It’s been 16 years since Beyoncé first graced the MTV Video Music Awards red carpet with her presence and we’re pretty sure it has never been the same since.
Back then, she was one third of Destiny’s Child, blowing all of us away with her raw talent and bootylicious looks designed by Tina Knowles (thanks, Mom!). But even at the beginning of her career when most singers are still trying to find their style, Bey already seemed to have found her trademarks: body-con silhouettes, embellishment, and huge earrings. Her first VMAs look was a studded leather bustier dress that hit every high note in the new millenium. “We wanted to do something a little more edgy,” she said of the Tina Knowles-designed look that she wore alongside bandmates Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams. “The last awards show we did we went really soft, so we thought we would totally flip it. We have a rhinestone, rock girl vibe.”
After walking the carpet with Destiny’s Child in 2000 and 2001, Beyoncé started her gradual transition into Sasha Fierce with her first solo album, Dangerously in Love, and a new solo style. In 2003, she went for the gold both on the red carpet and for her performance of "Crazy in Love" with future hubby Jay Z. And she continued her VMA metallic streak all the way through 2007, when she stunned in a draped goddess gown by Naeem Khan.
Though she’ll always be a Texas girl at heart that loves big hair (hello, wind machine) and lots of sparkle, in 2009, the singer’s look took a high fashion turn, thanks to designer Robert Cavalli, who dressed her in a simple, but super sexy red mini. "Nobody makes decisions for her when it comes to style,” Cavalli later told InStyle about the dress. "I offered her every gown in the studio. She chose this in minutes. For me she's better than a top model because she knows exactly how to show off clothes and how they move.”
In 2011, she took maternity chic to another level with a sequined Dolce and Gabbana blazer that first concealed, and then revealed, her Blue Ivy baby bump to the world during her “Love on Top” performance. And on the red carpet? A flowy one-shoulder Lanvin gown was a perfect fit for her new curves.
And now that multiple outfit changes have become the norm, the star’s last VMAs appearance in 2014 yielded, not one, not two, but three looks, including sheer gowns by Nicolas Jebran and Zuhair Murad, and a custom jewel-encrusted Tom Ford leotard that she wore on stage, the stakes have been upped. And while we're not sure how she's going to ante the stakes this year, with 11 nominations (a career high), we’re pretty sure whatever Bey puts on is going to be #Flawless.