Spike Lee as Mookie in 'Do The Right Thing.'
Photo: Universal Pictures
The 2013 Video Music Awards are breaking new ground as the very first awards show in Brooklyn, kicking off live at 9 p.m. EST on Sunday, August 25 from Barclays Center. (And if you don't know, now you knowwww.) In honor of the history-making show, we're immersing ourselves in the VMAs' new neighborhood, unpacking iconic aspects of BK style in movies, music, and art. First up, Spike Lee's Do The Right Thing.
Do The Right Thing is a cultural triumph, telling the story of one day—the hottest of the year—in a Bed-Stuy neighborhood bubbling over with racial tension. The film, Lee's third-EVER feature, is visually stunning, awash with a vibrant and jumbled color palette of yellows, reds, limes, and purples, and the interplay is arresting, adding a slightly surreal tinge to the rising turbulence. The silhouettes—tees, shorts, tanks—remind you that it's a hot summer day on Stuyvesant Avenue between Lexington and Quincy street. The film and Ruth E. Carter's brilliant costuming work had a highly influential trickle-down effect—see Will Smith's TV wardrobe for the entire six-season run of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. (Important/Fun Fact: Carter is also the genius responsible for Halle Berry's orange patent latex and gravity-defying hair in B*A*P*S.)
VMA performance crop top options for Miley Cyrus.
Photo: Getty Images/Discount Universe/SHADE/Lazy Oaf/Alexander Wang
You already knew Miley Cyrus would be making a 2013 VMA appearance, but we can finally tell you today that Billy Ray's little girl isn't just attending (as she has for so many years in the past), she's PERFORMING. That's right, Smilers. On Sunday, August 25, your supreme flaxen pixie-haired leader is joining the current line-up of Lady Gaga, Kanye West, Katy Perry, and also just-announced Robin Thicke, hitting the stage in honor of the Moonman and the year in music videos. We're fully aware that Miles can dress herself for her big VMA moment, but being that we spend 75% of our days online shopping, we figured we'd put our powers to good use and send a little unsolicited wardrobe advice her way. Y'know, just in case she needs it. In other words, we rounded up a few crop tops she might want to wear on stage.
Katy Perry brings her Liv Tyler look to Brooklyn.
Photo: MTV/Warner Bros.
Next stop on the VMA promo train headed straight to Barclays Center? None other than Katy Perry! The singer, who dropped her new single "Roar," yesterday will be joining Lady Gaga and Kanye West and giving us a show. In case you missed it, the spot features Katy emerging from a manhole and heading in to the subway, loyal KatyCats (and a real tiger), behind her. Miley showed us how she'll be getting to the show, and now Katy is letting us know she's ditching her gold-plated Prism truck for the subway. How very Jay Z of her.
As we've seen, Katy has undergone a may-jah evolution in her VMA looks—she always brings it big time, and this year will certainly be no different. The teasers for "Roar" released last week gave us an idea of what this new era Katy would look like: darker and full of animal print.
That's right, Katy Cats! Your fearless ruler Katy Perry (she likes to go by "Mom") is headed for the 2013 Video Music Awards. Filling out an already star-studded lineup (so far including Lady Gaga and Kanye West), Katy will use her VMA appearance Sunday, August 25, at 9 p.m. ET at Brooklyn's Barclays Center for the premier live performance of her brand new single, "Roar." KP's been a VMA mainstay since her One Of The Boys mainstream debut, so in honor of her history-making homecoming (and in anticipation of what "new" Katy will wear for her performance, we're taking a look back at her VMA style evolution. Leggo!
2008: PIN-UP PERRY
Katy Perry at the 2008 MTV Video Music Awards.
It's been a minute since we were first introduced to this version of KP: bubbly, blue-eyed and owner of one of the summer's hottest (in more ways than one) singles "I Kissed A Girl." For her breakout VMA appearance in 2008, Katy went for a red carpet look that mirrored the boudoir feel of her music video: a white satin bustier top with a demi halter neck and silver star embellishments, peach satin hotpants with maribou feather adornments, metallic fuschia round-toe pumps, and a glittery hard case clutch decorated with star-spangled rhinestones. Her lips were red, her liquid liner pristine, and she had a bow-shaped barrette in her hair.
Miley Cyrus in her 2013 MTV Video Music Awards promo spot.
Next stop on the road to the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards? Televised promo spots! And just to prove we're really not messing around, we're kicking them off with none other than grill-wearing, unicorn twerking Miley Cyrus. Miles is responsible for one of THE most buzzed about music videos of the year—"We Can't Stop"—so it's only right we rep the Best Pop Video nominee appropriately (and heavily). Miley's promo spot, if you didn't catch it air last night, features Billy Ray's little girl popping into a party in the subway tunnels below Brooklyn's Barclays Center, stepping in via an overhead manhole ladder (also, killer white Versace pumps). We caught up with Miley's long-time stylist, Simone Harouche, on the shoot to pick her brain about her underground BK party outfit-of-choice for the promo.
