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Published: Tuesday, 2/12/2013

Fashion, as always, makes splash at Grammys

Skin still on display, despite warning memo

NEW YORK TIMES
Adele, left, accepts the award for best pop solo performance for "Set Fire to the Rain" at the Grammy Awards on Sunday in Los Angeles. Looking on from right are presenters Pitbull and Jennifer Lopez. Adele, left, accepts the award for best pop solo performance for "Set Fire to the Rain" at the Grammy Awards on Sunday in Los Angeles. Looking on from right are presenters Pitbull and Jennifer Lopez.
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LOS ANGELES — D'Manti was showing off her curves in a short, slinky see-through black dress with strategically placed stones by Claudio Milano on the red carpet Sunday at the Grammy Awards.

See through? Uh, oh!

"I got the memo after I picked out the dress," said the singer who was there to promote an upcoming single. She admitted that she did get some funny stares because of the newly implemented dress code.

Thing is, it's nothing new.

"This is in the category of much ado about nothing," said Neil Portnow, president and CEO of the Recording Academy. "This information is given every year by every television network to all of the performers that appear on the network because TV networks are regulated by the FCC."

And so, it was the same old fashion parade, complete with a spaceman, a far-out host rapping in the mike with stars, and glamour. Nicole Kidman in a embroidered gold Vera Wang was there, holding hands with husband Keith Urban. Jennifer Lopez was showing off some leg in a black one-shoulder, one-leg Anthony Vaccarello. Chris Brown hurried by in an all-white suit. Jack White wore a flat black suit and carried around a periwinkle hat.

The always fashionable Esperanza Spalding's gown with matching cape by Eden Diodati had a print that looked like sunrise.

"I'm always looking for sustainable fashion," she said. "It's fun to search out some of the independent people who are doing that on their own. And when I see something that moves me, I say, 'Can I wear that?'"

When she arrived on the carpet, Ashanti wore a flowing black dress embellished by floral applique and beads by Tony Ward that revealed her cleavage and then some.

"You don't want to have someone walking the carpet in a thong and high heels and you don't want someone to have to wear a turtleneck dress," she says. "You have to find a compromise."

Larry Carlton says he was pleased so much attention was being put on dress "because a lot of kids are going to be watching."

"We can all dress like responsible adults," he says.

But Kate Pierson of the B-52s sees the dress code as "sexist."

Wearing a retro dress by Tom Ford in purple, a color she says "cried out" to her, she said: "It's not about decorum, it's about being outrageous, it's about breaking barriers, it's about breaking rules.

"That's what rock 'n' roll is all about."



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