Katy Perry in Atelier Versace at the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards

Posted on August 25, 2014

This is an homage we never expected to see. In retrospect, we were very naive, weren’t we?


Katy-Perry-2014-MTV-Video-Music-Awards-VMAs-Red-Carpet-Versace-Tom-Lorenzo-Site-TLO (1)Katy Perry (pictured with Riff Raff) attends the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards at The Forum in Inglewood, California in custom Versace.

Katy-Perry-2014-MTV-Video-Music-Awards-VMAs-Red-Carpet-Versace-Tom-Lorenzo-Site-TLO (3)Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake at the 2001 American Music Awards.

We’re having an extraordinarily difficult time dealing with the idea that Brit and Justin’s infamous denimtastrophe of 13 years ago has now been recast as some sort of iconic fashion moment. We may need a brief lie-down.

Katy-Perry-2014-MTV-Video-Music-Awards-VMAs-Red-Carpet-Versace-Tom-Lorenzo-Site-TLO (2)

Katy-Perry-2014-MTV-Video-Music-Awards-VMAs-Red-Carpet-Versace-Tom-Lorenzo-Site-TLO (4)

Katy-Perry-2014-MTV-Video-Music-Awards-VMAs-Red-Carpet-Versace-Tom-Lorenzo-Site-TLO (5)

Katy-Perry-2014-MTV-Video-Music-Awards-VMAs-Red-Carpet-Versace-Tom-Lorenzo-Site-TLO (6)

Katy-Perry-2014-MTV-Video-Music-Awards-VMAs-Red-Carpet-Versace-Tom-Lorenzo-Site-TLO (7)

Not that we have an issue with these looks. It’s fun.  She also tweeted a shoutout to Britney and a mention that this all came about because of nostalgia. The VMAs red carpet is definitely the place to have fun with your fashion. And she IS Katy Perry, after all. And at least these versions are more polished and fitted than the originals. Denim gowns will probably never look chic to our eyes, but as we always say, real style is about matching the clothes to the wearer to the venue. The right dress on the right gal at the right party. On that level, this couldn’t be more stylish.




[Photo Credit: Getty Images]

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  • Bless Britney. She looks so relaxed and happy in those pictures – and I am pretty sure she doesn’t know the meaning of the word irony.

    • Man Dala

      God bless her auto-tune heart.

  • FrigidDiva

    I love this. I think it’s venue appropriate and she looks amazing. However, can we talk about her plus one, Riff-Raff, or however you spell his name? She’s totally punking us, right?

    • sienna elm

      I love her dress! About Riff Raff – in my mind the little figure on his bejewelled brass knuckles walks when you press a button, wouldn’t that be cool?

    • Man Dala

      I thought Riff Raff was an accessory to her outfit. Like an orbiting man-size human doll or something.

      • PinkyAndNoBrain

        “It’s a Real Douche (copyright Mattel)! For when you need your date to be less classy than you, order a Real Douche and prop him up next to a camera. Comes with 4 signature poses and faces, including ‘Yeah I’m hitting THAT ASS! (and is she pregnant?)’ and ‘Sexxii Overbite’! Buy one NOW!”

        • Man Dala

          Does it come with interchangeable outfits? If it comes only in denim I pass.

          • PinkyAndNoBrain

            Well, obviously it comes in Gold Vest Without a Shirt and Leather Pants, as well as Shirtless With Chains And Black Jeans With Boxers Showing (color of boxers: red, gray, or navy). The denim is his formal wear.

  • mlurve

    Initial thoughts:

    1. This is hilarious and awesome
    2. She looks more like Zooey here than ever before
    3. Why does Riff Raff’s hair color match his skin color, it makes his hair look like a brain

    • Andrew Tidd

      I immediately got the Deschanel vibe….

      • Man Dala

        I totally agree. Actually I thought she was Zoe when I saw the picture coming up on my mobile Facebook feed.

    • Lolololol #3. Thank you for voicing that, I couldn’t figure out why it looked so weird… That braid pattern was so inadvisable.

