Ariana Grande in Kenley Collins at the 2013 MTV VMAs

Posted on August 26, 2013

Ariana Grande attends the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards, held at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York in a dress designed by Project Runway designer Kenley Collins.



[Photo Credit: ACE/, Janet Mayer /]

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  • Sobaika

    Right out of Kenley’s playbook. And wrong for the occasion.

    • susan6

      Right out of Kenley’s “ripping off other people’s playbooks” playbook. She’s ripped off McQueen, now she’s ripping off Herrera. Wonder who’s next. If she rips off Siriano, he’s going to give her SUCH a slap.

      • Jennifer Peters-Ahnberg

        I would pay so much money to see that.

        • Rand Ortega


      • lilyvonschtupp

        Calm down. Christian initially ripped off McQueen.

      • jmorino08

        Yes! Herrera! That’s who’s using that print.

      • tereliz

        Was just about to say that this dress looks exactly like Spring’s Herrera collection, down to the floral on light blue fabric. What a mess. LOL about the Siriano slap. Unfortunately his looks are not “retro” enough for Kenley to steal.

  • savicevic

    She has a way of Toddlers-and-Tiaras-ing up every outfit.

    • imspinningaround

      YES. Why does this girl always dress like a Madame Alexander doll?

      • KikiAvocado

        That is her “schtick” —I guess she is working the “dumb jailbait” look for all it’s worth

        • Heather

          Ew. How old is this girl? (I’m sure I could Wikipedia it, just seems easier to ask other BKs.)

          • marlie


          • Heather

            Oh… that makes this even more creepy, somehow.

  • Karen Belgrad

    As is: Whatever Happened To Baby Jane remake

    Lower the waist 2″: Kinda cute in an overly twee way

  • MilaXX

    and in true Kenley Collins fashion, it looks like a Carolina Herrera ripoff. lol

    • Paigealicious

      Just about to post that!!!

    • TAGinMO

      “I don’t look at collections.” -Kenley Collins

    • Ginny Ellsworth

      Isn’t that the fabric from the fabulous Lucy Liu ballgown? Guess she is still shopping at Mood.

      • mlle

        Similar – they’re both florals on a sky blue, though the Herrera dress had only one flower (roses?) on the print.

        • Ginny Ellsworth

          True. Good catch.;-) So Herrera knock off fabric sewn up into a Herrera knock off dress?

    • Julie Chase

      I didn’t even read the designer name, I thought this WAS the Herrera. Kenley is such a phoney.

      • Louise Bryan

        I thought so too. I also was thinking this was not an appropriate venue for an 12 year old I’ve never heard of. I gather from the comments, though, that she is a teeny bit older than that. When I saw that Kenley did the dress, I smirked. Really, I did.

      • cbt22

        My thoughts in order: 1. Man, some stylist really hacked that Carolina Herrera all to hell. 2. This is Kenley? Huh. She must have pulled a Sustainicorn and done her shopping out back of Herrera’s studio.

  • decormaven

    Springtime floral not my first choice for the VMAs, but the dress is cute. Uninspired accessorizing- pearl earrings and bracelet paired with white pumps. Zzzzz….

  • Sarah

    She’s serving up serious uber bitchface realness.

  • eowyn_of_rohan

    Honey, you’re no Lucy Liu.

  • Latin Buddy

    Um…Carolina Herrera knockoff

    • Rand Ortega

      Think Mood had a Summer clearance?

  • YoungSally

    I saw her performance in the pre show (watched parts of it after Breaking Bad).. she was billed as an “up and coming popstar…nice voice…but way too manufactured.

  • majorbedhead

    She seems a bit old to be wearing a dress like that. It looks like it belongs on an 8 year-old.

  • Meg

    I can’t figure out whether or not this is age-appropriate. 20 is young, but not necessarily this young.

    • Wellworn

      I had to look her up to see her age. 20 is not young enough for this dress. I actually like the fabric, but it is so twee it makes my teeth hurt.

    • AnnaleighBelle

      She’s 20?! I thought she was about 14.

      • Kristin McNamara

        My reaction too! 20?!???!?!?? I was gonna guess 12! Or however old Kiernan Shipka is haha

        • Betsy

          No, I definitely thought she was younger than Kiernan Shipka!

