Much like the Golden Globes before it, the 63rd annual Grammy’s joined the pandemic-awards season under a cloud of controversy. The award ceremony’s lead up was defined by those refusing to attend, among the high profile absentees The Weeknd, Justin Bieber and Drake.
And yet the minute Harry Styles graced the red carpet looking every inch the natural successor to Freddie Mercury, Mick Jagger or David Bowie, the noise of the past fortnight proved hard to hear.
Such is the magnetism of awards shows (at a time when content starved audiences are desperate for entertainment) that once things got underway, the focus shifted purely to the who, why, and what are they wearing.
Harry Styles’ Feather Boa Steals The Show
From the moment One Direction ceased to be a global superpower, Harry Styles has quietly gone about becoming the single most significant male act in music.
Tonight proved his coming-of-age, the Grammy’s were wild about Harry, and he seemed to relish in the role of fluid popstar while also convincing us that the feather boa may be the ultimate accessory. Harry Styles’ feather boa was an eye-catching accessory on both the red carpet and his scintillating performance, which opened the Grammy Awards.
On the red carpet, Styles rocked a yellow, ’70s-inspired houndstooth blazer, brown velvet pants, cream-coloured shoes, and a pink-hued shirt with a low V-shaped neckline. Plus the purple boa.
When it came time to take to the stage, opening proceedings with Grammy-nominated Watermelon Sugar, a shirtless Styles had switched into a leather Gucci suit, this time in a green feather boa.
Responsible for the all-leather look and double boa phenomenon was Style’s longtime stylist Harry Lambert, who took to Instagram to share the soon-to-be iconic outfit.
Up for three awards on the night, including best pop solo performance, best pop vocal album, and best music video, all eyes were on Styles, and he executed the role of ‘opening act’ flawlessly.
Trust in Trevor
Taking place in Los Angeles, the Grammy Awards were a blend of virtual attendees and in-person nominees. The Daily Show host Trevor Noah was tasked with ensuring the Grammys were entertaining while also deftly avoiding any mention of the controversies that have haunted the awards ceremony in the lead-up.
Noah didn’t miss a beat beginning the broadcast with a trademark barb that promptly set the tone for the remainder of the ceremony.
Trevor Noah kept it classic and straightforward for his hosting gig, sporting a custom black tuxedo from Gucci, with a sparkling brooch by Tiffany & Co. Noah topped it off with a black bow tie and shoes.
The man looked sharp, but his opening bit was even sharper, covering everything from the Royal interview to the Capitol riots and COVID-19 protocols.
— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) March 15, 2021
“Rest assured, everyone here is following all Covid-19 protocols and guidelines. This is going to be the rare awards show where the white stuff going up people’s noses is cotton swabs. Pretty safe,” he said.
It seemed even Noah had fallen under the spell of Harry Styles feather boa, joking, “Tonight’s all about bringing us all together as only music can, music and vaccines. Tonight, we’ll celebrate music and hopefully forget all of our problems unless one of our problems is getting obsessed with Harry Styles because that’s only going to get worse.”
BTS With That Louis V Drip
We may have struggled to move on from Harry Styles’ feather boa had it not been for the striking appearance of K-POP supergroup, BTS.
The group were nominated for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance, and while they may have missed out, they didn’t fail to make a mark on the red carpet.
The entire BTS clan turned up to the Grammy Awards dripping in head to toe Louis Vuitton. The colourway was a delightful spread black, white, and tan, and it was hard to look past BTS as best dressed on the red carpet.
It’s worth noting that while the Grammy’s were taking place, the hashtag #FuckTheGrammys was trending globally.
The Grammy’s have been the target of much criticism over the past year, notably from The Weeknd, who failed to land a single nomination despite having the biggest song of 2020 in Blinding Lights and a double-platinum album in After Hours.
“The Grammys remain corrupt,” he tweeted when the shortlists were unveiled in November. “You owe me, my fans and the industry transparency.”
The Grammys remain corrupt. You owe me, my fans and the industry transparency…
— The Weeknd (@theweeknd) November 25, 2020
Also joining the chorus of critics was Harry Styles former bandmate, Zayn Malik.
.@recordingacad are moving in inches and we need to move in miles. I’m keeping the pressure on & fighting for transparency & inclusion. We need to make sure we are honoring and celebrating “creative excellence” of ALL. End the secret committees. Until then … #fuckthegrammys
— zayn (@zaynmalik) March 14, 2021
The awards have previously been subject to criticism due to their shadowy selection criteria. The highly controversial review commits withing the Recording Academy have the final say on all nominees. Such a lack of transparency has led to calls of bias, racism, and the nominations’ failure to accurately award artists worthy of a nomination.
The Weekend has since announced he will boycott the Grammys in the future and will no longer submit his records for nomination. Following the news, Grammys president Harvey Mason Jr told the New York Times: “We’re all disappointed when anyone is upset. But I will say that we are constantly evolving. And this year, as in past years, we are going to take a hard look at how to improve our awards process, including the nomination review committees.”
The Weeknd, Drake, Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, Frank Ocean, Nicki Minaj, Halsey, Zayn Malik, Jay-Z — are among some of the biggest names that have explicitly and publicly criticized the #Grammys in recent years.https://t.co/1X8JgIP0Q6
— The New York Times (@nytimes) March 14, 2021
Best of The Rest
Perhaps due to being hemmed in by the pandemic for so long, many Grammy nominees chose to ditch the muted tones in favour of colour clashing.
Fresh from his Ricky Regal drop with Lacoste, Bruno Mars channelled 70s glamour alongside Grammy winner Anderson.Paak.
Meanwhile, Billie Eilish and her brother, Finneas, were equally experimental, their matching face masks proving that being COVID-conscious never has to be dull.
Click here for the complete list of Grammy winners though as far as we’re concerned, the biggest winner on the night was Harry Styles’ Feather Boa.