberto Cavalli cropped turtleneck and floor-length skirt with just enough sequins to evoke the night sky.
Cardi B: Most Bomb-Cyclone!
The rapper’s futuristic electric blue gown by Gaurav Gupta came straight from the catwalk of the designer’s spring 2023 couture show. The sculptural look enveloped her shoulders and part of her head, bringing an otherworldly atmosphere to the red carpet.
Steve Lacy: Most Disciplined!
When it comes to styling, Mr. Lacy has no bad habits: He always manages to look fashion forward in very few moves. Though he did not wear a shirt with his double-breasted Saint Laurent suit, he held a shiny, black clutch as a glamorous uptown lady would at a fund-raiser. The pointy white tips of his shoes seemed to whisper, “I follow my own rules.”
Machine Gun Kelly: Most Confusing!
With his floppy bleached mop and sliver double-breasted Dolce & Gabbana suit, the pop-punk rapper went full Warhol Factory. The look, which was topped off by a bejeweled collar attached to a harness, made a fashion statement as muddled as his banter with Ms. Cox.
Kacey Musgraves: Most Pale Pink!
This was not the first time Ms. Musgraves has worn Valentino (or, for that matter, feathers made by the designer). But it’s likely the first time her look might have caused cotton-candy cravings as a side effect.
Fat Joe: Most Viva Magenta!
Continuing the monochrome theme that spontaneously took over the red carpet, Fat Joe wore a custom hot pink suit from 5001 Flavors, a boutique in Harlem. His outfit made a strong statement, not least because it came dangerously close to being a walking version of Pantone’s color of the year.
Doja Cat: Most Vinyl!
Pretty met punk in Doja Cat’s one-shoulder vinyl Versace gown, which she accessorized with matching gloves, spiral earrings and a Liza Minnelli pixie cut. The smoldering look was a reminder that the rapper does not need to come to an event painted in red to bring the heat.
Kim Petras & Sam Smith: Most Coordinated!
Even on a red carpet among eight other people wearing red, the singers Sam Smith and Kim Petras stood out. Chalk it up to the color, but also to the accessories: Between the two, there were a floor-length veil, a top hat, gloves and cane.
Jack Harlow: Most Heavy Handed!
The rapper Jack Harlow also accessorized with gloves; specifically, a black leather pair that gave an edge to his otherwise mostly monochromatic tan get-up. (Another unexpected element: the knit layer under his jacket.) Even the rapper knew he looked good in the Ernest W. Baker outfit: He described himself as a “snack” on the red carpet.
Mick Fleetwood: Most Confident!
This septuagenarian has nothing to prove. His suit had lots going on — exaggerated lapels, multiple patterns, a waistcoat and layers of chains — but somehow the eye settles. It is recognizably “rock” and unquestionably stylish.
Jeremy Allen, Stella Bugbee, Vanessa Friedman, Sadiba Hasan, Callie Holterman, Madison Malone Kircher, Anna Grace Lee, Louis Lucero, Shane O’Neil, Minju Pak, Anthony Rotunno and Marie Solis contributed reporting.