    • Ginny Ellsworth

      She is the same age as Miley Cyrus! Fanning myself with the chuch bulletin.

      • IMNAngryLiberal

        And if I’m to be perfectly honest, I think a 20 yr old should dress more like Miley than this — talk about your kiddie porn!

        • Ginny Ellsworth

          I was thinking more about the dichotomy between the two singers. Little Lass Fauntleroy vs. Hi Sailor, New in Town. Talk about a cage match.

          • marlie

            Right. I see 20 as somewhere happily in the middle of the two.

    • It looks like she raided the closet and found an outfit she wore when she was 12 years old, and put it on again just for fun. “Look, Mom, how much I’ve grown!”

      • marlie

        “Look, Mom, it still fits!”

  • Nicholas

    I think she looks sweet, but maybe I’m a jadded asshole like that.

    The puffy shoulders look very … Oktoberfest, though.

  • Rand Ortega

    Apparently Kenley’s gotten a new hobby besides beating up boyfriends w/ cats. Stealing fabrics from Carolina Herrera.

    • Sarah

      But she still likes to dress everyone like a cigarette girl, so nothing new there. Put a pillbox hat on this kid and give her a tray of Lucky Strikes!

      • Rand Ortega

        “Cigars? Cigarettes? Other people’s designs?”

        • Sarah

          Ooh, snap!

        • NYCGlamourpuss

          Nicely done!

        • tereliz

          I love you. 🙂

  • Julia

    Cute dress but WAY too short. It’s disproportional.

    • Paigealicious

      I read “disproportional” as “unprofessional,” LOL.

  • StellaZafella

    Cute…now go put your skates on…

    • Betsy

      “You’ve got a gold medal to win, sweetie! So go make Mama proud!!”

  • Sarah

    OMG Kenley. You are SO predictable.

  • alyce1213

    The dress is several inches short — she’s not 6. It’s not the best choice for an MTV show but better than a 20 year old dressing too slutty.

  • DuBey2

    I like it. Agree that it needs about 2 inches more. Go Kenley. I don’t follow CH, but if thats her fabric, could someone maybe post a link?

    • Sarah Winningham

      Google Lucy Liu Oscars or Crystal Reed Teen Choice Awards.

      • Ginny Ellsworth

        2013 Golden Globes, I think.

    • MilaXX

      search on this site for Lucy Lui

    • Latin Buddy

      If you post a link, TLo site has to approve it but just go to google and type Carolina Herrera Lucy Liu.

      • DuBey2

        Thank you!

    • Paigealicious

      You could also try searching it on this site. TLo posted the designs.

    • DuBey2

      OK, thanks to all. I went to Google and Now I see it — and I’m embarrassed to admit I actually did like that CH on Lucy Liu (of course, it was the long gown) because the print was so different.

  • 3boysful

    “Of course.”

    (directed at designer)

    • pop_top

      “Of course.”
      (directed at actress.)

  • Danielle

    A little twee, for my taste, but far better than some of the other looks at the VMAs.

  • bassfemme

    JHC, she even LOOKS like Kenley.

  • The fit seems a little off, but I like it for her.

  • Donyelle

    If your signature silhouette is the same McCall’s See and Saw pattern, using a luxe fabric STILL doesn’t make you a designer.

    • Introspective

      the shade in this comment is epic!! and so appropriate…

  • julnyes

    This is a 2 year old’s dress, not a 20 year old.

  • Fanny_Trollope

    She should be wearing ruffled underpants with this. The ruffles could show when she acted out “I’m a Little teapot.”

    • Donyelle

      there is something Baroque Bo Peep about it.

    • AmeliaEve

      I had a dress almost exactly like that circa 1973 that DID come with matching bloomers. (The style was known as a “sizzler.”) All this one is missing is the big butt bow. I sewed it from a Simplicity pattern.

    • Fanny_Trollope

      Hair in pigtails would have been a nice touch as well.

  • AnnaleighBelle

    I don’t know who this fetus is, but wasn’t this show past her bedtime….and outside her MPAA rating?

    • marlie

      Wouldn’t you know, this “fetus” is 20 years old.

  • Coco Cornejo

    From the ankles up it’s okay, if a bit juvenile. But those shoes are just tragic.

  • LauraAgain

    Well, not my taste (though I would love to have some pillows and/or curtains made from that fabric!) but she does look much more ladylike than most every other young female at the VMA’s.

