It has been a big year for music, what with all of the wrecking balls and visual album drops, so to celebrate we’ve compiled a 2013 retrospective of our favorite musical performers. Ranging from spangled bodysuits to flying gowns, with pasties and top hats in between, this year has been anything but dull on the costume front.
The Best (And Wildest) Onstage Looks Of The Year
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For her Diamonds World Tour this year, Rihanna and her long time stylist Mel Ottenberg, worked closesly with Riccardo Tisci of Givenchy to create this couture look. The silk crepe cape features gold bullet embroidery and Swarovski elements, and is layered over a black and white studded leather bra and high-waisted silk shorts. The custom shark-tooth necklace is emblazoned with the singer’s nickname and almost steals the show from those thigh-high gold-studded boots.
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For her performance of “Unconditionally” at the American Music Awards in November, Perry donned a pop-princess version of the traditional Japanese Geisha costume. Perry’s look was deemed controversial for its cultural inaccuracies, but we are on the same page with her stylist, Johnny Wujek, who explained her loose interpretation of the traditional garb was intended as a tribute to the country from which she draws considerable aesthetic inspiration.
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Let it be known that if our figures look this good post-baby, we too will wear sequined catsuits. To kick off her Mrs. Carter Tour in Serbia on April 15th, Queen Bey wore a shimmering tribute to her daughter Blue Ivy, conceived by Greek designer Vrettos Vrettakos.
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Hot on the heels of her shocking performance at the MTV Video Music Awards, Cyrus managed to wow another crowd at the iHeartRadio Music Festival in Vegas, wearing nothing but pasties, bondage bikini bottoms and a white fishnet mini-dress. It is not often that shoes are the most substantial part of an outfit, but this was certainly the case with Cyrus’ chain-strapped Chanel Glazed Calfskin Boots.
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During a heat wave in England, Ora bravely donned a pink PVC bodysuit, complete with hood, for her Global Gathering Music Festival performance in Stratford-Upon-Avon. She scores extra points for her matching pink lipstick, Bjork-esque side buns, and her practical footwear, in the form of black Nike Air Jordans.
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Far from being a wallflower, Grimes selected a baroque shirt and printed track pants from Jeremy Scott’s S/S 13 collection for her Coachella 2013 performance, and in true nonchalant artist style, finished the outfit with a pair of Adidas slip-ons and piles of gold chains.
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The ascent of this 16-year-old wunderkind from New Zealand has been meteoric: her single, “Royals”, was just named the 2nd best song of 2013 in Rolling Stone’s annual roundup. While it isn’t breaking new sartorial ground, this defiantly un-sexy ode to a schoolgirl uniform feels unconventional in the world of oversexed pop stars, and therefore, quintessentially her.
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Swift graced the catwalk of the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show in a one-armed Union Jack gown, tiny top hat, and matching lace-up stilettos. It takes a lot to steal the spotlight from supermodels in lingerie, but we aren’t surprised that this 24-year-old powerhouse pulled it off.
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We’ve seen her in some of the world’s most creative outfits, both onstage and off, but this takes the cake. For the official release party of her Artpop album in Brooklyn on November 10th, Gaga climbed into the “world’s first flying dress” that she has named Volantis. The construction features a molded bodice, six booms in a hexagonal formation, and a combination of battery-powered propellers to lift her off the ground. Look out for those Amazon drones, Gaga.
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Welch tends to opt for a Woodstock-era bohemian style for her performances, and this custom teal Gucci column gown and billowing jewel-accented cape is the epitome of her brand of stage glamour.
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Knowles’ bright and colorful prints are as uplifting as her music. We particularly loved her SXSW performance in Austin, where she topped her Marni printed top with an embellished bubblegum pink short-suit.