Two big things are happening this week: Katy Perry is our Glamour Style Icon and she’s going to perform her new single “Roar” live for the first time EVER at the MTV VMAs this Sunday. And we also can’t wait to see what she wears—both on the red carpet and on stage because the VMAs are always a cray cray fashion extravaganza.
So to celebrate, let’s take a walk through the risk-taking singer’s best red carpet looks because—let’s be honest—her on-stage get-ups warrant an entirely different retrospective altogether.
You may already be well-versed in Katy Perry history, but just in case—way before 2007’s “I Kissed a Girl,” Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson was a gospel singer. Here she is in 2005 transitioning to the Katy Perry we know today while channeling more of an indie alt-singer kind of vibe. If she had bangs, she’d REALLY look like her celebrity doppelgänger Zooey Deschanel right here.
Fast forward to 2008, when “Hot n Cold” was playing like every five minutes on the radio and Katy was really getting adventurous with her sartorial choices. Here she is at the MTV Europe Music Awards (or EMAs, as they call it) in a colorful Jean-Charles de Castelbajac eye-boob dress.
But the nine-time Grammy nominated singer can also do elegant Hollywood glam (note: not crazy), too. For instance, this stunning vintage Christian Lacroix gown she wore to the premiere of Michael Jackson’s This is It in 2009. She even opted for classic black pumps. Gorge.
But Katy’s a performer and we expect a little nuttiness sometimes—especially at the VMAs. So she made an easy compromise in 2010—a sexy sheer and sequined Zuhair Murad mini-dress accessorized with in-your-face Smurf-blue hair. Done.
Don’t you love a girl with a sartorial sense of humor? Katy jetted on over to the EMAs the same year and walked the carpet in this fun sequined graphic Jeremy Scott dress. You can see why fashion-loving music stars like Rita Ora and Rihanna are fans of his designs.
She hit the Grammy Awards in 2011 in this spectacularly interesting Giorgio Armani gown—if you look closely, you’ll see that the dress has freakin’ angel wings.
I didn’t mention the “RB” thing earlier since we were keeping this post happy, but by 2012, Katy and Russell Brand’s just over a year-long marriage was dunzo. So Katy opted for not one, but two breakup dresses for the VMAs. This slinky, body-hugging gold Gucci gown is my favorite. Remember how she stomped her way through “Part of Me,” like the ultimate eff-you?
That year, her movie concert documentary movie Part of Me came out, too and here she is in rainy London wearing a beautiful gold and white ballerina dress by Marchesa. Not sure who designed the umbrella.
Katy has a lock down on the wackadoo stage ensembles and the all-star designers for red carpet glam, but she has an eye for the cool-girl labels and music festival-ready looks, too. Case in point: Coachella, plus this sumptuously-edgy Suno crop-top and maxi-skirt outfit she wore to a pre-Met Gala Great Gatsby-themed party.
And of course, the “California Gurls” singer was one of the brave few who weren’t afraid to go over-the-top for the punk-themed Met Gala earlier this year. Love her majestically beaded mosaic Dolce & Gabbana dress topped off with a bejeweled crown. Because a teeny weeny tiara just won’t do.