Katy Perry in Zac Posen at the 2013 MTV EMAs

Posted on November 11, 2013

It’s funny. Back in the not-so-long-ago day, you could count on Miley Cyrus showing up on a red carpet dressed like an aging hippie and Katy Perry showing up like a hyperactive cartoon character on acid.

How things have changed.


Katy Perry attends the 2013 MTV EMAs at the Ziggo Dome in Amsterdam, Netherlands in a Zac Posen dress accessorized with Charlotte Olympia heels and a Dolce&Gabbana headband.

Zac Posen Resort 2014 Collection

Our little cartoon character is all grown up. This is pretty, but a little boring for any red carpet with an MTV logo. And while she’s managing to pull it off, we’re not loving the color, especially when paired with the peach satin shoes. It’s a good thing the shape is modern, because the colors read “1950s bridesmaid.”

We’ll give her the headband, though. She needed that little bit of tacky sparkle to remind us who she is.




[Photo Credit: Ian Gavan/Getty Images, style.com]

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  • marlie

    This is demure and tasteful. She must have gotten out of the limo at the wrong event. It’s not a perfect look by any stretch (HATE the shoes), but overall, Katy looks really pretty!

  • I like it OK, but it’s a little demure for her.

    • Carleenml

      My first thought was Soccer Mom. Sad.

      • NMMagpie

        If that’s a soccer mom, then they have stepped it up A LOT.

  • I would love to see this on Dita. I would love to see that tiara (let’s not fool ourselves – it’s bejeweled, it’s on her head – it is a tiara) on my head.

    • SportifLateBoomer

      I know I really really want that tiara. I’m like Amy Farrah Fowler that way.

      20+ years ago a temp at my old job told me I looked like Snow White (white skin, dark hair, red headband) and I’ve never gotten over it. Katy’s look reminds me a little of that and I love it.

      Can Snow White have a streak of grey, like Cruella DeVille? — mixing Disney characters, time to step away…

  • Dita is doing this better.
    I get that she wants to class up the joint, but going super retro doesn’t really feel authentically Katy.

    • Vtg Fashion Library

      Especially when it’s a size too small.

    • Jessica Freeman

      So funny because I thought…this is Katy Perry trying to do Dita and its going tragically.

  • Latin Buddy

    I HATE that the hems are/look like they’re pinned down. A clean hem would be perfect. I actually like the seafoam green and peach. It’s a literal 50s vibe. I dig it.

    • Yes, wth with those hems?

    • marlie

      I wonder if it’s because they were concerned that the crease wouldn’t come out of the fabric?

    • 3boysful

      It bothers me so much I can’t take in the rest. Looks like when I was so desperate to wear a new pair of pants as a child, I turned up 4″ and taped it. You get all those little “points.”

    • Introspective

      me too. doubt its a “stylistic” hem, but rather the ugliness that results from a pragmatic decision not to fully tailor the garment as it may not be hers to keep. which still screams ticky tacky to me…

    • formerlyAnon

      Those unpressed hems pull down any dress they’re on. Here, they make every not quite perfectly smooth curve in the dress noticeable to me. Which they wouldn’t have been otherwise.

      • Lattis

        hear hear
        the hem stinks.

        also the fabric stinks. really, you guys, it is awful. shiny puckery.
        and that is a kleenex color. sorry. hate that kind of fabric.

  • I wish it was pressed. Looks marshmallow-y with those soft edges. And a darker color would’ve been nice.

  • carlaaxtman

    Pretty color…but the I suspect Posen himself would eviscerate that hem from his judge’s perch on Project Runway.

  • Ashleigh

    I like the color pairing…but why does the hem look folded and stapled?

  • NMMagpie

    The finishing on this garment is tragic. That hem is just awful.

    • It’s the hem AND the neckline. Frikkin AWFUL. I think it fits her like a glove (maybe up a size?), and while I’m not a huge fan of that color, I could give it a pass, but the finishing is driving me NUTS.

  • Imasewsure

    Wish she had done with edgier styling with it but it’s pretty. Not loving those boring shoes though

  • Danielle

    I like the color, but the hem is horrifying.

  • mmebam

    Can we talked about the fit on the model? What is that???

    • marlie

      I’ve noticed that Zac Posen’s garments rarely fit the models perfectly, even in the posed photos (as opposed to on the runway). There’s often pulling and puckering and creases where there shouldn’t be, which indicates that the garments aren’t even fitted to the model appropriately. That does a disservice to his brand, because it looks like nothing fits perfectly, even in “ideal” conditions.

      • Do you think he’s just resting on his name and not really trying hard enough? Or is it some form of “I just want to get my idea out there and be done with it” disease? I wonder if he did better finishing at the beginning of his career.