    • Oh lordy the Brains braids!!!!! I will never unsee that. (shudders)

      • First thing I thought was “Dude, you have your brains on the outside of your head.”

        • Perfect target for that zombie attack we’re expecting.

    • Kathy

      I guess Riff Raff doesn’t have to sing “If I only had a brain” now.

      “I could while away the hours, conferrin’ with the flowers
      Consultin’ with the rain…”

    • Glam Dixie

      From the front, I was trying to figure out if he had some sort of macrame hat thing on. Not a good look, either way.

    • CT14

      I kept trying to figure out what was on his head! It wasn’t till the last picture that I realized IT WAS HIS HAIR!

      I couldn’t even focus on Katy because of the crap on his head.

    • TigerLaverada

      Yeah, I thought it WAS a pic of the Zooey at first.

  • Jarethee

    This makes me happy. Well, Katy and her quirkiness. Her smarmy looking arm candy, not so much.

    • Nicole

      I love how smarmy he is in this outfit. I can’t stop laughing!

      • Imasewsure

        Exactly… channeling JT and also having fun with this silly retro thang…

  • RussellH88

    I really do love this.

    She’s just having fun, it’s cheeky, and it’s entirely pop-culture savvy.

  • TM

    If you must, this is the way to do it I suppose. But if you must must.

  • Anna

    Are they “canoodling?” I don’t know what the hell a Riff Raff is, to be honest.

    The denim talons are scaring me, but then again I’ll never be onboard with long nails. Otherwise, this is absolutely spot-on and (probably one of the only times I’ll say this about Katy Perry), appropriate.

    • Karen Belgrad

      The only Riff Raff I know does the Time Warp and sends us back to Transylvania!

      • Anna

        Indeed, that’s the only one I’d heard of until the 2014 VMAs. I prefer that one.

        • AlisonS

          It’s an actual name of an actual person? Here I just thought TLo were being clever. I kept thinking it was KFed the more I stare at him.

          • Anna

            DEFINITELY KFed.

          • Kitten Mittons

            Dammit, I’d forgotten KFed existed. Damn.

          • @Biting Panda

            Lemme tell you about KFed, he keeps on having women fall in love with him, and have his babies. I believe he’s married now, and has had two or so with her.

            Years ago, he was on some VHI “celbrity” show – with the woman he left for Brit – and I watched every second of that train wreck. Good shit.

            Also, the KFed years of The Fug Girls are hands down still some of the funniest things ever on the internet.

          • Kitten Mittons

            RE the Fug Fun: Well, at least he’s good for something, I suppose.
            I pray he never meets my SIL. In the ever useful words of Boobs Legsley, they’d probably “spit out a whole litter of kids.”

            Can I say in KFed’s defense, though, he never had “brain braids,” as someone above coined those things. So, something else positive to say….huh.

          • KinoEye

            KFed’s “music” career was a huge in-joke in my high school group of friends. PopoZao (Portuguese for “big ass”) was our jam. Good times.

      • barbarasingleterry

        That was my first thought….

    • I was just thinking — the one thing missing in 2001 was talons, apparently…

      • Anna

        Well, Britney does appear to have a white French manicure, so she didn’t entirely avoid the tacky with her nails.

    • fauxfatale

      He’s the Florida rapper who the James Franco character in Spring Breakers was based on.

      • Makes me hide and be reluctant to say I live in Florida. These are the ones I want to gather in a big PODS cube and then have them take the thing to a storage unit at some remote area of the docks in NYC.

  • Karen Belgrad

    I cracked up when I saw it, but it’s so weird for a near 30 year old to pay homage to a 32 year old.

    • Karen Belgrad

      (Is it weird that Katy’s dress has a finished hem… is it some sort of weird one-upmanship?)

    • SportifLateBoomer

      I don’t know I think it makes a lot of sense. Britney was probably Katy’s idol 13 years ago, way ahead of her career-wise, and this may have been the height of fashion to her young(er) eyes. I love it!

