Taylor Swift in a gigantic Elie Saab ball gown at the CMAs: overkill or gorgeous?


Here are some more photos from last night’s CMAs, which were held in Nashville. CB covered some fashion photos from the event as well. Like most years, I didn’t watch the CMAs and like most years, Carrie Underwood was the cohost. I really don’t understand why she gets the hosting/cohosting gig every damn year, but whatever. The big winners last night included Blake Shelton (album of the year), Miranda Lambert (best female vocalist) and Florida Georgia Line (single of the year, which… “Cruise” is a really fun song, I’ll admit it). As for Taylor Swift, seen here in Elie Saab… she won the “Pinnacle” award or something. As for the dress… is it wrong that I don’t hate the dress? I love a rich-looking, deep red and the bejeweled detail is rather pretty. She looks like a fancy Christmas ornament. But that’s the thing, isn’t it? This dress isn’t right for the CMAs. If she wanted to wear this for a Christmas concert special, I would be all over it. But it’s overkill at the CMAs.


As I said, Carrie Underwood was the cohost and she did about a million costume changes during the show, almost all of them awful. This was her red carpet look – Ralph & Russo Couture. Boring.


Sheryl Crow with lion hair and a relatively simple black dress. Some critics say that she was trying to look like Sharon Stone. I can see that.


Jana Kramer in Theia. Call me crazy, but I actually like this. She doesn’t look like a budget showgirl, nor does she look like she’s at the Grand Ole Opry circa 1973.


Miranda Lambert wore Roberto Cavalli on the red carpet (the long dress). She’s lost A LOT of weight and very recently. CB and I think that her marriage is in the toilet, that’s why she’s so noticeably thinner.



Jennifer Nettles is just about the cutest woman in the world. I love her. I’m meh on the Naeem Khan dress though.


Faith Hill is a mess! This dress is awful and she needs to stop messing with her face.


Photos courtesy of WENN.

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96 Responses to “Taylor Swift in a gigantic Elie Saab ball gown at the CMAs: overkill or gorgeous?”

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  1. missy says:

    would love to just once see taylor swift minus the black eyeliner and black mascara. it’s too much and not super flattering. maybe dark brown instead?

  2. Len says:

    Sigh. I love Jennifer nettles.

  3. Tiffany27 says:

    Swifty looks like one of those creepy dolls they sell around the holidays.

  4. blue marie says:

    It’s a pretty gown, and right on par with the overkill everyone else does. I have never understood why they insist on wearing pageant gowns. Jennifer Nettles is adorable though.

    While Underwood is giving one hell of a bitchface, I’m not really sure what’s going on with Faith’s. WTH did she do to herself?

  5. Bopit says:

    Ugh. I HATE that Faith Hill has gone so overboard with messing with her face. Her eyes have that perma-surprised look to them. She was such a natural beauty :-/

  6. MrsBPitt says:

    I love Swifty’s gown…I think its gorgeous!!!! I’m just sad looking at Faith Hill…she is a very pretty woman, but that whole look, the hair, the dress, everything is just HORRIBLE!!

  7. Dani2 says:

    The first thing that came to mind when I saw Taylor’s look was, “it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas” :P

    That being said though, I don’t hate it, it’s nothing new but it looks a lot better when you see it’s full length. They played some montage footage of her entire career and a bunch of stars came to honour her, super proud of her, never thought she’d grow up to be this successful when I first heard “Tear Drops On My Guitar”. Well done Swiftie :)

  8. Buckwild says:

    I love Taylor’s dress. That rich red with the big a line skirt…I wish I had somewhere to wear this kind of dress to!

    • Beatrice says:

      My first thought, too–wish I had the dress and an event for it. It’s beautiful.

    • Hakura says:

      @Buckwild – I’m always seeing these incredibly gorgeous gowns when I go shopping, fall *in love* with them, but then have to admit to myself that ‘Prom was a long time ago, *sigh*’. it seems that other than prom, beauty pageants, & certain celeb events, there’s just nowhere it’s appropriate to actually *wear* this sort of dress… Which is why I simply can’t hold it against Taylor (who I can’t STAND).

  9. Kiddo says:

    I’m not a Swift fan, but she pulls off classy old Hollywood style quite well. Not everyone can.
    Carrie Underwood’s dress makes me laugh because it appears to have a sparkly modesty panel made for a drag queen who doesn’t know how to tuck. It just draws your eye there.

    • MsGoblin says:

      HA! The drag queen modesty panel line is on the money. I had to go back and look, but you’re right!

      If Swifty’s dress was tea-length, then it would be more appropriate for the CMAs. But, it’s a beautiful dress.