        • marlie

          That’s a good question. I’d think that at this point in his career, he can hire seamstresses to make sure that the execution is perfect; he’s not doing all of this work himself. But maybe he sees the finished product and says “yes, that’ll do.” Maybe it is more about conveying his vision, rather than the technical expertise of the garment itself.

    • Sobaika

      I just… can’t with that model. The dress starts to look better on Katy in comparison (and it doesn’t look very good on her at all). The fit and fabric are terrible and cheap-looking.

  • Too damned tight. Its throwing the fit way way off. Go up a size, girl.

    • Gloriana Reginata

      I’m not sure that’s the source of the wrinkles problem. Even on the model, who looks flat as a board, the hip area is full of little waves and the underarm seam looks strained. It’s as if the whole thing has been designed for a more forgiving material, or a mannequin locked in one position. I blame Posen.

  • nannypoo

    If this fit properly and if it were pressed I would give her credit for a pretty good Mother of the Bride dress. As it is, it looks like a home ec project.

  • Clueless_Jock

    Zac Posen likes retro. The dress complements her figure,

  • jw_ny

    oh I just hate everything about this dress. She has a uni-boob, the color and fabric are bridesmaidy, there is puckering everywhere, the hem is dreadful, and the fit at her arms/arm pits is strained. I do like the headband, and I maybe nuts, but I kinda like the shoes with that outfit.

  • gubblebumm

    Alright, the whole neckline looks like the over estimated the fabric needed and just decided to tuck it all in like an army cot. It like she has three boobs or one giant one

    love the shape of the dress, suits her, but wouldhave been better in a richer color

  • MilaXX

    I don’t like it. It looks like every seam needs to be pressed and the dress is just too tight. The shoes and headband are too separate forms of tacky.

    • Kristin McNamara

      ohmigosh THANK you. I had to scroll all this way before I found a comment that didn’t have a “but” in it. No unreserved dislikes until you! Which is exactly where I fell on this look. Terrible from tip to toe. Unflattering, gross color, weird news anchor hair, painful looking shoes that only encapsulate 3 of her toes. Just bad bad bad.

    • MoHub

      And I’d swear I see nips in at least one photo.

  • Jessica Freeman

    I really don’t like this dress…the seaming at the top is all crazy and the effect does not do it for me. Also, the “I borrowed this dress” hem is more than apparent.

    • I really fail to comprehend how it is good business to send someone out wearing your stuff, when they end up looking badly in it cause it doesn’t fit. How does that translate into sales? Are they assuming that the average shopper will look at KP and say to themselves, “Hell I could wear that better than she can.”?

      • Jessica Freeman

        I really fail to see how they won’t hem dresses instead of walking them out there with these shitty puffy hems. It’s not like this dress is going back on the rack or something…

        • Ah but it WILL go back to Zac Posen, where it will be lent out to someone else later on.

          • demidaemon

            With the same hem and in the same size….

  • alyce1213

    The dress itself is flawed in design. There’s too much going on at the neckline that doesn’t look perfectly constructed, which is essential for this type of dress. Also, too tight and the hem needs a steam. Pretty color, though.

  • Shannon Beamer

    Ditto on all the hem critiques. So awful. But her makeup gays deserve a raise. She’s such a pretty woman and her face really looks great here.

    • Shannon Beamer

      Also, gimme that headband. So what if I work in a law firm?! I’ll find a way to incorporate it into my work wardrobe.

  • decormaven

    Somebody’s stylist got a preview of the RC backdrop and echoed the colors in dress and footwear. However, the hemming on the dress is not professionally finished/pressed, and while Miss Katy has a wonderful figure, it’s a little too much body for the bodice, in my book.

  • hughman

    I am dying, DYING, over the model in the Posen look pic. She is giving us MAJOR Pat Cleveland/Divine Miss M attitude. Katy who??

    • Deac82

      That’s because it is Pat Cleveland!

      • hughman

        OMG! Yes! She’s awesome and I’m so happy to see her again!!

        • Deac82

          You should follow the link to the full lookbook where there are some great images of her! What a model…

          • hughman

            Thanks! I would if I didn’t have to look at Zac Posen’s clothes! I just recently watched “Scatter My Ashes At Bergdorf” and SWOONED when she was in it talking about Halston!

    • Rand Ortega

      Exactly. Who gives a shit about Katy Perry when you can look at Pat Cleveland? SQUEEEE!

      • tereliz

        I do not know who this is, and I must admit I rolled my eye a little at her facial expression. Off to google!

        • Rand Ortega

          MAJOR ’70’s model muse. To Halston, Bill Blass, Stephen Burrows most notably.

    • Mona_Visa

      Can’t take my eyes off this model. Amazing. Pat Cleveland? How do I not know this name.

      I love Katy, but the fashion gods are cruel.