      • Karen Belgrad

        Oh, I completely get it from a relevance factor. It still cracks me up.

        • teensmom99

          I actually thought that the 30 yo homage to a 32 yo is a bit of an All About Eve move. But funny.

    • mlurve

      I read on ET that Britney did an impression of Woody Woodpecker on Instagram and then “challenged” Katy Perry to do an impression, which Katy obviously ran with for the VMAs.

  • imspinningaround

    I want to spend a day in Katy Perry’s wig closet.

  • RescueMe23

    This is a joke right?

  • sienna elm

    I thought you guys were being facetious (and it was a great joke!) when you posted this on FB and called him Riff Raff. Then I look it up & find out he’s really a person who calls himself Riff Raff! I think I should go back to bed!

  • Angela_the_Librarian

    HA! I thought this was a great homage to the original tackiness. Her date looks a bit scary though.

  • papillon

    Oh, that’s Riff-Raff? Why are his braids that colour? It is not an attractive shade at all.

    The denim homage is a cute idea and she looks as nice as one could possibly look in all denim outfit. Plus unlike Brit and Justin at that time, I would assume that Katy at least appreciates that there is nothing chic about a matching all denim outfit.

    Also lol, Sway is still around. He looks the same.

  • Town

    Rihanna would’ve rocked this.

    Riff Raff’s denim suit is definitely better than Justin’s.

    That’s all I got.

  • James

    Katy is taking the mickey out of it all. I am ok with that.

  • shopgirl716

    Katy Perry looks amazing in a completely hideous dress. The yenta in me wants to have a long talk with her about her taste in men. She can do SO much better.

  • Dany

    I love them both, and I feel bad for Brit.

  • Capt. Renault

    To me it reads more ‘costume’ than dress, but I’m an ol’ stick in the mud. Have fun, kids.

  • deelup

    Beverly Titbillies.

  • Punkinsmom

    The fit is spectacular. And I like that it’s a glammed up version of the original, but anything that begins as an hommage to Britney Spears is in negative territory.

  • CB

    I’m going to go ahead and argue that the Britney/Justin look WAS iconic. Tacky as hell, yes, but definitely iconic.

    Also, I think Katy looks great. She’s always in on the joke.

  • marlie

    I thought Brit and Justin looked like ass way beck in the day, and now Katy and her friend look like bedazzled ass. And then to add those nails? It’s too much tacky for me.

    And who the F is “Riff Raff”, and can he please go away?

  • Crystal

    Oh my god this is amazing. Katy seems to be very good at tailoring her style to the venue. I remember when she wore that great dress with the Virgin Mary on it and a big ass crown to the Met Ball lol

  • ojosazules

    My favorite Versace dress ever.

  • Kent Roby

    This is all so bad that it’s beyond fabulous. This definitely makes me smile.

    • Glam Dixie

      My first thought was trailer park fabulous.

  • Sarah

    I’m feeling pretty much ninety, because: Hell to the No.

  • FibonacciSequins

    Now that’s funny.

  • Julie Ann

    He (RIFF RAFF???) looks like an exact dup of James Franco’s hideous character called Alien in Spring Breakers. How could anyone aspire to that?

    • CB

      Actually, if I’m not mistaken, Franco used Riff Raff as inspiration for his Spring Breakers character. SO much crazy either way.

      • Julie Ann

        Ohhhhhh. I missed that. BUT, it does totally make sense.

    • According to another comment, that character was based on Mr. Raff.

    • YeahYeahFashion

      I’m shocked Riff Raff didn’t actually sue James Franco for 100% stealing his character for Spring Breakers.

  • Jaeda Laurez

    She’s with Riff Raff, who I know nothing of, other than being on a reality show, so we’re going to ignore him and his salmon? colored braids. I prefer Britney’s version, because she didn’t try and sell us leg too, but I do like the dress as #PayingAmish (tm Luvvie).

  • Janet B

    The fit is fantastic.

