Today we are kicking off my wishes for the 2020 MTV Video Music Awards with 9 major fashion moments I would love to see Keke Palmer to wear over the course of the evening as the shows hostess. “We’re thrilled to have the multi-talented Keke Palmer as this year’s ‘VMAs’ host,” said Bruce Gillmer, president of music, music talent, programming and events for ViacomCBS Media Networks, in a statement. “Keke is an energetic force and a quadruple threat with unmatched comedic wit who will make this year’s show truly unforgettable.” This years show was supposed to take place at the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn, New York. While the show was set to go ahead with a limited audience of just nominees, presenters, and performers the show will now be shot all over New York City paying tribute to the city’s resillancy. As I was starting to think about the looks I wanted to see Keke wear over the course of the evening I started thinking about how this could be a great platform for her to make a statement wearing exclusively black designers. So all the looks below, including the shoes and jewelry, come from black creatives. I am so excited about each of these looks. It would be a great contigant of moments for Keke to bring to life. Look 1: To kick off the night I picked this gorgeous multi tone green completely beaded column gown which features puffy long sleeves, a collar neck, cutout chest, and a thigh high split from Esé Azénabor a Nigerian born Canadian transplant got to Texas as fast as she could. Hailing from a family who considered fashion design more of a hobby than a career, Esé started designing at the early age of 8 Years old. She had to sweep her creative urges under the rug because her maiden name “Azénabor” was grounded in the fields of medicine, law, and engineering, and she, in turn, attended the University of Windsor in Windsor Ontario, Canada majoring in Accounting. A move to Dallas,TX followed, to pursue a Master’s Degree at Southern Methodist University, detoured to following her dreams and started designing handmade dresses for herself, friends and family. This statement gown is super cool and I would love to see Keke give this gown a major style moment. This platform would allow Keke to give major exposure to brands that don’t have the same level as some of the big legacy houses. To complete this look I would style it with a sleek side parted low bun, forest green smokey eyes, nude glossy lips, a pair of BYDOSE ‘Aurum’ knotted thing strappy stiletto sandals, and Vanleles ‘The Nile’ white diamond and emerald stud earrings. Look 2: The second look I’ve picked for Keke is a much more recognizable name with a silver sequined Off-White c/o Virgil Abloh Fall 2020 RTW draped gown which features a ruffled scarf collar asymmetric neckline, and a side split. We know who Virgil is. He’s edgy and as he would say “glamorous.” This silver gown isn’t boundary pushing, I wouldn’t say most of Virgil’s looks are boundary pushing, but it would be a really cool moment for Keke to wear over the course of the VMA’s telecast. Style this look with the same hair, simple defined eyes, bold red lips, a pair of white Brother Vellies ‘Paloma’ feather wrap sandals, and a selection of Thelma West diamonds including old mine cut round drop earrings and an art deco inspired cocktail ring to ensure glamour from head to toe.
Look 3: Most of the looks I’ve picked for Keke are major gown moments so this raspberry pink crepe Cushnie Fall 2020 drapes strapless jumpsuit would be a nice change of pace from those more dramatic gowns. This jumpsuit is the perfect balance of sexy, chic, and elegant. I know that Keke would definitely infuse some more major sex appeal into this look styling it with a sleek center parted long straight hairstyle tucked behind the ears, defined eyes, matching raspberry pink lips, a pair of pink Voyetté ‘V’ crystal embellished ankle strap sandals, and Vanleles ‘Amor’ white diamond and ruby heart shaped earrings.
Look 4: Aliette is the brainchild of stylist Jason Rembert. He launched his formal wear collection last January and since has continued to showcase super chic evening wear in bold color and with great cut. I love this teal blue strappy cut out one shoulder column gown which features a hip high split and I feel like it would be a great moment for Keke to bring to life during her time as hostess of the 2020 VMA’s. Style it with a sleek high ponytail, smokey eyes, ruby red glossy lips, a pair of iridescent silver Voyetté ‘Naój’ crystal studded ankle strappy tie sandals, and MATEO New York 14k white gold set aquamarine, blue topaz, white diamond, and white pearl geometric drop earrings and it would be the definition of sexy glam for Keke.
