Adele was among those taking basic black to the next level. She chose a custom dress from Givenchy Haute Couture by Riccardo Tisci with allover embroidery that combined paillettes, crystals and pearls for just the right level of dialed-back glamour.
Demi Lovato made her Grammy Awards debut in a tailored blazer and skirt ensemble by Norisol Ferrari and in the evening's most daring neckline, which she draped in a focus-pulling necklace by L.A.-based jeweler Loree Rodkin, while Zendaya chose a black double-breasted tuxedo by Dsquared2.
On the white side of the equation were
Janelle Monáe went black — and white — with an ensemble from the fall 2015 Jean Paul Gaultier couture collection, accessorized with a black-and-white pillbox hat, black-and-white clutch and black boots to boot.
Men sporting the black-on-black look included the Weeknd, Charlie Puth, Alice Cooper (accessorizing with a riding crop for no apparent reason), Common and John Legend. The last two managed to make the basic black tuxedo their own — Common thanks to festive white polka dots on the tux lapels and his black dress shirt, Legend by going with a black Gucci evening jacket with an allover gold silk Jacquard design that, upon closer examination, turned out to be bees. (Appropriate for generating buzz, no?)
That put her squarely in with the night's other noticeable trend — the strategic baring of skin. Instead of the dangerously plunging décolletage prevalent on previous red carpets this season (Lovato and Villa, notwithstanding), exposed skin here was revealed in the form of slashes, cutouts and glimpses — like the belly-button-baring triangle of Cuoco's glittery pant suit, the side cutouts on
Taylor Swift went for double-barrel skin-baring with a coral-colored crop top and magenta skirt by Atelier Versace.
Lady Gaga, always a Grammy red carpet high point, managed to key into the high-slit trend and pay sartorial homage to David Bowie, arriving at the last minute in a custom-designed, electric-blue, double-breasted Marc Jacobs satin coat dress embroidered with multicolored sequins and decorative metallic elements (by Maison Lesage) with a high-side slit and lacing up the back.
The high slit high point of the evening, though, went to Ciara, who turned out in an Alexandre Vauthier haute couture black silk chiffon leopard crystal embroidered slip dress with an extra-wide left leg slit that appeared to end north of her belly button.