Just when we thought music videos would fall into extinction and meet the same end as other beloved relics from the '90s, like video rental stores (RIP, Blockbuster) or floppy disks, they've gone and done a complete 180 to prove their staying power—even without the help of TRL's Carson Daly. The next generation of music videos that live on YouTube (or Tidal ...) want you to know that they've made a serious comeback with fancy art direction, famous directors, and elaborate visual effects. There are A-list cameos, compelling storytelling narratives, and in some cases, complete visual albums (because when life hands you lemons, you make Lemonade—right, Bey?).
And of course, those neat special effects wouldn't have the same impact without a major dose of fashion (or lack of—see: Kanye West's "Famous" if you don't know what we're talking about). Now that we're counting down to MTV's Video Music Awards (9 p.m. ET on Sunday, Aug. 28), the night that honors the best in the music video medium, we found it apropos to take a look back and spotlight the best, most memorable looks from the nominated masterpieces. From Queen Bey's swirly, ruffly Roberto Cavalli dress in "Hold Up" to Rihanna's sparkly spaceage-y jumpsuit—designed by a student from New York's Pratt Institute—in "This Is What You Came for," scroll through for the outfits that deserve awards of their own.