  • Nicole Little

    That is a killer body with some fabric stapled onto it.

  • another_laura

    Really do not like this dress and I’m not sure I would like it on anyone. It looks like something I tried to whip up on the Singer back in junior high.

  • The headband is giving me flashbacks to when Bill Clinton was first elected and Hilary was copping abuse for wearing headbands instead of getting her hair done properly.

  • carnush

    She has such a gorgeous, genuine smile.

  • Jaeda Laurez

    Maybe she’s realizing that there is a certain freedom in allowing your stage persona to remain on stage, and as business women, it’s almost necessary. She still dresses like a Strawberry Shortcake hooker on stage, but leaving it on stage allows for people to treat you as a person and not a character. I think that why Nikki Minaj started leaving the super crazy ‘fits on the stage too.

    All that aside- I like the shape of the dress, even if I don’t care for that color. Hate the shoes. And she looks a bit over it all, but still professional.

    • marlie

      OMG, it would be amazing if Gaga did that. Dress like a “regular” celebrity, and bring on the seriously cracked out stuff for “special” occasions.

      • demidaemon

        Didn’t you know? Every day is a “special” occasion for Gaga! 😉

        I say this because I love her despite the crack spackle, wackadoo outfits, and $2 wigs.

  • Kelly

    In a way, this dress has “Katy Perry” written all over it. But it ends up looking too matronly and ill-fitting. The model, otoh, rocks.

  • Ros

    I like it and I like it on her, but neither the neckline nor the hem look to be properly finished, which makes the whole thing seem cheap and tacky.

    • Bless her heart, she used to break her back to insure that she was as cheap and tacky as possible, and now that she’s trying for demure and classy, she can’t get break free of cheap and tacky.

  • CitizenBA

    Aside from the bridesmaid issue, that is not such a good color for her. Would look much better on a strawberrry blonde, would be better on her is it much a paler, more icy green.

  • kmk05

    Nope nope nope what is that hem?!?! That’s the only thing I can see. It seem like it was hastily pinned as they realised the dress was too long.

    It’s also a tacky as shit fabric, and the shoes don’t help. At least Jessica Alba’s dress was better-constructed!

    • Kimberly Wilcox

      Totally. The dress seems tortured and the fabric doesn’t help that fact. The hem is bizarre, and resembles what we used to do in theatre with duct tape back stage before someone went out in something that we didn’t have time to finish the hem.

      • kmk05

        I think that hem is on purpose *shudders*. Look, it matches the top, i.e. the folded fabric at the collar!

        The dress is even more tortured because it’s the right size, but the fabric is so unforgiving it’s rippling across her abdomen. With those seams, it just isn’t great.

    • kmk05

      Wait a minute. OMG it matches the top. Is that hem on PURPOSE? OMG I can’t.

  • Kimberly Wilcox

    I think its all right. The dress itself seems a little tortured to me….but its certainly a passable color and style for her. And she should probably burn those shoes.

    • demidaemon

      Tortured seems to be Posen’s MO.

      • Kimberly Wilcox


  • kimmeister

    The waist seaming reads cartoony to me because she already has Jessica Rabbit-like curvy proportions, she doesn’t need the extra help of curvy seams.

  • KT

    Ew, I hate this. AWFUL colors, rendered in AWFUL materials that manages to make her look both dowdy and tacky at the same time — like my southern grandmother on Easter Sunday. Sorry, Granny.

  • Not applicable

    must be so difficult to keep the Spanx smooth under that satin…

  • Carla_Charlton

    How about putting an iron on that hem?

  • tereliz

    This would be great for her at an event that called for something fun, but demure, not an MTV anything. They basically gave her carte blanche to go for broke with her Klassic Katy Kookiness, and she gave us BRIDAL. Love the dress on her, but with the shoes and the headband combined, it’s a little too “Princesses of Power who Lunch”.

  • elemspbee

    blue-haired katy perry, please come back. or even pink-haired Katy.

  • Jacqueline Wessel

    She looks pretty enough, but I miss the “hyperactive cartoon character on acid.”

  • Rand Ortega

    This is the perfect example of how dull KPer really is w/out the frou frou. She looks like Snow White on holiday from greeting visitors coming into Disneyland. Going to church.

  • ojosazules

    I’m hating this dress.

  • formerlyAnon

    If they won’t let you press the hem DON’T WEAR IT ladies! That unpressed hem line makes every not-quite-perfectly smooth curve in this dress more noticeable. Or, maybe that’s my OCD talking.

    I find her head to still be VERY Disney character. That close up head shot in photo 5 could be on a [junior year theater major] princess straight out of one of the Disney parks.

    • KirFla

      That HEM! I can’t even with that.

    • Pennymac

      Its not your OCD. Its all I can see. Wait, maybe its my OCD?