      • cs says:

        I tend to agree with you. Tea-length w/ simple patent leather stilettos would’ve been fab. I still think Taylor looked stunning. This site didn’t post photos of the dress at all angles. The very low cut back and color is what made this a gorgeous dress.

        I totally see Lupita wearing this dress at the Oscars. With her gorgeous face and dark complexion.

  10. Blannie says:

    I think Taylor looks gorgeous from head to toe. Love the dress, love her make-up. Faith Hill needs to gain some weight and quit skinning her hair back so severely. Carrie Underwood is really pretty but trowels on her foundation, which I don’t understand.

  11. Jackie Jormp Jomp (formerly Zelda) says:

    Ill fitting 90′s dress.

    But whoever Jana Kramer is, that’s one of the best red carpet looks I’ve seen in a long time.

  12. smee says:

    Sheryl Crow did style-jack Sharon Stone’s favorite red carpet hair style, but it looks pretty good on her.

    I like how Taylor Swift’s dress is cut, but it’s true – it’s a bit much and would look much more appropriate during the Holidays.

  13. eliza says:

    My dad had met Faith and Tim several years ago in his work and said they were lovely, lovely people.

  14. Kate says:

    Taylor’s dress is weird. The top half is loosely cut, like you’d cut the top of a shift dress. It would look great as it is if the skirt part was essentially just a loose pencil cut. Or it would look great if the top half was properly tailored and close fitting to show off Taylor’s waist/make the full skirt look more dramatic. As it is it just looks like a cheap, overly fancy prom dress that came straight off the rack.

  15. Christin says:

    Sheryl does resemble Sharon here. Faith reminds me of aging Joan Crawford. Her face, hair and that dress – not a great look. My guess is that both she and Miranda may have insecurities about their marriages.

  16. janie says:

    She looks beautiful, love her dress! A lot of the ladies looked gorgeous. It was such a fun awards show…Started out with high energy and stayed that way thru the whole show!

  17. Elina says:

    Miranda Lamberts shoes in that second pic are probably the most hideous shoes I’ve seen in my life.

  18. LadySlippers says:

    I adore Taylor’s dress but then I’m a sucker for red. And as someone else pointed out — she pulls off Old Hollywood well.

  19. C says:

    The Pinnacle award that Taylor received is a major deal. The only other artist who has one is Garth Brooks, so I understand her wanting to wear a big show stopping dress. I love the color on her, just wish it was a little more fitted on top

    • Hakura says:

      @C – This interests me. I grew up listening to Garth Brooks, since my mom & 2 aunts were huge fans. But with Taylor… This is an honest question, & not one asked due to the fact that I don’t like her… But this IS the *Country* music awards… Aren’t most (if not all) of Taylor’s hits pure pop music? I know the genres have merged a lot in recent years, but most of what I’ve (had the misfortune to have) heard wasn’t the least bit ‘country’ sounding… & a lot of her success has come from advertising campaigns.

      I’m not downgrading her (obvious) success, Bc she *has* gotten really far, & has managed not to get naked or stick out her tongue every 2 seconds to do it. But I admit I don’t listen to country, & have only seen her doing pop songs for quite awhile.

      • Happy21 says:

        Swifty started country and has moved closer to the mainstream pop genre but a lot of her songs on her albums still have a country feel and country really isn’t what it used to be. And part of why she got the award I think was because of her cross over success and the fact that she had brought a lot of attention to country music. The performance she did last night with Alison Krause and Vince Gill was fabulous. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen her perform on an awards show so well. Her voice was in top form and she did great.

        I felt so proud of her when I watched her accept that award and all of the footage and stuff that they showed from her beginnings. I’m a fan although not crazy but the girl IS talented and has managed to stay so, so humble.

  20. Nashville Girl says:

    Tim McGraw looked scary skinny during his performance.

  21. Dev says:

    Miranda Lambert is smiling, but she doesn’t really look all that happy… something about her eyes I think.

  22. flutters says:

    The CMA writer (@Wildaboutmusic) was tweeting out all these behind the scenes photos of Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley working on their (hilarious) monologue. I don’t hate her red carpet looks but Carrie Underwood looks so much better in little makeup and sweats than she does when she’s all gussied up.

    • Happy21 says:

      She looks like a pageant queen ALL of the time. I can’t stand it. Too much make up, too many sparkles, too blonde of hair. She is adorable (although she bothers me) but she is soooo over the top.

      I found their monolgue great! They have a great on stage chemistry.

