Frank Ocean

Frank Ocean performs at the 2012 MTV Video Music Awards.
Photo: Getty Images

There was absolutely no other 2012 VMA I was singularly more excited to watch than Frank Ocean's stripped down and subdued "Thinkin Bout You." If you weren't already a fan of the soulful crooner before tonight, I hope this, his very first VMA performance, has made you a believer. I could yammer all night about his silky runs, effortless Marvin Gaye-channelling falsetto, and his unmistakable tone, but we're here to talk about FASHUN. Frank isn't one for sartorial theatrics, and his go-to outfits usually consist of graphic tees - maybe a collared shirt, if he's feeling fancy. Tonight, though, he changed things up wearing all-black head-to-toe, save his trademark rising sun bandana.

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One Direction Video Music Awards

One Direction performs at the 2012 Video Music Awards on Sept. 6 in L.A.
Photo: Getty Images

Just putting it out there, we HATE playing favorites. But after seeing both One Direction and The Wanted make consecutive appearances on the VMA stage just mere minutes ago, we're seriously torn between the two in a way that we can't quite ignore. Sure, we have a special place in our hearts for Niall, Liam, Harry, Louis and Zayn's earwormy songs and irresistible Brit charm (ahem, and covetable hair). But at the same time, there's just something about The Wanted's rebellious smirks that tugs at our bad boy weakness. Yeah, the same kind of weakness that always made us want to sneak out of the house late at night to meet up with friends back in the day...admit it, you feel it too! Which is why we're dying to know: which boy band had better style at the Video Music Awards tonight?

The Wanted at the Video Music Awards

The Wanted at the 2012 Video Music Awards on Sept. 6 in L.A.
Photo: Getty Images

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Rihanna

Rihanna switches up outfits from the red carpet to the stage.
Photo: Getty Images

I'll admit it. I was totally floored when Rihanna showed up at yesterday's 2012 VMA rehearsals with REALLY short hair. (Maybe it has a little something to do with the fact that I haven't changed my hairstyle in approximately eight years, but I digress...) Usually a drastic hair alteration isn't something you want to risk debuting at a major public appearance, but we all know Rih is the Queen of IDGAF and can pull off literally anything she wants. Por ejemplo: this here red carpet to stage switcheroo!

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Demi Lovato Video Music Awards

Demi Lovato performs at the 2012 Video Music Awards on Sept. 6 in L.A.
Photo: Getty Images

We've spent all week placing bets about what Demi Lovato would wear while she performed "Give Your Heart A Break" at tonight's Video Music Awards pre-show. Would she go bold with punchy neon prints a la Versace? Would she work the baroque trend with a lavish embellished number from Balmain? Turns out, she did none of the above and instead pulled out a look she's been killing all summer long on X-Factor- glitter, studs, and lots of leather. She rocked a black minidress, complete with an adorable skater skirt and sparkles all over, literally shimmering onstage as she belted out the track. Paired with studded black booties and an epic embellished motorcycle jacket (seriously, we want one for ourselves, STAT), she stayed totally on-trend with other red carpet faves in dark hues tonight like Miley Cyrus and Ke$ha.

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One Direction Video Music Awards Rehearsal

One Direction rehearses for the Video Music Awards at the Staples Center in L.A. on Sept. 5.
Photo: John Shearer/Invision for MTV

“…You make my heart race.” It’s hilarious but I did not fully expect to be as SMITTEN KITTEN the moment the handsome, young (stress on YOUNG) lads of One Direction hit the stage. Yet here I am in the Staples Center the day before the 2012 MTV Video Music Awards unprepared for how legitimately magnetic the fellas are. You can only imagine what the performance will be like live on the night of the VMAs when they’re flanked by throngs of screaming fans who have all been toiling to make sure that the Irish/English quintet win over Justin Bieber for the new ‘Most Share-Worthy Video’ category.

Made famous by X-Factor and pop svengali Simon Cowell, One Direction is of course comprised of Niall Horan, Liam Payne, Harry Styles, Zayn Malik and Louis Tomlinson and each are wearing some variation of jeans and a tee or flannel. It’s classic rehearsal garb—sneakers are scuffed, denim well worn and the button-downs are beloved and rumpled but we need to talk about the hair. THE HAIR IS PRISTINE. It’s hysterical that each dude—from Harry’s tousled fringe to Zayn’s two-tone pompadour to Niall’s shock of sculpted blond locks—boasts a performance-ready look.
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A$AP Rocky

A$AP Rocky will perform with Rihanna at the 2012 MTV Video Music Awards.
Photo: Getty Images

ZOMG, guys. Forgive us for the rampant abbreviations, capitalizations, and punctuations that are sure to follow because we're finally able to publicly rejoice that A$AP Rocky is JOINING Rihanna on stage at the 2012 VMAs. (!!!!!!) That pretty mother--y'know is linking up with Rih for a special remix of "Cockiness (Love It)" (an MTV exclusive you can actually listen to RIGHT NOW), and, as if that weren't enough, the powerhouse duo will open the show! *grips mouth to keep from squealing* We've already mused about what Rihanna will wear on stage, but now, we're turning our focus to A$AP's TBD performance togs, specifically his pants.