    • FibonacciSequins

      Katy has the advantage of wearing a dress made of thinner, stretchier denim than Britney’s dress. It drapes and tailors more like dress fabric.

  • Lee

    I didn’t see the red carpet so this just made my day 🙂

  • Sobaika

    Her taste in men is atrocious. As to the Britney denim shoutout, that’s pretty hilarious and nicely done.

  • Chris

    Riff Raff, street rat!

    …I don’t… BUY THAT

    • prettyinmink

      Glad I’m not the only one who memorized the Aladdin soundtrack (years before my 3 year old was born).

    • Pterodactyl111


  • Judy_J

    On the positive side, the dress fits her like a dream and looks really well-made. The down side is it’s a DENIM GOWN!

  • EveEve

    I want to give a shout out to the designer/alteration folks for perfectly fitting the dress. They made it look effortless, and I am sure it was not.

  • Frank_821

    Its absurd but fun yet surprisingly polished and thought out.

    I serious dig that cat knuckle rig of his

  • I think the bigger question here is WHY RIFF RAFF?????

    • That was my first question. Hoping they aren’t an item.

    • Grumpy Girl

      I was assuming it would be hard to get a guy to play along with this homage?

  • Kitten Mittons

    Soooo, she tweets that it’s an homage. But that’s just to cover her ass with Britney, right?

    • Lori

      Some how I doubt that calling it “nostalgia” is going to help her cover her ass with Britney. More like make Brit want to kick it.

      • Kitten Mittons

        That’s definitely a possibility. I guess her thinking was, if I acknowledge it as an “homage” because “nostalgia,” it won’t look like I’m outright making fun of her. But….she kinda is.

        I have to say, I have no love for Britney, and I enjoy Katy’s antics most of the time. So, this doesn’t bother me at all, and makes me chuckle. Just seems like pretty blatant shadiness with an attempt to make it seem not so shady. Like when someone says “No offense, but [insert offensive statement].”

        • Lori

          I also have no love for Britney (some pity, but no real love). My issue with this is not so much that it’s throwing shade on Britney (which it totally is), but that A) Britney is way past relevent enough to warrant shade-throwing and B) people who say “No offense, but [insert offensive statement]” drive me totally nuts. I feel like Katy does that a lot.

    • YeahYeahFashion

      We should just call it what it is. Trolling. and seriously… who trolls on Britney Spears???

      • Kitten Mittons

        Y’know, the more I think about this, I wonder. I really don’t think it’s much of a tribute to Britney, because this was one of the low points for Britney, fashion-wise. This look was panned by everyone, universally. If Katy were going to do a true homage to an idol of hers, pick one of Brit’s really standout, memorable looks, even if it was her stagewear.

        But this is a lot of work to go to in order to make fun of someone. It’s a custom-made Versace gown, with a custom-made companion look for her fella. It fits like a glove, accessorized to the max, etc. If she were really just making fun, she might try to make herself look a little more trashy, maybe. I know, trashy denim gown is trashy, but the hair and makeup and such.

        I feel like, realistically, Britney’s people had to know about this and ok it. If it’s not really an homage, then it makes more sense to pick the most talked about look of Britney’s, not necessarily the best. That’s what would drum up the most publicity for both Katy and Britney.

        So, my question is, does Britney have a project coming up, or a tour? And I wonder if Katy’s ticket sales are dipping what with some of the backlash against her for recent events? Just curious.

  • Qdahling

    Too soon.

  • Melissa Brogan

    Riff Raff is his (stage) name? I thought you were just being snarky on Twitter, lmao

  • SistaT

    I hate them both.

  • formerlyAnon

    She does trend to men one has to (presumably) know to love, doesn’t she?

    Trailer trash though it brand me, I liked Ms. Spears’ version better. The lack of hem was so dead-on appropriate, plus Ms. Perry’s going too close to a patchwork vibe. Mr. Timberlake, however, is easily being outpaced here.

