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The VMAs Remind Us How Much Clothes Matter to Music

Music isn’t technically a visual medium, but music today is nearly inseparable from the imagery that goes along with it — whether that be an outfit a singer wears when performing, the cover art of an album, or the video that goes with the song. Visuals can give lyrics alternative meanings, convey the artist’s mood, and help connect with a certain kind of audience.

The VMAs are the ultimate recognition of that fact. While the Grammys celebrate what you hear, MTV’s Video Music Awards have always celebrated what you see, and that includes clothing.

The outfit, hair, and makeup choices that artists make help give dimension to their music and their identities as we know them, which is why we spend so much time talking to the designers, the directors, and the artists themselves about those choices. Here are some of the highlights from the past year.


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Kesha’s "Praying" Video Looks Are a "F*cked-Up Angelic" Fever Dream

Kesha’s stylist Samantha Burkhart discusses how "Praying," Kesha's first single in four years, came together.


Haim’s Stylist on Dressing the "Swaggy" Sister Act

A chat with Brooklyn-based stylist Rebecca Grice, who has been the fashion force behind the trio’s wardrobes since 2013.


The Costume Designer for "Bad Liar" on Dressing Selena Gomez in ’70s Vintage

The video’s wardrobe steals the show thanks to Kari Perkins, the designer known for her collaborations with director Richard Linklater.


Charli XCX Doesn’t Care If You Hate Her Style

The pop phenom talks about her ever-evolving style, vintage shopping tips, and her diplomatic approach to handling fashion criticism.


Little Big Town’s Karen Fairchild on the Endless Appeal of Fringe

From Dolly Parton to Loretta Lynn, the women of the country music world have long favored dramatic dressing — and Karen Fairchild is no exception.

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