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Nicki Minaj, VMAs

Nicki Minaj at the MTV Video Music Awards in 2011 (left) and 2010.
Photo: Getty Images

Are ya'll ready for this?! Your Tuesday afternoon is about to get a WHOLE lot more exciting, because Nicki Minaj will be performing at the 2012 VMAs! (Pause for excited dancing.) Yep, that's right. She'll be joining fellow performers Frank Ocean, Rihanna, and Taylor Swift onstage at the Staples Center this Thursday night for a sure-to-be-epic live show. We've already started counting down the days, hours, and even MINUTES until she hits the stage, but there's something equally important we need to discuss about Nicki's upcoming VMA performance right now...and that's her outfit, obviously. No lie, it's going to be pretty tough to top the amazingly out-there candy raver ensemble she worked last year, a look SO obsession-worthy, we even dissected it all piece by piece! She set the bar seriously high with 2011's pink and yellow beehive hairdo, surgical mask, and metallic-Anime-candy motif outfit, but if anyone can push the originality envelope even further, it's Nicki.

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Lil Wayne VMA performance outfit

Lil Wayne performing at the 2008 VMAs and 2011 VMAs.
Photo: Getty Images

Oh, HAI. Surprise! Lil Wayne is performing at the 2012 VMAs! He joins the INCREDIBLE roster of artists announced so far (Rihanna, Taylor Swift, Demi Lovato, and Frank Ocean, just to name a few), but of course we have one question foremost on our minds—what will he wear? Well, judging by the last two times he performed at the Video Music Awards, not much! At the 2008 show, he managed to strip down to just his white jeans, barcode-printed belt, black high-top Supras, and, erm, navy Polo Ralph Lauren undies. Despite his shirtless top half, he still managed to accessorize to the max with double platinum diamond chains and oversized sunnies.

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Gwen Stefani at the MTV Video Music Awards in 2005 and 1998.
Photo: Getty Images

Considering it's a total mishmash of some of the most creative stars in music, there's no question the MTV Video Music Awards is pretty much a MECCA for originality. We've seen some seriously awesome outfits pass through the VMAs in the show's 28-year-run, from Madonna's "Like a Virgin" wedding gown to Lady Gaga's meat dress and literally everything in between. Although we hate to play favorites, we've narrowed down the list of the most original VMA outfits over the two-plus decades...and noticed some repeat offenders along the way. Exhibit A: No Doubt frontwoman and fashion MVP Gwen Stefani, who manages to step out on a style limb every single appearance, and STILL looks amazing. Way back in 1998, she worked one of her most iconic outfits yet- a fuzzy blue bikini top, baggy pants under a skirt (!) and platform sandals. Oh hiiii '90s! She also topped off all of this in Gwen S. staples, wild blue hair and a bindi... a look that's been replicated by other red carpet originals over the years.

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Womp alert: Florence Welch announced yesterday that she's planning on taking a yearlong hiatus from music before tackling the followup to her 2011 album Ceremonials. The upcoming break is undoubtedly well-deserved (the girl has been BUSY!), but we've got to admit, it still comes as a disappointment to anyone who can't go without a Florence fix. Luckily the U.K. songbird is softening the blow with some new material (she's making cameos on the new Calvin Harris album) as well as a headlining slot at ACL before flying under the radar for the next 12 months. Although this definitely ISN'T the end of Florence and the Machine, we've rounded up some of the frontwoman's most memorable outfits to give us plenty of style inspiration until she's back.

Florence Welch at Britain Creates 2012, The BRIT Awards 2012 and at the Spring/Summer 12 Chanel Show.
Photo: Getty Images

Florence has always been known to turn up the drama onstage, whether it's in sheer skirts, embellishments like beads, crystals, and jewels, or piles of fringe. She turned out this summer to the Britain Creates event in a black Julian McDonald gown from his FW12 collection. Considering she's more likely to sport flowing maxi-dresses than bodycon miniskirts, the sheer bottom look is a perfect medium for the star. She worked a similar style at the Brit Awards in a delicately beaded Alexander McQueen dress back in February. Finally, who can possibly forget her gorgeous Chanel gown she wore while performing at the aquatic-themed SS12 runway show? With seaweed-like ribbon flowing from the silvery frock, the dress is so beautiful it's burned into our fashion brains forever.

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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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