MTV Video Music Awards fashion: Sequins, snakes and meat dresses

If you crave old Hollywood glamour, wait for the Academy Awards. Actresses in satin dresses, dripping with millions of dollars of borrowed diamonds, enchant us in February.

But for sheer fashion nuttiness and fun, tune into the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards Sunday, Aug. 25. The live show, beginning with an hour pre-show, is the one where fashion risks go to the next level and become fashion dares.

Given that this is the 30th anniversary of the awards show celebrating music videos, it's fitting to take a look back at some of the wonderful fashions over the years. On what other show has anyone worn a meat dress?

Who else would turn beef into fashion, carry off a steak on her head with aplomb and somehow make raw meat look chic? Argentine designer Franc Fernandez designed the dress for the 2010 awards, which incidentally went on display at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. No worries about rotting meat, though; taxidermists turned the dress into jerky, which can probably sustain a nuclear blast. Oh, and when wearing a side of beef, accessorizing is crucial. Here, Lady Gaga wears matching meat shoes (heels, of course) and carried a meat purse.

The 2010 VMAs were just something special with fashion. And yes, we have seen Cher in sheer black netting with thigh-high boots, glitter and leather before. On anyone else that would be tawdry, but on Cher it's signature fabulous. Sequins were invented for her, and here she is, at 64, completely rocking so little clothing that this just had to be included in a story of great MTV Video Awards fashions.

So many looks, so much styling. But how can we forget Madonna's Marie Antoinette vogue number of 1990? The satin, the lace, the heaving bosom, the pearls and wig. For those who don't remember the vogue phase, just head to a club where it's tough to gain admission and pose, then do it again but far more dramatically, and act as if you are the only person in the universe.

Not every man can carry off a cobalt jumpsuit. But how many men are Prince? Not one to let a shimmery, second-skin cobalt jumpsuit stand on its own, Prince accessorized it with a waist-and-neck chain, rings, earrings and hair beads to match the ensemble. Fittingly, it was the awards of 1999, and he had to party like it was.

Where else would belly-ring bling and an albino Burmese python be right? Add to that barely-there bejeweled shorts, a scarflike bra top and intricately beaded boots, and you have Britney Spears' 2002 outfit.

Those following the VMAs know that we purposely omitted Lil Kim's unfortunate gown designed to fully expose one breast, over which she demurely wore a lavender pasty. You have to give her credit, though; it's not easy to come up with an outfit too crazy for the Video Music Awards.
Photo/Video credit: MTV