Taylor Swift at the 2012 ARIA Awards.
Photo: Getty

Oh, what's a pop star to do? You're going to an awards show, and not only do you have to pick out a killer gown for the red carpet, but you ALSO have to come up with an amazing on stage look! So many outfits, so little time. While we sometimes wish we had reason for multiple costume changes throughout the day, it IS a delicate balance that must be struck when choosing one's looks for a show. At Australia's ARIA awards, two of our favorite ladies both on stage and on the carpet showed us how it's done with their looks. Taylor Swift took to the carpet in a stunning floor-length Ellie Saab gown. The dress, which featured a fitted bodice with a slightly-more-va-va-voom bustline than we're used to seeing on Taylor, had sheer panels along the sides and back. It's part Grecian goddess, part bridal, and part princess--just the right amount of grown up and youthful for our girl Tay. She kept her beauty look simple and elegant, her hair swept into a low bun, pink lips, and a smoky eye. The gown covers them, but beneath those cascading folds of fabric she was also wearing Jimmy Choo heels.

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Justin Bieber and Mariah Carey taping their Rockafeller Center tree-lighting performances.
Photo: NBC/Getty

If the holidays had a celebrity spokesperson, it would be Mariah Carey. The woman LOVES. CHRISTMAS. Like, we kind of think she has a secret wing of her house that's actually the North Pole, and she just hid it from us in that incredible episode of MTV Cribs where she keeps changing her outfit. Or maybe she has a magical Christmas wardrobe, Narnia-style, that transports you to Santa's workshop. Mariah can do anything. You know what, Mariah Carey is Santa Clause. How can we be so sure? Well forget for a second that "All I Want For Christmas Is You" is the single greatest Christmas song of all time. Forget that. Also forget how much Mariah likes to say "festive." You can discard all of that evidence and just LOOK AT HER OUTFIT for the Rockefeller Center Tree Lighting. Look at it long and hard and tell me your nose isn't filled with the scent of evergreen and gingerbread. The legendary diva was also joined onstage by Justin Bieber, who bundled up in a luxe military-inspired coat in textured leather with gold buttons and matching zippers. With two looks on the stage, however, Mariah really stole the show. To perform her aforementioned modern classic x-mas anthem, the singer wore a playful, structured red frock that we just can't get enough of. While the short frock might not be the most weather-appropriate, it's certainly, um, turning up the temperature with a plunging neckline and curve hugging skater silhouette in a shade so red it almost seems to vibrate. Throw in ornate silver beading and a pair of over-the-elbow gloves and Mariah is veritably ornament-like.

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Rihanna's outfits from London, Stockholm, and Toronto.
Photo: Getty

Internet time is like dog years: one day on the internet is like two weeks in real life, or even longer. With that in mind, it's been about forever since we were reintegrated into society from Rihanna's 777 Tour. The horrible flu we acquired while abroad lingers, as does the memory of her royal highness' performance outfits, so we wanted to break down our three favorite looks for you. Amidst a week of confusion, mayhem, hunger, and yeah OK, some really good times, the singer's performance outfits became something to look forward to each night, along with the moment in the DJ set when CongoRock played "Mercy" and everyone started dancing, if only for a moment. Rihanna's style has always been on point, not only because of expert styling but because of the way she wears her clothes. The woman can dress, and there's nobody who will try and argue with that.

Mary H.K. Choi: OK, so now that we're back from #RihannaPlane we've gained a certain degree of perspective and the one thing that I can say about the entire tour is that I was consistently impressed by the CLOTHES. What did you think?

Maud Deitch: I was too. I mean Rihanna is reliably on point, if not a little repetitive, in her street style. But being able to see the way that the different looks complemented each other and the venues was one of the most interesting parts of the whole experience.

MHKC: Yeah, I think Mel Ottenberg and Adam Selman killed it. Let's start with our favorites. I think we agree that the denim shorts and white tee/bodysuit situation in Stockholm was an outrageously strong look.

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Nicki Minaj American Music Awards

Nicki Minaj at the 2012 American Music Awards in L.A. on Nov. 18.
Photo: Getty Images

If there's one thing we can expect from the typically-unexpected style of Nicki Minaj, it's that when it comes to awards shows, she always buh-RINGS the drama. She somehow finds a way to impress us with one show-stopping ensemble after another, and tonight at the American Music Awards, she had—count it—not one, two, three, but FOUR outfit changes up her sleeve. Whew! She started off the evening in a canary yellow, ruched strapless Monique Lhuillier mermaid gown, which gave us totally glam vibes (especially paired with her killer Charles Albert technicolor baubles), and she kept her beauty game simple and straightforward with a light pink lip, smokey eyes, rosy cheeks, and a curly blonde bob. When Barbz hit the stage to perform her new single "Freedom," she totally transformed her look (yes, including her hair) into an all-white snow bunny ensemble complete with a decked out fur jacket, embellished hot pants, white tights, and giant fur boots. For a pop of color, she opted for a curly pink 'do and metallic blue lids.

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MC Hammer, PSY

MC Hammer and PSY at the 2012 American Music Awards.
Photo: Getty Images

PSY and his earwormy "Gangnam Style" have snowballed into a full-blown pop phenomenon. From SNL to in-flight entertainment to parody videos to awards show performances, the dude and his giddy-upping, mean-mugging moves are pretty much everywhere. Also, those statement shades and spectator wing-tips. And yet, given its near-omnipresence, we're still not tired of it. PSY's schtick continues to be fun and catchy and sosoSO unbelievably entertaining EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. without much changing. Well, believe it or not, the 2012 American Music Awards did us one even better tonight and gave us something we didn't realize we needed in our lives. PSY + MC Hammer wearing *drumrolllllll* Hammer pants. *GIGANTIC AUDIBLE GASP* Billowy, heavily draped, black-and-white, tuxedo-striped, inspired by harem pants but because they're worn by Mr. Stanley Burrell, they are HAMMER PANTS.