  • Gracie82

    I’m going to be the sourpuss that says this girl cant seem to wear something that isn’t a costume and its annoying. Britney rocked it better cause it was an authentic moment. And she was ohmygosh beautiful back then too.

  • I thought it was quite Perryesque, but are Katy and Riff Raff a thing now?

    • Truthiness2U

      He does the rap as part of her edit of “This Is How We Do.”

  • Beto

    Dunno what to say but attagirl.

  • I yelled “BRITNEY AND JUSTIN!” when they got out of the Lambo. My husband thought I was insane until she confirmed it.

  • Boulderista

    The blue talons both take this over the top and at the same time totally make it work. Though the top half of the dress has a little bit too much Wonder Woman vibe to my eyes

  • Where’d they park their 16 wheeler?

  • joancarol

    Is Riff Raff putting on chapstick in the first pic?

  • cocohall

    I may be naive, but I got the sense that Riff Raff was hired for the event to be her arm candy and wear this outfit. They arrived in some fancy sports car that he was driving, but she was clearly calling the shots, telling him where to pull up, when to exit the car, etc. Their body language does not look like real couple to me. With that said, I think the homage to Justin and Britney is amusing. And yes, that dress is tacky, but extremely well-made tacky. It fits her beautifully. Given the venue, she nailed it. Not quite as much fun as her Smurfette dress, but close.

  • Nika E

    I kind of love it even though I know it’s wrong

  • poorellensmith

    Forget about these crazy kids — I want the shoes that black-clad woman in the background of Katy’s profile picture is wearing!

  • This didn’t make me laugh at all. In fact, it was devoid of all humor. And I’m one to find a funny in anything. I just didn’t see it here.

    I’m just gonna blame it on the Riff Raff random.

  • SugarSnap108

    She definitely wins the 13-year-apart Who Wore it Better?

  • Little_Olive

    Lovelovelove that she did this. She looks good (considering), fun, and I don’t know how but it does not seem either self-centered for Katy nor insulting for Brit.
    God knows this crowd really need to take themselves less seriously.

  • MartyBellerMask

    Who is the ass clown she’s with?

    • MilaXX

      Some tired so called rapper named Riff Raff

      • JauntyJohn

        what the hell is happening on the top of his head? I really, really want to applaud the stones it takes to attempt to pull off what looks like… seriously, is that peach colored, sculptured corn rows?!?
        But I just can’t — at the very least, that’s not the right color for him – if he wanted to be playful with color/gender expectations then a stronger hue would be the way to go.
        Otherwise: No!

        • Dadasoph

          Is orange hair and cornrows really THAT weird? In 2014? The pearl clutching in this whole comments section is a little over the top.

          • JauntyJohn

            No, it’s not “weird.” I actually have a blue and purple slash in my hair as I type this.
            My point was not that it’s weird, (to me) it’s more that a light peach color isn’t working that well – it’s not flattering. It doesn’t compliment him in any way. The color isn’t strong enough to “read.”

            ETA: Cornrows can look great, but I’m not sure it’s the look for him. Still, I’m sure it’s a branding/signature thing in this case, so whatever.

  • Jenn

    Britney should have always only been homage

  • Shyla

    I think Sweet Pea made this on Project Runway.

  • rocketinu

    She’s a beautiful woman and this is great on her! I so hate the long fingernails they all are wearing now.

  • Rebecca Harvey

    Where Britney failed, was that she didn’t take the tacky far enough. You don’t just do a denim strapless dress; you do denim plus studs, plus crystals, plus chains, plus big obnoxious logos, and paint your nails to match. One must embrace the tacky fully or it just looks lame.

    • Linderella

      The difference is, Britney took it seriously and Katy didn’t.

  • J.W.

    His head looks like a brain coral, and her long, blue talons bug me.

  • amanda lynn

    omg. omg. OMG. I love this so much!

  • Synnae

    I actually love this, in indeed a VMA only way. Also- while the taste level is highly questionable- Versace’s atelier did fit this dress and the suit absolute perfectly.

