When we heard that Tracee Ellis Ross was returning to host the 2018 American Music Awards for the second year in a row, we knew the show would be as much about fashion as music. After all, the former model and fashion editor has never shied away from a style statement. But Ross took it one step further, taking a cue from 2018 CFDA Awards host Issa Rae, choosing to wear only black designers on Tuesday night, a fact she joyfully announced to the AMAs audience while wearing a custom Dapper Dan x Gucci cape.
Throughout the course of the night, Ross would wear no less than 11 looks, starting with a boxy, cropped, hot pink, African-print custom suit by Selam Ghirmay Fessahaye that she donned for the red carpet rollout, followed by a blush and black tux by Pyer Moss for the official red carpet.
Ross’ other looks of the night included (in no particular order):
- A gold-mirrored dress by CD Greene.
- A red ball skirt by Shanel Campbell paired with a tee emblazoned with “I am a Voter” by x Karla.
- A tulle ballgown from Off-White’s Fall-Winter ‘18 collection
- A leopard-print gloved jumpsuit by Sergio Hudson with matching beret.
- An African print gown by Claude Lavie Kameni (our runaway favorite of the night)
- A double-breasted, sequined tuxedo dress by Olivier Rousteing at Balmain.
- A belted blue-violet gown by Déshon.
- An off-the-shoulder red jumpsuit from Cushnie’s Spring-Summer ‘19 collection.
And though we couldn’t see them, we also hear that Ross took her support head to toe, occasionally swapping out her Louboutins (fun fact: Christian Louboutin is half Egyptian) for footwear by Aminah Abdul Jillil.
You can catch the rest of Ross’ looks here, but let’s give it up for the hostess with the mostess’ love for black designers—a few of whom may have been given bigger exposure last night than they could’ve ever hoped to afford.
Of course, Ross wasn’t the only one making major fashion statements last night. Onstage and off, Cardi B went full old-school Latina silver screen star (think Carmen Miranda) ...
... while Mariah Carey’s performance look could best be described as Barbie-meets-Black Swan (she was snatched, though).
And Ciara’s look gave us late ‘90s-early aughts vibes that admittedly took us to a happier time and place.
In contrast to Sunday’s BET Hip Hop Awards, the AMAs red carpet was decidedly (and expectedly) more elegant. It should be noted that singer Ella Mai also went for a black designer, choosing a suit by Sergio Hudson. For all the looks (and a few style details, where we could grab them), check out our red carpet roundup, below.