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Justin Bieber

Justin Bieber wears black, red, and drop-crotch pants at the 2012 American Music Awards.
Photo: Getty Images

Justin Bieber set pretty high style standards for himself with last year's AMA triple outfit tally, and while nothing will exactly rival the fact that dude switched his hair up THRICE in one awards show (without wigs!!!), Bieber's 2012 American Music Awards looks were simple and streamlined — an important and deliberate move for an artist aiming to define himself as more than just a teen idol. Before raking in a grand total of three AMA statues tonight (including coveted Artist of the Year honors), The Biebs hit the red carpet in an ALMOST all-black ensemble.

Justin was murdered out from head-to-ankle in modified clubmaster shades, a grandpa cardigan, a wet-look tank top, and black dress socks tucked into quilted drop-crotch sweatpants. Yep. QUILTED. DROP-CROTCH. SWEATPANTS. He gave the outfit a pop of color via red smoking slippers covered in black spikes and finished it off with one final red carpet accent piece: an icy single-strand chain. Bieber performed a two-song set for the 40th anniversary show in an outfit that kept many elements from his step-and-repeat look, namely the tank, the color scheme, and the *achem* abbreviated inseam.

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Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift at the 2012 American Music Awards in Los Angeles on Nov. 18.
Photo: Getty Images

After strutting the 2012 American Music Awards red carpet glowing in gold, locks swept back in a smooth chignon, Taylor Swift let her hair down for her onstage performance of "I Knew You Were Trouble." Appearing at the top of a grandiose staircase (we admit we were a little hopeful for some "Love Story" deja vu), the Favorite Female Country Artist looked beautiful in a delicate white dress with a sheer and embroidered bodice. She also kept her beauty game simple and sweet, missing that bold red pout she's been sporting while promoting her newest album, Red. But we know our girl, and as amazing as she looked, we figured she had a trick up her sleeve.

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Lady Gaga Versace

Donatella Versace and Lady Gaga cemented their BFF status last month in Milan.
Photo: Getty Images

Best friends do everything together, right? So if you're Lady Gaga and Donatella Versace, that means posing with pets on balconies, matching your hair color to THE perfect shade of Barbie blonde, and sharing clothes- yes, even really, really rare ones. But now these two have officially taken their bestie status to an epic new level with some seriously awesome breaking news: we hear that the Italian designer would be making Gaga's Born This Way wardrobe for the ENTIRE American leg of her tour! (Commence official freak out now.) Lady Gaga blasted the announcement out via Facebook and Twitter just mere hours ago, calling her upcoming outfits a "face-lift for America." We'll say!

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Rihanna performed on 'SNL' this weekend.
Photo: Photo: NBC/Universal

SNL has always been our go-to excuse to spend Saturday night on the couch, but last weekend's guest stars were epic enough to cancel ALL our plans and make a date with the TV. Along with host Anne Hathaway, our girl Rihanna made a cameo on the show- her second this year!- commanding the stage with performances of "Diamonds" and a new track "Stay." Her tripped-out '90s backdrop affirms what we already know: Rihanna's NEVER been one to do things halfway. So along with her screensaver-esque set, she totally upped the fashion ante as well in two ridiculously killer outfits. The pop star still took streetwear influence this time around, but ditched her over-the-knee boots and big tees from her last appearance for statement graphic prints. Proving that you can never have too much camo, RiRi rocked a spaghetti strap camo dress custom made by Adam Selman (yep, the same guy responsible for those Victoria's Secret ensembles). She paired it with a camouflage jacket by Carhartt, which you can score for yourself here. Topped off with classic Timberland boots, the result is TOTAL A/V overload, and obviously we love it.

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Psy performs "Gagnam Style" at the 2012 EMA.
Photo: Getty

The 2012 MTV EMA aired late last night on MTV2, but some of our fave performances weren't included in the US broadcast. Have no fear, though, because we have the performances you've seen AND all of the ones that you haven't yet, along with the AMAZING performance looks that went with them. While all of the performances were totally awesome, we had to narrow it down to our five faves. It was a challenging task, but in the end, Taylor Swift, Psy, Carly Rae Jepsen, Rita Ora, and Gwen Stefani reigned as our performance style faves. With looks ranging from the theatrical to the sultry, all of last night's performers brought it in a major way. Let's take a look at their performance style, shall we?

PSY

First up, Korean mega-star Psy performed his hit "Gagnam Style" in a sequined top that simultaneously reminded us of Michael Jackson's glittering performance looks during the "Billie Jean" era and something straight out of Star Trek. With a bright blue lapel and cuff details popping against pure black sparkle, Psy looked every bit the super star backed by his army of dancers. He finished the look with some excellently tailored trousers and classic black, classic white wingtips and, of course, a slick pair of shades. Check out the full performance video, as well as the rest of out favorite looks, after the jump.

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Featured Comment

I love these two as a couple. What a festive way to celebrate two important events in their life. Mariah looks like a dream.

Posted by Journey on Mariah Carey And Nick Cannon Shut Down Disneyland To Renew Vows In Cinderella-Themed Ensembles
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