    How do you sit in a dress like that???

  • Jacqueline Wessel

    I feel that at any moment she’s going to start tap dancing.

  • Darren Nesbitt

    Kenley biting Herrera = of course.

  • Jacquelyn

    Well it’s a Kenley dress that’s for sure. It needs to be a little longer on someone so young, or at least on someone who looks THAT young. Also, those shoes look like the plastic ones that came with my Barbie dolls. She does have pretty eyes, though.

  • NYCGlamourpuss

    So, I Googled her, because I don’t know who she is, and was shocked to see she was 20. Because, I was – in total seriousness – ready to type, “Isn’t this a little too short for a 12 year old? Where are her parents?” I had no idea that she was a grown woman, which makes the dress even worse, but in the opposite way! Now it looks like an already child-like grown woman desperately trying to look even more childlike. This no es bueno!

    • Jessica Freeman

      I was about to google her, so thanks for doing the leg work. My initial thought was, this is fine if she’s 15-17.

    • She’s on a Nick show, that my kid likes. She talks in this horribly annoying breathy little girl voice. It makes me crazy. The fact that she’s working the Lolita thing here surprises me, not one bit.
      For what it’s worth, ten years ago when my now 16 yr old liked Hanna Montana, I told her to never trust a kid who sounds like she smokes two packs a day.

      • Um that is how her character is supposed to sound. Cat is very childish and ditzy.

  • Guest

    This would be a lovely Easter dress for a 3-yr.-old wee tot.

  • dalgirl

    This would be a darling Easter dress for a 3-yr.-old wee tot. Imagine: white patent shoes with matching purse,tights, white gloves, and a lovely Easter bonnet!

  • Tamara Hogan

    Too young-looking for the actress. Not the right dress for this event. Too short for ANY event.

  • sagecreek

    I can feel myself getting older as I type this, but that skirt is just too short.

  • Imasewsure

    I think she looks adorable but she also looks six years old which is fine if you are six years old (or maybe seven but pining away to be six again).

  • Imasewsure

    I keep going back to it with these damn twee dresses but you need combat boots to make this work. Such a pretty print and actually a very pretty dress but I can’t imagine it working on any adult woman

  • AnnPopovic

    This worked particularly well when she started singing. I recommend she repeat the whole performance for her Annie audition.

  • steeg of their own

    Those cap sleeves make her upper arms look weird in every single one of those pictures. Now that I’ve started staring at this phenomenon, I can’t stop.

    Plus the whole thing is a cheap twee knockoff of CH’s dress for Lucy Liu at the Oscars. Ariana here wishes she was half as cool and stylish as Lucy Liu.

  • kmk05


    It’s kind of… not very evening-y. Like it’s off topic.

  • Sarah Caponigro

    I can’t with this one…Her voice on the tv shows my son has watched her in….the ones he is no longer allowed to watch because the whole cast acts stupid. I can’t.

  • Betsy

    Besides all of the spot-on Carolina Herrera rip-off comments . . .

    Hollywood used this SAME proportional combination to keep Shirley Temple looking like a preschooler, when she no longer was. Pull the waist WAY up above the natural waistline (this one’s at least 3 inches high), then fluff out a BIG skirt from their, then stop the skirt WAY up her legs, then pop on some ridiculous puffy sleeves.

    Put this one in tap shoes, and she’d fit right in. At least into the chorus. Oh, and she also doesn’t have much talent, if the show was any indication.

  • save_the_hobbit

    She’s actually a relatively talented singer, and it’s a shame they’re going the sexualized route with her. Everything she wears is this short, and they actually even got in trouble for having her in lingerie on her album cover. Mind you, this is someone who is currently a Nickelodeon star.

    For reference, the band Big Time Rush has had their whole career dampened by Nickelodeon to keep them “child friendly” (they are currently all 23 and 24). But apparently it’s okay if you’re a girl ‘cuz hey, sex sells.

  • marlie

    I’ve said this before, but I can’t wait for the high-waisted look to be over. Also, why would a 20-year-old WANT to look like she’s still 12? And like everyone else said… this is a total rip-off of Carolina Herrera’s most recent collection.

    • conniemd

      Looking at it I was thinking the short circle skirt was sooooo Kenley 50s retro, but how gorgeous it would look as a long gown, just like a Caroline Herrera gown. It’s a really beautiful Caroline Herrera type fabric.

