Best and worst dressed celebs at the 2021 BET Awards

Here’s which A-listers got it right — and who got it oh so wrong — when it came to their wardrobe choices

29 June 2021 - 17:24 By Masego Seemela
Taraji P Henson in Atelier Versace at the 2021 BET Awards.
Taraji P Henson in Atelier Versace at the 2021 BET Awards.
Image: Paras Griffin/Getty Images for BET

The 2021 edition of the BET (Black Entertainment Television) Awards ceremony was a fun night out for “Black Hollywood”.

For the first time since the Covid-19 pandemic started, a live audience was in attendance at the event held at the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles on Sunday and hosted by actress Taraji P Henson.

This annual celebration of black excellence across the entertainment industry hands out trophies to those making strides in the worlds of music, sports and acting. However, for fashionistas, the real prizes are given out on the red carpet long before the ceremony starts.

With that in mind, here is our pick of the best and worst dressed of the night:

BEST DRESSED

TARAJI P HENSON

When it comes to creating iconic fashion moments, Versace is a name that is always top of mind, so it’s no surprise Henson turned heads when she landed on the red carpet in an unusual Atelier Versace creation.

Seemingly two different outfits in one, the base of this ensemble was a high-necked sheer black dress with beaded detailing. Over it, the Empire star wore a bralette and flowy sarong-like overskirt in the sort of vibrant print so distinctive of the Italian brand.

As there was a lot going on with the design of this gown, Henson was wise to keep the styling simple. She completed her look with sky-high black heels and the longest, sleekest locks we can remember her sporting in recent history.

It was definitely a fashion risk, but one we think she pulled it off with aplomb.

ZENDAYA

We love a look that gives a nod to past, and Zendaya totally nailed it.

The Malcom & Marie actress rocked up on the red carpet wearing a longer version of the dress Beyoncé wore for her legendary 2003 BET Awards performance of Crazy in Love.

Zendaya, right, and Lil' Kim at the 2021 BET Awards.
Zendaya, right, and Lil' Kim at the 2021 BET Awards.
Image: Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for BET
Beyoncé performs 'Crazy in Love' at the 2003 BET Awards. in Hollywood, California.
Beyoncé performs 'Crazy in Love' at the 2003 BET Awards. in Hollywood, California.
Image: Kevin Winter/Getty Images

The ankle-skimming skirt of Zendaya’s gown gave it a sophisticated feel, which she enhanced by pairing it with a slicked-back ponytail, dazzling Bulgari yellow diamond earrings and custom-dyed Stuart Weitzman Nudist sandals.

MEGAN THEE STALLION

The Savage rapper gave us her take on a Greek goddess in a custom Jean Paul Gaultier gown which somehow managed to be both risqué and elegant.

Featuring flowing panels of creamy fabric at the front and back, the dress was held together by beaded “ropes” at the sides showing off the artist’s curves — and plenty of skin. Our favourite touch? The inclusion of the French fashion house’s iconic cone bra (hello Madonna) in the design.

Whether you love her look or loathe it, there’s no denying Megan Thee Stallion gave us a fashion moment we won’t forget any time soon.

Megan Thee Stallion at the 2021 BET Awards.
Megan Thee Stallion at the 2021 BET Awards.
Image: Paras Griffin/Getty Images for BET
Lil' Kim performs at the 2021 BET Awards.
Lil' Kim performs at the 2021 BET Awards.
Image: Paras Griffin/Getty Images for BET

WORST DRESSED

LIL’ KIM

Having arrived at the event in a black jacket and hot pants combo, the rapper switched up her look to pay tribute to Queen Latifah on stage in an all-white Prada ensemble.

How do we know it was Prada? She had the brand’s triangular logo pinned to her blonde fringe. Sigh.

Random hair accessory aside, the cut of the outfit’s hooded halter-necked crop top was not particularly flattering.

Couple that with an oversized jacket and a pair of bags worn at the waist, and the ensemble completely swamped the star’s pint-sized frame.

LIL NAS X

Lil Nas X made a show-stopping entrance in an Andrea Grossi ensemble comprising a corset, suspenders, a fitted jacket, and the sort of pannier skirt you would have found in Marie Antoinette’s closet.

This outfit is a literal work of art with the illustrations on the toile-inspired fabric alluding to war and religion. It is part of Grossi’s 2019 collection, Welcome to DeusLand, which the designer told Kaltblut magazine was intended to be a sartorial exploration of “the problems of the 21st century, taking notice of what we are and where we are coming from”.

Lil Nas X in Richard Quinn at the 2021 BET Awards.
Lil Nas X in Richard Quinn at the 2021 BET Awards.
Image: Paras Griffin/Getty Images for BET
Lil Nas X in Andrea Grossi at the 2021 BET Awards.
Lil Nas X in Andrea Grossi at the 2021 BET Awards.
Image: Paras Griffin/Getty Images for BET

We applaud the Montero singer for donning this gender-fluid look and for embracing fashion as a form of social commentary.

However, we can’t help but feel the power of the statements he was seemingly making by wearing it were diluted by his decision to change into a beaded suit by Richard Quinn and take a second stroll down the red carpet.

Two heads may be better than one, but the same doesn’t always apply to outfits.

This article is adapted from one published in the S Mag section of the SowetanLIVE website. Read the original here. Additional reporting by staff reporter.


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