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Award Show Fashion in the Era of COVID, a Reflection

2020 has been a very bizarre year for more reasons than one. The main story, obviously, has been COVID-19's takeover of the world and how it has impacted all forms of "normal" life, including live events such as award shows, usually involving large numbers of attendees. The initial round of Awards season, taking place between January and early March and featuring arguably the most important broadcasts such as the Academy Awards and Golden Globes, were untouched by the pandemic's wrath. However, with COVID-19 striking the US hard in mid-march, the rest of the years' festivities were greatly affected.

Who: Jaden Smith

Where: 2020 Video Music Awards

Photo: Rich Fury/Getty Images

In the early days of the pandemic's US explosion, it was simply expected that all events would be canceled, with the idea that the health crisis would be more under control in a few months. However, once it was realized that we weren't going to be in the clear anytime soon, organizations from sports associations to television networks were forced to figure out ways to produce quality events that also kept all participants safe. As award shows began to re-emerge, one big question loomed, "What would become of award show fashions now that red carpets and in-person shows would undoubtedly be non-existent?" The answer seems to be a reflection of the current mood, "wear whatever will make you happy."

Who: Maluma

What: Balmain

Where: 2020 Video Music Awards

Photo: Jeff Kravitz/MTV

Since summer, there have been several award shows that have attempted broadcasts despite the pandemic, and one thing that is clear is while the award shows themselves may have new, unconventional formats, they've still offered interesting men's fashion moments to discuss, despite the limited number of celebrities in attendance.

Who: Jeremy Pope

What: Louis Vuitton

Where: 2020 Primetime Emmy Awards

Photo: Instagram-@jeremypope

Let's face it, men's award show dressing can typically be kind of...uninspiring. However, this year we have seen some interesting takes on "red carpet" fashion from men that have helped add a little excitement to an otherwise gloomy year. Standout examples (and some of my personal favorites) include Maluma's head-to-toe neon Balmain exclusive from MTV's VMAs, Jeremy Pope's Louis Vuitton suit made out of the house's classic Damier print worn for the Emmys, and most recently Lil Nas X's snakeskin takes on Little Richard courtesy of Gucci at the Billboard Music Awards.

Who: Lil Nas X

What: Gucci

Where: 2020 Billboard Music Awards

Photo: Todd Williamson/NBC/NBCU Photobank via Getty Images

With no end in sight to the current crisis, it's clear that virtual award presentations (and events generally) aren't going anywhere anytime soon. However, it is good to know that the pandemic has not completely erased people's desires to get dressed-up and that in these trying times there are a few glimmers of glamour that continue to pop through every now and then. In this case, via some of our famous fashion favorites celebrating the best of the industries they represent.


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