Look 5: I first learned about Hanifa in the wake of the 2020 Black Lives Matter protests as Instagram started to flood with black owned fashion brands. It was out of these IG posts that I really came to the conclusion that I wanted to do a whole wish list dedicated to black owned fashion brands. The creative director Anifa Mvuemba hails from Congo and brings a very luxe aesthetic. I was looking at the label to pick the perfect moment for Keke and when I saw this tangerine orange ruched column gown which features ruffled cape sleeves I knew it was the perfect. It would hug all of Keke’s curves. A sleek updo, defined eyes, dark berry lips, a pair of gold piped clear PVC Jessica Rich ‘Love’ pointed toe d’Orsay pumps, and statement gold drop earrings and cuff from Adinkras Jewels would continue to ensure that Keke shuts down the VMA’s. Look 6: Sai Sankoh is a young fashion brand blended with vintage style and modern fashion. Created by entrepreneur and luxury fashion consultant Sai Sankoh. Sai is a native from Sierra Leone in West Africa and is deeply inspired by the glamour of the Old Hollywood Era. This bold red ‘Marcella’ asymmetric gown features a single sleeve, a very daring hip high curves cutout split, and a long train is a perfect example of balancing the old Hollywood glamour and modern sex appeal. In terms of design it’s the simplest in terms of idea and construction, but the color and the sex appeal is what will sell this look. I know that Keke can make it happen especially styled with a sleek updo, defined eyes, glossy nude lips, a pair of red Kendall Miles ‘Posh’ ostrich feather trimmed ankle strap d’Orsay pumps, and statement white diamond and ruby Vanleles ‘Enchanted Garden’ titanium flower earrings.
Look 7: I couldn’t do a list of looks from black designers for Keke to wear to host the VMA’s without including Christopher John Rogers. The designer has had a meteoric rise. Last January I didn’t know who he was. Then Lizzo wore his designs, then he had a major show at NYFW, then he won the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Award, and showed ANOTHER major show at NYFW. It’s from that second show that I pulled my wish for Keke. By CJR standards this black iridescent sequined strapless column from his Fall 2020 RTW show is very simple and tame, but I think with all of the drama in other looks that this chic look would be a great moment for Keke. Style it with old Hollywood waves, smokey eyes, deep red glossy lips, a pair of black Fenty ‘Cowgirl Hookup’ crystal trimmed strappy sandals, and a vintage art deco rhinestone choker from Serendipitous Project and it would scream glamour.
Look 8: ATAFO is Nigerian bespoke fashion tailor. He caught the attention of the fashion industry for the creation of his brand, Mai Atafo (now just ATAFO) and by enrolling the Leeds-based Savile Row Academy to further train as a tailor. You can see that tailoring expertise on display in this black and white gingham strapless asymmetrical corset bustier and skirt with a bold yellow bow on the hip. This a more casual vibe than the other looks I picked for Keke, but still a superb moment for the VMA’s. I would love to see her rock this look with a sleek center parted hairstyle tucked behind the ears, smokey eyes, bold fire engine red matte lips, black knotted leather Off-White c/o Virgil Abloh gladiator sandals, and a pair of blackened gold ALAMSIKA ‘Le Cauri Endiamante’ cowrie shell inspired drop earrings pave set with white diamonds.
Look 9: Closing out the wishes is another designer I couldn’t not include: Balmain by Olivier Rousting. He is the only black creative director for a major legacy fashion house and knows how to bring drama to the red carpet. I went back to his Spring 2020 RTW collection picking this black sheer striped chiffon gown which features orange and blue marbled geometric details, an off the shoulder neckline, poet sleeves, a center split, and a train because it just fits the VMA’s vibe. I could have gone with something more embellished, but this look spoke to me. It is a cool and edgy take on modern glamour which is exactly what I want to see Keke wear all night as she hosts the VMAs. This look would come together perfectly for her to close out the show with a sleek updo, defined eyes, matte bronze lips, a pair of black patent leather Balmain ‘Pippa’ peep toe gold metal detailed platform ankle strap sandals, and thick twisted Stella and Haas ‘Flora’ gold hoops.
The 2020 MTV Video Music Awards will take place on Sunday August 30, 2020.