    • Because if she dressed her actual age parents would complain.

  • Feh. Carolina Herrera, much?

  • Pterodactyl111

    I would like it a lot better if it was longer.

  • ballerinawithagun

    You can tell it is a Kenley because the horsehair braid on the hem is showing. Carolina would not allow that mistake. I shop at S. R. Harris in a suburb of Minneapolis. They purchase the end runs from designers. Fabulous fabrics but it is always good to put your own mark on your designs. Siriano isn’t exactly original… Whoops, I should have put this part under susan6, sorry.

  • bertkeeter

    She’ll probably be a train wreck in five years like the rest of them! :(((

  • RedRaven617

    Isn’t the same fabric as Lucy Liu’s dress from the Oscars?

    • SewingSiren


  • Trisha26

    She’s 20 and looks 12. Definitely a Kenley style but it should be mid-calf. This is not working for me at all.

  • guest2visits

    Although I think she looks very pretty in the dress and it fits her to a T ; I also thought it was too short for someone so young – like 12 or even 15. Seeing she’s 20… I don’t know. I still don’t like the shoes or the plastic looking pearl bracelet. This would be so much more chic if it were knee length or longer.

  • KingCrazy

    Saw this girl perform on the red carpet last night, and she was ADORABLE. Pretty, great voice, and she was so nervous and genuine.

    That said, her fashion choices…need work, to say the least.

  • quiltrx

    “I’m writing a letter to Daddy…”
    Sorry, this is coming off kind of “luring the perverts” to me…was Chris Hansen hiding somewhere?

  • Erica_Vuitton

    The styling is so juvenile with the child pageant hair and white pumps. All it’s missing is ankle socks gross. Something a little more grown up for the shoe and slicked back ponytail hair would’ve made the dress work. She’s 20 not 12!

    The purple glitter ice skater costume she performed in was even worse.

  • jmorino08

    That dress is so Kenley in it’s style but isn’t another designer using a print very similar to this?

    • pop_top

      It kind of reminds me of that dress that Lucy Liu wore to the Oscars a while back.

  • Jaeda Laurez

    It’s so cute, but she’s 20, so it seems a bit TOO precious. But girl can sing- i’ll forgive a lot for that.

    • MarissaLG

      So interesting! I looked at this and thought, “Well, she’s probably 14 or so, so this is a cute look.” At 20? Eh…

      • ThaliaMenninger

        And I was thinking, “Well, she’s probably 14, which means the dress is cute but the shoes are AWFUL. And the dress is actually too short, given those shoes.” But now that I hear she’s 20… The dress and hair are much too young for her, while the shoes are just wrong for anyone.

    • pop_top

      She’s a pretty girl with a great voice, but I feel like since she appeals to tweens she thinks she should dress like one? I spent a long time thinking how nice it must be to be that pretty and not awkward at 14.

      Also, she seems very Duchess Kate about her hair – I’ve never seen it not in that style, and without those curls.

      • She is supposed to appeal to tweens so she can’t go dressing like she is 20.

  • Andrea Lentz

    She is flawless and a fantastic role model compared to Miley!!!!

  • emchicago

    her makeup makes her look a little like a CGI of ariana grande

  • Sadie-Ann

    I love cutesy things (probably more than I should), but this is too much. This is a tea party outfit.

  • librarygrrl64

    I can’t get beyond the white pumps. STOOOOOOOOPPPPPP!!!!

  • mrspeel2

    How adorable and oh, SO Kenley!

  • Danielle West

    Isn’t that the same fabric of the dress Lucy Liu wore to the Oscars? Unacceptable. .

  • mhleta

    From the hem up I’m getting a Good Ship Lollipop vibe. And then we get the heels, which are decidedly grown up, so there’s a weird conversation NOT happening between the person, the shoes and the dress. If the skirt had been fitted rather than poofy, this would have been a homer.

  • the girl looks sweet in the dress, it just needs a dark leaf green belt to break it up and toss the white shoes for something edgier.
    Yes, this is a fabric used by Carolina Herrera, but many designers buy from the same sources and sometimes the same fabric shows up in different collections.
    And good for kenley for being able to get her dress on someone in the spot light. that is not an easy trick.
    And no I am not a fan of her personally.