      • Mayamae says:

        I usually like Carrie and Brad together, but they seemed really off to me. Country music awards are always unapologetic about their Republican overtones and smug superiority about loving God, country, and our military more than any other genre. I’m used to it and it usually doesn’t bother me but it did last night. And it really bugged me that they went to such lengths to trash Miley Cyrus (whom I don’t even like) as an out of control whore and compared her to perfect innocent prom queen Taylor Swift (someone I usually like) – replete with Taylor’s doe-eyed pout at the camera on cue. I would like to think Taylor would have refused to play along, but she seemed to know about it ahead of time.

        And I really hated how they put Darius Rucker (probably the only black guy in the auditorium if not the whole of Nashville) on the spot about Julianne Hough, forcing him to laugh it off. I can imagine how receptive this crowd would be to any suggestion by him that black face is offensive.

  23. Mandy says:

    What is going on with Faith Hill’s dress? That slit in the middle makes no sense. I admit that I really love Swiftie’s dress. That color is to die for! I like Jana Kramer’s dress, too. Everyone else is kind of meh.

  24. Cecilia says:

    Love Taylor’s dress. Absolutely gorgeous. Jana Kramer’s entire look is exquisite as well.

  25. Scarlet Vixen says:

    Wow, these country ladies LUV their black eyeliner, don’t they? Every single one looks like they went to Duchess Kate for makeup tips.

  26. Moiselle says:

    Ms. Taylor Swift, while in a beautiful gown, always has the same look. Dresses cut the same, same color scheme, same hair and makeup. SHAKE IT UP! (But not in a Miley way if you please.)

  27. Jayna says:

    She’s really dressed up because she was being honored with a big award.

    Did anybody see Eric Church rock out the awards? Wow. He didn’t know how they were going to accept his newest music and sound, but they got a standing ovation.

  28. Lucybelle says:

    Taylor’s dress is beautiful. I love red dresses. Faith looked none too happy when they were presenting the Pinnacle award. Shame about her face, she used to be gorgeous.
    Jennifer Nettles is so cute but I absolutely loathe her voice. When she doesn’t do the overblown twang it’s good but in almost every single song she reminds me of a caterwauling raccoon being attacked by a coyote.
    Blake also won Male Vocalist. He and Miranda have both won several years now. I hope their marriage isn’t in the toilet but it probably is.
    Carrie has terrible style but she is so beautiful. Wish she would tone down everything. The reason she hosts year after year is because she and Brad have great chemistry and are hilarious together. They seem so fun.
    Bawled when Alan Jackson and George Strait paid tribute to George Jones. “He Stopped Loving Her Today” is one of the greatest country songs of all time. They did a fantastic job.

    • Lucybelle says:

      And Lennon and Maisy! How could I forget them. They were one of the highlights of the show IMO. They are so talented and seem like such sweet girls. Love whenever they get to sing on Nashville.

    • TheyPromisedMeBeer says:

      I am so glad that someone else hates Jennifer Nettles’ voice as much as I (and my mom) do. I want to like her because the songs aren’t bad at all (especially “That Girl” – fierce) but her grating voice ruins it for me.

      • Lucybelle says:

        Yes! Happy to find another that finds her voice grating. All I ever hear or read is high praise for her voice and I just don’t get it. I do like a lot of Sugarland’s songs but her voice just ruins them. She does have a very strong singing voice, she sounds great on “Stay”, but I just can’t when she starts howling. And yes, “That Girl” is an awesome song.

    • apsutter says:

      I bet that really chapped Leann’s bloated *ss. She has a version of that song on her “Lady and Gentleman” album and loves to pull it out and sing it live.

    • Mayamae says:

      Up until Blake won, I thought there may be backlash against them since they usually sweep their categories. Miranda doesn’t always look good at awards, but I thought her hair and makeup were beautiful.

    • Mayamae says:

      I liked the George Jones tribute, but the producers missed the point of the song. It’s about a mam done wrong by a woman who is so miserable that death is a blessing so he can stop loving this horrible woman. As they sang the song, they showed a montage of George and his most current wife – presumably not a woman who made him miserable since 1962.

  29. Abby says:

    Oh Faith… girlfriend! I’m listening to her Christmas album rightthisverysecond. Not a good dress!

    I can’t hate Taylor’s ensemble. She looks great and she won the biggest award of the night. She’s a big deal at the CMA’s so I think she could pull that off. At least she’s changing things up with a big color on her dress–people usually hate on her for wearing bland colors.

  30. Grant says:

    Faith Hill would have looked a lot better if her hair was down in waves–not pulled back. She looks like she’s put on some weight though, which is good because she was looking way too thin for a hot minute there.