    • quiltrx

      It’s OUR OCD, dear. You see one thing amiss, then your eyes run all over it looking for the next ‘mistake’.

  • She looks beautiful, and I love the headband as a nod to her past. I do wish for different shoes, peach satin will never be okay.

  • BobStPaul

    That may be the worst she’s ever looked. That dress is ugly as sin and she’s styled really badly.

  • I love the dress! For me mostly, and I’m an aging hippy. So age-appropriate! It’s a win for me! I like it on Katy too, but the hem looks a little funky.

  • Irish Rodriguez Reyes

    I see this an all I can think of is “It’s Turkey Lurkey time!”

  • Gatto Nero

    This was shortened for her in a hurry, and someone botched the hem.
    Just say no to the headband.

  • TerryMH

    This looks like what she would wear to a church christening.

  • lunchcoma

    I feel this is an overcorrection. She’s usually tawdry, but this is downright frumpy.

  • Esz

    Horrible hem! What’s going on THERE

  • Trickytrisha

    The dress looks like someone’s Aunt Sally (who’s the best dressmaker in her hometown, population 1500) sat down with Katie’s measurements written down on an envelope and whipped up this little green number overnight. Oops – got the length wrong, hurry up and redo the hem, no time to press it though, or the top of the dress. Hmm, looks like it’s a tad too tight around the bust, the sleeves, the ass, but aren’t those shoulders just sooo cute? Katie looks so happy.

    Sorry Zac, but this ain’t cutting it.

  • Lilithcat

    Would it have killed them to press the hem?

  • teensmom99

    She has the body for this but what’s going on with the hem. Looks like an amateurish hemming.

  • Belvane

    The rolled hem and neckline ruin this for me. It’s too much like Tim Gunn hooshing the models out to the runway with the edges of their outfits still pinned.

  • Snailstsichr

    This color looks amazing with her eyes. Wish her shoes had a little of the sparkle of her headband; those peach shoes are so weary.

  • bellafigura1

    Yeah, very home ec but boy, does her figure kill or what?

  • mila_8


  • Gauss

    The seaming is very interesting, but the dress looks homemade (not in a good way) and poorly pressed. Also maybe a tad too tight.

  • CommentsByKatie

    I like the idea, and I even like the idea for her, but sweetie, you aren’t Dita Von Teese. Put the work in for retro make-up or find another look.

  • quiltrx

    A lot of the finishing touches on this dress look half-done–not what I would expect from a well-known designer.
    And up a size, honey.

  • fursa_saida

    Those shoes hurt my feelings. I hate them on a spiritual and emotional level.

    The dress is nice, but for her I wish the color were a little more saturated.

  • Ma. Gabriella Dutari

    Lovely dress, but it needs some ironing?

  • somebody blonde

    *sigh* I miss acid trip Katy. I wish she would come back.

  • Claudia


  • sagecreek

    The first dress I made in 7th grade had a neckline that looked like that. That interface stuff, it’s tricky…

  • d4divine

    It’s just a little too tight.

  • Kent Roby

    If her entire goal was to match the MTV logo, then she was very successful.

  • NYCGlamourpuss

    I’m actually glad she went with the tacky glitter hair band. That said, I do like this look on her – it’s very “Dita Von Teese Jr.”, which COULD work for her. Wrong venue, but she does look wonderful.

    On the other hand, and I’ve posted this here before, I’m kind of sad that her stylists or whoever feel the need to “sophisticate” her up. I’m kind of okay with her wacky tacky costumes (the link to her “sequined torn movie ticket” dress was a perfect example about how fun her outfits used to be, TLo!). I posted before that we have so many glamorous swans (Kidman, Cate, JLaw, etc.) that I don’t need to see *everyone* being forced into that mode. It’s okay for us to have some crazy and tacky girls, which is one of the things I love and miss about her – so says the woman with a drag queen as her avatar.

  • Aidan B

    Hate to say it, but I think her boobs are too big for this dress. Nothing against her boobs, they are glorious. This just isn’t flattering her.

  • Carolyne

    I can’t stop hating the hem. It looks like it was just pinned up until the real seamstress could get there and sew it professionally.

  • BitterOldQueen

    Not so much. It’s better than a box on her head, I suppose, but the color is deadly dull and the overall effect is “puffy” and not in a good way. The hem in particular is sloppy, and the whole thing manages to make her look oddly chunky. It’s a relative improvement for her, though. Now if she could just acquire some better-tailored talent…

  • Jacob Bowen

    It reads very satin bed comforter to me, and that hair is AWFUL. I don’t mind the tiara but the way that it pulls her hair back and gives her five-head is not good.

  • Mary Lauer

    That dress has no room for her boobs. The poor things look so squished and uncomfortable!