2021 Grammys Fashion Affirmed What We Already Knew: Black Women Are Superheroes

Megan Thee Stallion, left, Cardi B and Doja Cat
Megan Thee Stallion, left, Cardi B and Doja Cat
Photo: Kevin Winter (Getty Images)

If you watched the 63rd annual Grammy Awards on Sunday night, you might’ve sensed a theme. In a ceremony full of diverse and necessarily distanced performances, it may have been unintentional on the part of the show’s producers, but it certainly didn’t escape the notice of The Root’s Staff Entertainment Writer Tonja Stidhum: The night largely belonged to Black women.

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As Tonja noted, it was a history-making night for both the Grammys and Black women, in particular—which turned out to be kismet in a year that necessitated postponing the Grammys until March, also known as Women’s History Month (and at The Root as Black HerStory Month). Equally fitting, many of the looks for this most unconventional of ceremonies reflected both the indelible impact of women upon the entertainment industry and our dynamic futures.

Megan Thee Stallion in Dolce & Gabbana
Megan Thee Stallion in Dolce & Gabbana
Photo: Kevin Mazur for The Recording Academy (Getty Images)

Take, for instance, thoroughly modern savage sex symbol turned three-time Grammy winner Megan Thee Stallion, who channeled another American sex symbol on the red carpet in her strapless Dolce & Gabbana gown. The look—and its dazzling jewelry—were a tangerine-colored riff on Marilyn Monroe’s iconic fuchsia “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend” look in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, later also immortalized in video history by Madonna for “Material Girl.” Megan’s remix of the look was a cogent reminder that blondes aren’t the only ones who can have fun with timeless glamour.

Megan Thee Stallion in Dolce & Gabbana
Megan Thee Stallion in Dolce & Gabbana
Photo: Kevin Winter (Getty Images)

For her first performance look, Meg paid tribute to another icon, American expat Josephine Baker, as she and her crew of dancers gave us Folies-Bergère realness in a series of spangled sheer looks also by D&G. Then, she and “WAP” partner Cardi B flipped it on us with futuristic vibes, giving Barbarella a run for her money in futuristic, super-heroine chic. (And on a much lighter note, thanks to Meg and Cardi, we’re also sure the Grammys just made history for the most twerking and ass thrown on national television—because Miley who?)

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Illustration for article titled 2021 Grammys Fashion Affirmed What We Already Knew: Black Women Are Superheroes
Photo: Kevin Winter (Getty Images)

Beyoncé in Schiaparelli. That’s it. That’s the tweet. Yes, she made Grammys history last night (and her eldest daughter came close with her first win)—while also denying the ceremony the pleasure of another epic performance. Tonja laid it all out for us in her Grammys coverage, but if “snatched” were a person, Beyoncé in this luxe leather-ish look would be it. (And yes, the statement earrings were Schiaparelli, as well—and peep the gold talons attached to the elbow-length gloves.)

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Illustration for article titled 2021 Grammys Fashion Affirmed What We Already Knew: Black Women Are Superheroes
Photo: Kevin Winter (Getty Images)

OK, so maybe it wasn’t alllllllllllll about the ladies on Sunday night; some of it was decidedly for the ladies, like the performance debut of Anderson .Paak and Bruno Mars’ Silk Sonic. For the unapologetic throwback moment, Gucci rose to the occasion, outfitting the two stars and their singers in sepia-toned, spread-collared three-piece suits—basically giving us a real-life rendition of “Sexual Chocolate.”

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Illustration for article titled 2021 Grammys Fashion Affirmed What We Already Knew: Black Women Are Superheroes
Photo: Theo Wargo for The Recording Academy (Getty Images)

It was deliciously ridiculous—and more importantly, a ridiculously good performance. But in an awards season capping a year where we’ve been forced to make one pivot after another, the Grammys were admittedly perhaps the most “normal” to date. We even had the pleasure of a bonafide red carpet, where among the limited guest list, Black excellence was on full display. Check it all out below—and honorable mention to our favorite Grammy-nominated sister act, Chloe x Halle, who honored the ceremony and each other from afar (as Halle continues shooting Disney’s live-action The Little Mermaid), each wearing a custom gold gown by Louis Vuitton.

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Awards season isn’t over yet—Oscar nominations drop today, and the SAG Awards are on deck. Will we have more major wins—and fashion moments—to look forward to? In a year that has been historic in ways both devastating and inspiring, to paraphrase Meg Thee Stallion, we’re looking forward to some Good News.

Maiysha Kai is managing editor of The Glow Up, host of The Root Presents: It's Lit! podcast and Big Beauty Tuesdays, and your average Grammy-nominated goddess next door. May I borrow some sugar?

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