Brooklyn (also, WORLD), get ready! Kanye West is performing at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards, helping break in Barclays Center for its very first major awards show. Yeezy joins KAWS and Lady Gaga for the history-making 30th VMAs to perform "Black Skinhead," making history of his own by officially tying Madonna as the artist with the most VMA performances—come Sunday, August 25, Yeezus and Madge will be neck-and-neck with seven total. In honor of Ye's momentous return to the VMA stage and long history with the show, we took a look back at his previous performance outfits.
2004: CANDY PINK COLLEGE DROPOUT
Kanye West performs at the 2004 MTV Video Music Awards.
Photo: Getty Images
Kanye today is larger than life, but even Kanye circa 2004 had a big VMA debut, performing a medley of chart-toppers from College Dropout—"Jesus Walks," "All Falls Down," and "Through The Wire"— with legendary Chaka Khan. The MC reworked his signature look at the time, a pink polo with the collar popped, for the occasion, opting instead for a striped Pepto Bismol pink button-up, pink satin tie, a black velveteen suit, and a big ol' smile.
Lady Gaga on her 'Applause' single cover.
Photo: Lady Gaga/Little Monsters
If there's one thing we can expect from Lady Gaga, it's that, well, we just never know what we're gonna get! She's constantly surprising us--I mean, just last week (after a six month hiatus), news dropped that Mother Monster will be performing at the 2013 Video Music Awards and today WWD released an interview with Gaga in which she revealed cryptic details on her upcoming ARTPOP album and--GASP--what she'll wear to the VMAs. The "Applause" single cover art, which features Lady Gaga with a colorful, make-up smeared visage, was shot by Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin. She is wrapped in a white Gareth Pugh jacket, and, interestingly enough, this image is ACTUALLY from her upcoming "Applause" music video, which was also shot by the Inez and Vinoodh duo. Gaga chose this image because "it’s the end of the night after the show. When I look at it I see that there is a longing for the applause. I see that there is a void that is leaking onstage, that the performer is leaking, that the art is sort of becoming something else in front of your eyes. Something more human, something more honest.”
Lady Gaga at the 2009, 2010, and 2011 MTV Video Music Awards
Photo: Getty Images
Little Monsters, get your paws all. the way. UP. Lady Gaga is BACK! And we don't mean that just in the sense that ARTPOP is on a speeding train to your ears very soon. Mother Monster is making her epic return to the VMAs, not just attending but performing. That's right, folks. The premiere performance of Gaga's first ARTPOP single is happening live at the 2013 VMAs (Sunday, August 25, 9 p.m. ET) on the Barclays Center stage. *head explodes into a mushroom cloud of glitter* Talk about huge news! As anyone who has ever watched an award show at which Gagaloo was in attendance can attest, Stefani does not mess around when it comes to event attire, and the MTV Video Music Awards are an extra special case. Gaga's VMA fashion history isn't very long, but in just a handful of years, she's been responsible for some of the most iconic style moments of the past decade. In preparation for her 2013 return, we're looking back at all of Lady Gaga's VMA outfits. Ever.
2009: NECK BRACE BAROQUE
Lady Gaga at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards
Photo: Getty Images
Gaga's first VMA experience was in 2009 (the last time the show was held in New York). Amidst the go-to sparkly mini dresses typical of stars at the time, she ruffled feathers (literally!) in a lace floor-length Jean Paul Gaultier gown worn with a gold House of Blue Eyes half-mask and a black, opulently feathered, intricately detailed Keko Hainswheeler neck brace situation.
KAWS' Companion and the 2013 VMA KAWS Moonman.
Photo: MTV/Wendy Heisler
Heads up, Brooklyn! On Sunday, August 25, the VMAs are setting up shop at the Barclays Center for this year's night of doling out music video honors—the first major awards show to ever take place in BK. This being SUCH a landmark occasion, we had to make it special, so for the first time in the show's 30-year history, the Moonman is getting a one-time makeover courtesy of New York-based artist Brian Donnelly, better known as KAWS.
MTV News' James Montgomery caught up with the design icon at his Brooklyn studio, both to peep the special-edition statuette which reimagines the OG Moonman in combination with KAWS' Companion—the grayscale, Mickey Mouse-inspired skull-and-crossbones character—right down to the double button-front shorts and to chat about the artist's ties to Brooklyn. Technically, KAWS grew up in Jersey City, then moved to Manhattan's Lower East Side for school before eventually moving to BK, but he's laid claim to the borough for the past 13 years. Therefore, it totally counts. Also, words alone can't accurately convey how stoked we are to fold Donnelly and his inimitable aesthetic into our VMA history, so we'd probably fudge the details to make it work no matter what. (JK, we'd never lie to you!)