The 35th Annual MTV Video Music Awards will air from Radio City Music Hall in New York City on Aug. 20, 2018, giving us a chance to peep some weird and wonderful celebrity fashion. In honor of the big event, Wonderwall.com is flashing back 20 years to see what the biggest stars of the era wore to the MTV VMAs… starting with shock rocker Marilyn Manson and his then-girlfriend, actress Rose McGowan. Rose's beaded dress was completely see-through, revealing a leopard-print thong and a whole lot of curves. Manson's leopard-print multicolored suit complemented Rose's undies but almost looked demure compared to her barely-there dress. Although Rose changed into a slightly more conservative outfit after walking the red carpet, her look remains one of the wildest on any VMAs red carpet to date. Keep reading for more…
Rebecca Romijn's furlicious strapless gown raised more than a few eyebrows on the 1998 MTV VMAs red carpet. The black dress with an organza-covered thigh-high slit was actually covered in real horse hair, giving her a "Black Beauty" vibe that may have upset more than a few animal-rights activists. Rebecca wasn't too bothered though, as just nine days after the award show, she married her longtime boyfriend, actor John Stamos.
Before you get too excited, no: Mark Wahlberg and Jennifer Lopez were not a couple at the 1998 MTV VMAs. The "Boogie Nights" actor and the "Selena" actress were just sharing a photo op backstage. While Mark sizzled in an all-black suit, J.Lo invoked a bit of hip-hop honky-tonk with her white pants and jacket and taupe bralette and cowboy hat look.
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Oh, boy. Gwen Stefani certainly made a statement at the 1998 MTV VMAs. The No Doubt singer arrived at the award show wearing loose black pants topped with a tube-hem skirt, a fuzzy blue bra, cerulean hair and some serious crystal decor on her face that she was worried would melt off in the L.A. heat. She completed her futuristic look with platform flip-flops and jelly bracelets. What's possibly worse is that Gwen told reporters, "Since we're not doing anything and just hanging out, I had a lot more time to think about my outfit."
Former "Party of Five" star Jennifer Love Hewitt was '90s-chic at the 1998 MTV VMAs. The actress went for a bit of goth-glam with her beaded black minidress featuring a sheer black overlay. The dress was accentuated with glittering asymmetrical details and shimmery, jewelry-free skin.
We're feeling extra nostalgic looking at this joyful picture of the late Whitney Houston and her then-hubby, Bobby Brown. The couple wore matching beige silk suits, black shoes and playful smiles.
Canadian singer-songwriter Sarah McLachlan took a somewhat matronly turn at the 1998 MTV VMAs in this red velvet and organza floral dress with orange trim and bright yellow flats. The layered, ruffled hemline of the dress blended into the red carpet and the overall cut made Sarah look shapeless.
Actors Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker arrived at the 1998 MTV VMAs and paused to do a few cool moves for the cameras. Jackie opted for a white Zhongshan suit with a high neckline while Chris kept it semi-casual in a pair of shimmery gray trousers, a crisp white T-shirt and a black leather jacket. The duo were promoting their film "Rush Hour," which arrived in theaters eight days later.
"Buffy the Vampire Slayer" co-stars Alyson Hannigan and Sarah Michelle Gellar were so '90s it hurt at the 1998 MTV VMAs. Alyson paired her pea-green mini with a fur-trimmed floral duster and black leather knee-high boots while SMG (who was rocking chunky bleached-blonde highlights) wore a mauve tube top, a shimmery miniskirt and strappy metallic heels.
Sexy Salma Hayek went for a timeless look with her center-parted flowing locks, floor-length strapless black gown and peep-toe black heels. The only proof this look was in the '90s? All the colorful faux butterfly tattoos decorating her arms, neck and décolleté.
Musician Rob Zombie and his then-girlfriend (now-wife) Sheri Moon Zombie brought a rock 'n' roll vibe to the 1998 MTV VMAs. Rob arrived at the award show in a distressed leather jacket, embroidered button-up and chocolate brown leather pants all accessorized with platform boots and a cowboy hat. Sheri also wore black but kept it sexy in a halter-style mini accessorized with edgy lace-up corset bracelets, heeled boots and a wide-brimmed floral embellished gaucho hat.
Never one to shy away from making a fashion statement, Madonna arrived at the 1998 MTV VMAs decked out in a glittery Asian-inspired ensemble. The singer, who won a jaw-dropping six of nine awards she was nominated for that night, wore red-sequined cropped pants with a midriff-baring glossy black tunic by Alexander McQueen and more than $50,000 worth of 22-karat gold and diamond jewelry. On her arm that night was a more demurely dressed Jonas Akerlund, who directed her award-winning music video for "Ray of Light."
