AMAs-lede-pic

We’ve been planning all week for the 2013 American Music Awards last night. We love dress as performance, and a big red carpet always gives us a good show. Well, usually. This time was kind of a bust. None of the greats were really great, none of the bads were even particularly awful, and most people looked really tired. But still some people showed up ready to play, especially Lil Mama, Ciara, Katy Perry and … Miley Cyrus. (Yes, for real.)

Check out the best dressed celebrities on the 2013 American Music Awards red carpet.

2013 American Music Awards - Arrivals Ke$ha

Ke$ha‘s Michael Costello gown is strangely demure and elegant for her, but the exposed leg and sculptural hip ruffles make it weird enough to be interesting.

2013 American Music Awards Zendeya

Zendeya‘s crazy extensions are a perfect accessory for this white-on-white Donna Karan look. I’m always impressed when someone, even a celebrity, manages to keep this much white draping looking crisp and clean. We hates the shoes, though. Hates them so much.

2013 American Music Awards Sarah Silverman

Sarah Silverman‘s dress looks like it is falling down and only 8 meters of Topstick is keeping that left nipple in. But it’s a bright color, and at the 2013 AMAs that’s enough to get on this list.

2013 American Music Awards Kelly Osbourne

We went back and forth on Kelly Osbourne‘s retro ballerina costume, but this close-up of the fabric sold us:

2013 American Music Awards

Up close, it’s messy and sparkly at the same time. That’s fantastic.

2013 American Music Awards

Taylor Swift did that “short, gold, shiny” thing she always does in Julian Macdonald. She looks good, if predictable, but from the shoulders up she appears to be trying out a 1970s bad girl look that’s a refreshing change from her usual romantically pretty look.

Next: Some brilliantly sexy looks from Ciara, Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus, Lil Mama, and MC Lyte

2013 American Music Awards Ciara

Everyone is going to be staring at this J. Mendel dress for hours and hours trying to figure out exactly how naked Ciara is. She looks amazingly bad ass in this and was smart to eschew big accessories.

2013 American Music Awards - Arrivals MC Lyte

MC Lyte‘s mini dress has a tuxedo look that we really like, and the puffed sleeves are excellent. Her hair and makeup are perfect and we love her.

2013 American Music Awards Lil Mama

Lil Mama looks like an opera star in space. Everyone should start matching their hair to their dresses, because it is awesome.

2013 American Music Awards Katy Perry

Katy Perry‘s Oscar de la Renta is amazing and perfect, but it looks like she’s at the wrong awards show. This would have been the coolest dress on the red carpet at the Emmys or Oscars or a big movie premiere. We expect a bit more edge at music events, though, so we would have expected something a bit cooler for the AMAs. Still love it, though.

Her Olympia Le-Tan “fake book” clutch is cute. We love those things, even though they cost over $2,000. Maybe we’ll just gut an old dictionary and use that instead.

2013 American Music Awards Miley Cyrus

And there goes Miley Cyrus, surprising us again with a spot-on Versus Versace suit with the classic gold safety pins that made Elizabeth Hurley famous. This is fantastic. Slow clap for Miley.