Photo courtesy of ACM
Story by Sydney Wagner / Contributing writer
Country music’s biggest names ditched the cowboy boots and hats Sunday night. Instead they pulled out all the stops in their finest suits and dresses for the 53rd annual Academy of Country Music Awards in Las Vegas. Many of the stars donned a gold “851” pin in honor of the shooting victims at the Route 91 music festival in Vegas last October. The evening’s guests wore variations of the pin, including 58 and 1. Before the awards kicked off, one member of Little Big Town, Karen Fairchild, took to Instagram to explain the meaning behind the pins. In her caption, Fairchild said, “Tonight I’m gonna wear these pins for the 851 injured, the 58 lost and the 1 life we can save in the future if we’re willing to start a conversation about things that need to be done for our children, our families and our fans.” However, guests refused to let the October tragedy take away from the night. Take a look to see our picks for the 10 best-dressed stars of the night.
Cam, one of the evening’s presenters, took to the blue carpet in a plunging, pale blue dress designed by Maria Lucia Hohan. The “Burning House” singer kept it cool with silver details throughout her look, from her high heels to the silver circles cinched at the waist of the dress. She opted for a pair of simple hoop earrings and stuck with her signature curls.
Singer Carly Pearce chose an icy number as well: a THEIACouture dress in a sea-foam color, picked by wardrobe stylist and Nashville native Amber Lehman. Pearce’s gown consisted of a sweetheart neckline under a sheer layer of ruffles. Tiny flowers cascaded down the dress and brought a touch of dreaminess to the look. The accessories were kept to a minimum, and except for a few wispy pieces to frame her face, Pearce’s hair was pulled back so as not to distract from the dress.
In a crowd of tulle, sequins and glitter, Cassadee Pope showed up with a refreshing take on award-show attire. Pope gave the men a run for their money in a black velvet piece by “glam-rock” Italian label Ermanno Scervino. The deep neckline, structured lapels and black pointed-toe pumps gave her look an edge. In contrast to the sharpness of her suit, Pope’s hair was set in a deep side part with messy waves.
Jennifer Nettles, part of the country music duo Sugarland, arrived in what she described on Instagram as a “fire-filled offering,” designed by J. Mendel. The singer’s fiery dress turned heads with its form-fitting silhouette and sheer black fabric playing peek-a-boo from underneath the piece’s main pattern. Nettles kept her look consistent with a pair of red stud earrings, rosy cheeks and a swipe of the warm shade on her eyelids. Slicked-back with a center part, shiny tresses finished off her sleek look.
Karen Fairchild, one-fourth of country music group Little Big Town, brought the glamour to Vegas. The whole group arrived in various looks of black. Fairchild went with a look straight off the runways of New York Fashion Week. This Christian Siriano-designed look played the feminine counterpart to Cassadee Pope’s menswear-inspired suit. The romance of the ruffled sleeves and delicate cursive print on the skirt balanced out the sexiness of Fairchild’s bodysuit and classic black pumps. Nothing says “glamour” more than a pair of diamond drop earrings and a diamond-encrusted belt. After all, diamonds are a girl’s best friend.
The romance continued on the blue carpet with Kelsea Ballerini’s look by luxury fashion house AADNEVIK. The lacy top half hugged Ballerini’s figure as the skirt’s soft white layers swept along behind her. Strappy white sandals and thigh-high slits on both sides of the skirt kept the look from being too angelic. Right above the waistline is where Ballerini attached her “58” pin. Later in the evening, Ballerini let down her hair from its side-swept ponytail to perform “I Hate Love Songs.”
Along with her bandmate Karen Fairchild, Kimberly Schlapman of Little Big Town also brought on the glamour, but in the form of high-waisted pants instead of a gown. In another look from Siriano’s Fall 2018 collection, Schlapman’s sparkling top perfectly caught the light. It showed off her shoulders with its asymmetrical neckline and barely there shoulder pads. Taking a slightly more casual approach than Fairchild, Schlapman styled her hair up to show off her earrings and “851” pin.
Olympic skier Lindsey Vonn took a break from the slopes to get dolled up and present one of the night’s awards. Vonn’s canary yellow gown, another Christian Siriano design, was just enough of a fashion risk to snag a spot on our list. The layers of tulle added just the slightest touch of drama to an otherwise simple top. Vonn’s no-frills top knot proves that you can take the girl off of the ski slopes, but the ski slopes will probably work their way into an easy, sporty hairstyle on the red carpet.
Country music’s favorite redhead and host of Sunday’s event Reba McEntire wasn’t about to let the night’s big winners outshine her. McEntire arrived in a dazzling white dress by the Nashville-based fashion brand House of Harper. Not only did the dress shine with tiny silver studs, the few layers of fringe brought a touch of the 1920s to the modernly elegant look. As the night progressed, McEntire graced the audience with a number of different looks, as any good hostess and country icon does.
Fourteen-year-old country music newcomer Tegan Marie rounds out our list with this sparkly number by Sherri Hill. Marie kept it youthful and fun with a shorter hemline, but subtle shoulder pads gave the look some structure. The usual dress-and-heels combo also received a desperately needed twist: socks. They were sheer socks; mind-blowing, right? Marie’s stick-straight hairstyle — with not a single strand out of place — kept her look fresh and cool without overdoing it.
This year’s ACM Awards included looks that were classic with a twist and others that were all about modern-day trends. From deep shades of black to sultry red to shimmering metallics, country music stars used the night as a chance to let loose, take some sartorial risks and have a good time. After all, isn’t that what country music is about? Let us know what your favorite looks of the night were.
To contact Lifestyles Editor Tayhlor Stephenson, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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