    Love the color of Taylor’s dress, but it’s just too much volume!

  31. dorothy says:

    Taylor’s dress is beautiful, however it’s not really appropriate for the CMA’s. Overkill.

  32. TheyPromisedMeBeer says:

    I don’t want to be vulgar, but Carrie’s dress makes her look like she has a pair of fuzzy dice hanging from her Shenandoah Valley, if you catch my drift. Jana Kramer, on the other hand, is rocking the look that Natalie Portman was attempting with her “baked potato couture” last week. Bet Portman would be spitting nails right now if she could find some vegan-friendly ones at the Home Depot.

    Did Taylor thank Kanye in her speech for the Pinnacle Award? Pretty sure she owes him a first born kid or six by now for putting her in the stratosphere.

  33. InvaderTak says:

    Everybody’s makeup sucks. Ok, jennifer nettles isnt bad. And it’s not just a Nashville thing anymore. Stop with the black eye liner and the bronzer! If you’re pale, be pale! A little blush for color and stop. And blend. For the Love of God smudge and blend people! Your cover-up isn’t supposed to be white.

  34. emmie_a says:

    Don’t know who she is but I LOVE Jana Kramer’s dress. Beautiful.
    I like Taylor’s dress too.
    Carrie looks different. Is she doing something with her face? I hate her beauty pageant look.
    Jennifer Nettles can do no wrong.
    OMG what has happened to Faith? She looks like the ‘after’ version when you see before/after pictures of the effects of drugs.

  35. Janet says:

    Props to Swift, Jane Kramer and Sheryl Crow. Meh to everybody else.

  36. Tig says:

    Love the gorgeous red gown, and she looks great in it. Sheryl Crowe has amazing shoulders, but the hair is a misfire.

  37. lucy2 says:

    I love the red gown. Maybe not for this event, but it’s a beautiful piece.
    I’d like Jennifer Nettles if the skirt didn’t change material.
    Miranda could use some bangs, or just some layers sweeping across.
    Oh Faith. Not good.

  38. Mew says:

    I don’t like her but the gown is fab.

  39. HoustonGrl says:

    I would normally say overkill since the CMAs are fairly dressed down. But this time she gets a pass because this dress is so dang beautiful!

  40. kibbles says:

    I haven’t seen many photos or articles written about Miranda since the spring. She looks much thinner but not happy. Same thing happens with my friend. She’s fatter when she’s happy. When she has relationship troubles she doesn’t eat regularly, gets super thin, and clueless people around her say she looks great. Thin does not equate to being happy and healthy. I’m also guessing she’s having some problems at home. I actually think she looked better with a few extra pounds.

    I really like Taylor Swift’s dress but it seems like a waste at the CMAs. She should have saved it for the cover of a Christmas album or concert.

    Carrie Underwood looks boring and tweaked. She usually wear the same sparkly cheap-looking dresses to these awards shows.

  41. Nina W says:

    I like the dress but Swifty needs to support her girls, just because she’s slim and tall doesn’t mean she should just leave them hanging. The dress should have been made with built in support and without it, it doesn’t flatter. Otherwise I like the gown and the styling.

  42. miasys says:

    I love Taylor’s dress. She’s usually styled well for events, but ohmydamn, this one is amazing. A refreshing change from all the see-through, skintight, mega-glittery hot messes some other ladies had on last night. I thought the Pinnacle Award part was very touching, and I thought she handled it with a surprising amount of humility and grace. Carrie is so pretty, but the only dress she wore that I liked was a metallic one that I didn’t see pictured here. She had a ridiculous amount of wardrobe changes, including a truly horrific bondage-style monstrosity that looked like it was made with electrical tape and neon duct tape. The trippiest part of the night for me was a sea of women in full-on pageant gowns and men in shirts with the sleeves cut off- and then a bunch of younger folks in the crowd that looked like they were going bar hopping. It was visually jarring every time the cameras cut to the crowd. Either be formal and everyone dress up, or everyone should just cowboy up. It was just weird.

  43. TheOriginalWaffle says:

    The fit on that dress is amazing. The armholes and collar are divinely done. First Saab dress I’ve seen in awhile that I was happily surprised by.

  44. Skeptical At Best says:

    Look, if these pictures weren’t labeled/captioned I NEVER would have guessed that was Faith Hill and Tim McGraw. Faith truly looks awful and it hurts my heart to say that.

    Miranda has definitely been working out. I can tell by the look of her thighs that she’s been hitting the leg press machine hardcore or busting out some serious squats. At least she doesn’t look sickly.