  • Nicole

    Britney wore it better.

  • lunchcoma

    It’s fun, and at least she’s not insulting anyone else’s culture. On a scale of Katy Perry Outfits, I’ll take it.

  • MilaXX

    Why the hell did she come with Riff Raff of all people? Are they dating, recording a song together. What, why?

    • Dadasoph

      The latter. He’s on the remix of her latest single. Also probably because he seems like a pretty fun date.

  • StrandedFashionista

    I think it’s so interesting how, when side-by-side you can obviously tell that one of the denim gowns is couture and the other obviously isn’t.

  • mmebam

    Cause theeeeey’re tiptoeing in their Jordache tryin’ to gain time…

  • Call me Bee

    Wow–B & JT was only 2001. Looks like 1974-ish, doesn’t it? Anyway–sure. Katy looks great. Right dress, right venue. Whatevs.

  • Linderella

    I want to hate it (as I do the originals), but there’s just enough nudge-nudge-wink-wink about it to make the whole thing kind of charming.
    And I do love Riff Raff’s boots, gotta say.

  • Paula Pertile

    } } } his hair { { {

  • Imasewsure

    I’m in a good mood I guess today… kind of love this in all of its fun tacky glory but her dress should have been a bell bottom jumpsuit. As usual the bustier part looks great. He looks tacky-awesome. Fun enough for the VMAs

  • Evil Edie

    His hair makes me nauseous to look at.

    The difference between disaster and fun is about 13 years and a hem. Always hem your denim!

    • alyce1213

      His hair — intestines.

  • AnneElliot

    At least their garments are well-fitted and finished, compared to the Britney debacle — those raggedy hems from 2001 make my eyes hurt. Katy looks like she’s having fun with it. Her nails give me the creeps, though.

    And that Riff-Raff character is kinda scary. Those braids are hideous.

  • seventeenwest

    I think this is funny as hell. It’s the VMAs. I have no expectations except that SOMEONE should get a little crazy.

  • Garcia Loca

    On its own, I think this version works quite well, for the reasons listed. BUT it doesn’t hold a candle to the original Britney-licious goodness of the all-denim RC wear paired with blinding jewels. If you’re doing homage, it has to improve on the original.

  • what is that on his head? his hair?!?……oh

    • Susan Collier

      It reminds me of that candy HAPPY BIRTHDAY lettering you can get in the cake baking aisle at the grocery store.

  • mapmakerscolors

    I was 12 in 2001, which is the only way I can justify the fact that my reaction to this look is “how dare Katy Perry jack Britney’s iconic style and ruin my childhood.” I may need to lie down.

  • Cheryl

    Hey, she made me laugh, with her, not at her, and for that I give her major points.

  • snarkykitten

    I saw the official VMA tumblr (thnx tumblr for interjecting random ass posts in my feed) & they had a “riff raff” tag. I was sorely disappointed that this had nothing to do with RHPS

  • Is it just me, or does this Riff Raff person look a LOT like Terry Richardson?

  • PinkyK

    …her hair and make up looks great…

  • AnnaleighBelle


  • kim bunchalastnames

    wait, “riff raff”? as in … the rocky horror picture show? surely not. he must be in a home by now.

  • GemFemme

    He’s giving me the heebie-jeebies.
    I got the reference as soon as I saw this. Next year, how about the Lil Kim sequined jumpsuit and pasty look?

  • This is all bonkers, but I love Katy. I want that nail color. What is it?

  • Man Dala

    At least the green vomit hair is gone.

  • LadyVimes

    Her makeup is on. point.

  • CatLady

    I’m not one for crystals all over everything and fake long nails and giant belt buckles, but I think the outfits are perfect. Much improved over the old versions. Riff Raff does look like a fun date.

  • ailujailuj

    Poor Justin… you know his people tried to pay to get those photos out of circ.

  • Clash D

    Awesomeness. I love the first photo where she looks like St. Katy Perry with the VMA backdrop.