The Brit Awards has one of the most highly anticipated red carpets of the year. Unconstrained by some of the stuffier dress codes of other awards ceremonies, it’s a chance for celebrities to go wild with their style.
This year is set to be a big one, with Lizzo, Harry Styles and Stormzy all performing at Tuesday’s ceremony. This means we can expect a star-studded red carpet, and a lot of sartorial experimentation.
The Brits has had its fair share of memorable outfits across its history – whether it’s controversial bodysuits or beautiful dresses, the event’s red carpet and stage has seen it all.
The Spice Girls released their debut single Wannabe in 1996, so they were still relatively new to the scene when they performed at the Brits the following year. They immediately carved out their respective personalities with their outfit choices, but the most memorable has to be Geri Halliwell’s minidress emblazoned with the Union Jack.
Soon, everyone was buying a similar version of the outfit, and the real deal was sold at auction in 1998 for £41,320.
The following year Annie Lennox of Eurythmics modelled her own version of the Union Jack, but this time in a suit with a bedazzled shirt underneath.
Performing in 2001, Destiny’s Child wore gold matching stage outfits. Complete with low-rise waists and booty shorts, they were just about as Noughties as you could get.
In 2010, Lady Gaga took home three of the top prizes at the Brits. She did so in characteristically wacky Gaga fashion, walking a red carpet in a white tiered dress by Francesco Scognamiglio and a Philip Treacy headpiece. To add a bit more drama to proceedings, Gaga soon whipped off the dress to reveal a nude bodysuit with white lace detailing – although she kept the vertiginous wig on.
Speaking of bodysuits, Jessie J’s gold one-piece from 2014 was certainly caused a stir. The creation was by Julien Macdonald, who is known for his risqué designs.
Kudos has to go to Jessie J – she got a fair bit of attention online for her choice of a lilac lip, and she tweeted the next day: “The lip didn’t work. Get over it. I have. On to the next look!”
The lip didn't work. Get over it. I have. Onto the next look!— Jessie J (@JessieJ) February 20, 2014
While we love a funky patterned shirt or trousers, it wasn’t really Clean Bandit’s fashion which caught our eye in 2014. It was singer and cellist Grace Chatto’s handbag, which was holding live fish. On the red carpet, she explained to Capital FM that the bag was by Cassandra Verity Green and was carrying her two pet fish, named Dolce and Gabbana.
Back in 2015, Madonna suffered a particularly unfortunate wardrobe malfunction. She was wearing an impressive matador-inspired outfit, but when she tried to remove the hefty cape mid-song, it sent the popstar tumbling down the stairs.
Basically any outfit Rihanna wears is memorable, but we particularly liked her purple, mermaid-inspired dress from the 2016 Brits. In a lilac Armani dress, her spaghetti straps pre-empted our current obsession with Nineties fashion. Particular props have to go to the singer for managing to subtly match her make-up to the dress.
In 2018, red carpets were dominated with puffy, flouncy, voluminous outfits. Dua Lipa was the pinnacle of this trend in a pale pink Giambattista Valli mullet dress for the Brits. It just goes to show, your fashion doesn’t have to be controversial in order to be memorable – and Lipa definitely made an impact in this ensemble.
The ceremony, which is being hosted by comedian Jack Whitehall and broadcast on ITV, will take place on February 18 at London’s O2 Arena.