"American Woman" singer Lenny Kravitz arrived at the 1998 MTV VMAs on the heels of releasing his fifth studio album, "5." The hunky rock 'n' roller donned a sleeveless black midriff-baring tee, loose denim and lots of body jewelry. Although Lenny wasn't nominated for any awards that night, he did join Madonna on stage for a performance of her hit song "Ray of Light."
Newlywed Jada Pinkett Smith arrived at the 1998 MTV VMAs looking dangerously sexy in this peek-a-boo black mini with a black silk blazer and bosom-accentuating black leather bra. Jada pulled the look together with stunning gold jewelry and a black feather-embellished fedora. Believe it or not, Jada, who attended the show with hubby Will Smith, had just given birth to their first child, Jaden Smith, two months earlier.
"Girls Just Want to Have Fun" singer Cyndi Lauper also had fun with her fashion at the 1998 MTV VMAs. Wearing a black and gold minidress over a metallic bra, Cyndi — who was 46 at the time — proved she was still playfully sexy and unafraid to rock her own unique style.
Mariah Carey attended the 1998 MTV VMAs wearing this chocolate brown asymmetrical-hem dress with perfectly coiffed hair. The diva, who'd reinvented herself as a hip-hop star with the '97 release of her album "Butterfly," was revealing a new, sexier side of her personality and looked great. Our only complaint? Those horrible chunky heels!
Sean Combs, aka P. Diddy at the time, won one of the five MTV VMAs he was nominated for that night along with our admiration for his sophisticated sense of style. The rap mogul rocked a loose-fitting white silk suit with a long trench coat and black-accented white fedora. Donning dark shades throughout the night, Diddy invoked an old-world gangster vibe that matched his professional persona to a tee.
Five years before Tyra Banks would launch her "America's Next Top Model" empire, the svelte supermodel, actress and Victoria's Secret Angel was gracing award show red carpets in style. Wearing a revealing fitted dark-blue capri-pant suit paired with super-high heels, Tyra somehow pulled off a look that was both casual and completely sophisticated.
Hole frontwoman-turned-actress Courtney Love arrived at the 1998 MTV VMAs with her band looking ready to rock out. The singer donned edgy black leather pants, a midriff-baring black halter top and a wide smile. Courtney was enjoying a career high at the time — she's earned a Golden Globe nod the previous year for her performance in "The People vs. Larry Flint."
Basketball phenom Shaquille O'Neal arrived at the 1998 MTV VMAs with musician Peter Gunz wearing an extra-long vintage-style plaid suit and a playful tie that gave him an old-world kind of swagger. His guest for the night opted for a more '90s hip-hop look with an oversized dress shirt and pants paired with a backward-facing baseball cap and the hottest shoe of the year: Timberlands.
All grown up "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" actress Tatyana Ali invoked high glam at the 1998 MTV VMAs. Wearing a rich chocolate leather kimono-style top paired with a sleek and shimmery satin skirt, Tatyana looked ready to step off the small screen and right into the pages of a fashion magazine.
Musician Brian Setzer looked supremely stylish in a metallic damask-print suit paired with a simple white tank top and platform creepers. The guitarist, formerly of the Stray Cats, was enjoying renewed fame as the leader of swing band the Brian Setzer Orchestra, which had recently released the hit single "Jump Jive an' Wail."
Singer and "Moesha" star Brandy shined at the 1998 MTV VMAs in this black and silver tank top paired with a sleek black satin mini and flowing train. Her look, which also featured a puffy satin bow on her rear, was so on-point, it would actually look good on the red carpet today.
While Brandy went for a timeless look, '90s singer Mya opted for an outfit that, although cute in 1998, wouldn't get a fashion pass today. The artist behind hits like "Movin' On" and "My First Night With You" arrived at the MTV VMAs in a monochromatic blue belly-baring jumpsuit that featured a plunging neckline and a hood.
Looking fresh out of junior high orientation, brothers Taylor Hanson, Zac Hanson and Isaac Hanson of Hanson arrived at the 1998 MTV VMAs in semi-casual but totally adorable attire. Donning long-sleeve knits, jeans and their trademark long, flowing blonde hair, these teens looked age-appropriate while still showing a little bit of edge with their accessories, including a pocket chain and some cool shades.