Carrie Underwood in Gauri and Nainika at the CMA Awards: fussy or lovely?

Carrie Underwood co-hosted the CMAs with Brad Paisley for the whopping eighth year in a row last night. Their opening bit was cute and topical as we’ve come to expect from them. My favorite part was when they sang about an unnamed couple who had broken up and whom everyone was thinking about and then panned to the audience to show Miss Piggy and Kermit. Then they showed Blake Shelton and sang a little song about how lonely people could find romance online. (Although it’s not like Blake is lacking company, see Kaiser’s coverage of his now confirmed romance with Gwen Stefani.) They also made references to the Ashley Madison hack, to “Bruce” Jenner now being a “babe” and to Josh Duggar. As TooFab notes, the camera didn’t show Miranda Lambert at all. She was possibly backstage preparing for her performance.

In terms of the winners, a lot of people were surprised at how many awards a relatively unknown new star, Chris Stapleton, took home. Stapleton has no top 40 country hits and yet he won for male vocalist, new artist and album of the year, for Traveller. Stapleton also performed a duet with Justin Timberlake which was widely lauded. (More on the performances here.) Here’s a list of the nominees and winners last night. The rest of this post will focus on the fashion.

Carrie Underwood walked the red carpet in a peach Gauri and Nainika gown with a peplum and full train. She had so many costume changes that it seems to hardly matter what she wore for the carpet, but I like this look. She’s toning down the pageant fashion and is trying to look more polished and this also extends to her styling. This is pretty.

Jennifer Nettles was in pink Georges Hobeika with a mesh cutout along the bodice and leaf sequin details. This was probably my favorite dress from the photos. It’s flattering, elegant and memorable.

Jewel wore silver sequin Lorena Sarbu with scoop details along the arms and neckline. This looks kind of cheap to me. She could do better.

Kellie Pickler was in a deep purple Rubin Singer strapless v-neck gown with a full skirt. The thing that gets me is her styling. Look at her eyelashes. I can get better falsies from the dollar store.

Miranda Lambert was in this black Versace gown with subtle lines. This is a hot dress but I would have liked to see her in something more showy. Her pink tipped hair was new.

Like Carrie, Erika Christensen was also in Gauri and Nainika but where Carrie’s dress succeeded, this one fails. The huge asymmetric ruffle makes her look lopsided and as Red Carpet Fashion Awards points out, the styling throws it off. Incidentally, Christensen was raised in Scientology and she’s defended the cult to the press.

Finally Hillary Scott of Lady Antebellum was in a bold black, white and red floral print Dolce & Gabbana dress. I think I would like this better without the ruffle at the bottom.

Oh and here are some of Carrie’s costume changes for the show! The watercolor dress is also Gauri and Nainika and the fuchsia mini is Rani Zakhem.

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19 Responses to “Carrie Underwood in Gauri and Nainika at the CMA Awards: fussy or lovely?”

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  1. Chaucer says:

    Ugh. I felt that the Ashley Madison joke was in horrible poor taste. Especially mentioning being tired of wives and sisters, and then throwing Josh Duggar in there (you know, after he molested his sisters). I’m surprised no one has hopped all over that cluster.

  2. Nancy says:

    Carrie look gorge in the first peach ensemble…very modern and new mom sexy. Hated Jennifer’s dress, but she’s cool. And finally Miss Miranda, obviously she has some divorce weight loss going on. Don’t like her pink cotton candy hair. Winner: Carrie….How Great Thou Art…..not a terribly big fan but her rendition of that song wins me over every time I listen to it.

    • Lucybelle says:

      Carrie’s rendition of How Great Thou Art is amazing. I love that song anyway and the way she sings it is just…ugh so so good. And I don’t even like her all that much.

      • Nancy says:

        Lucybelle: She sang it with Vince Gill at some awards show. I couldn’t believe it, she sang from her soul. Jesus took the wheel that night!

  3. Lara K says:

    Miranda looked amazing. Covering up the forehead is genius. And the dress really flatters her figure.

    Carrie’s dress was too Junior League for me.

    • lucy2 says:

      Yes, she definitely looks better with some bangs, and that dress is very flattering and modern on her.
      I like Carrie’s though too, the train is very nicely arranged.

    • belle de jour says:

      “Carrie’s dress was too Junior League for me.”
      This. The dress equivalent of an orange sherbet and ginger ale punch – with no actual punch.

  4. InvaderTak says:

    I’m rather disappointed that there aren’t more rhinestones! This isn’t tacky enough! Some of these are almost demure. Ruffles are a poor substitute for sequins.

  5. Dhavynia says:

    Love the color of the red carpet gown, would look better without the peplum IMO
    All the ladies looked pretty, much better than the recent award shows that’s for sure

  6. Lucybelle says:

    My thoughts on the CMAs:
    -I am absolutely thrilled that Chris Stapleton dominated. He’s amazing and the best thing to come out of Nashville since Johnny Cash. I was so happy they finally awarded a true country artist rather than the bro-country shit that’s inundated country radio the past several years. His album “Traveller” is fantastic top to bottom, and his version of “Whiskey and You” is perfection. Love love love him.
    -Kacey Musgraves’s performance was bizarre. I still love her though.
    -Eric Church should have won for Talledega.
    -How Florida-Georgia Line keeps winning Vocal Duo is baffling. They seem like nice enough guys but come on, they aren’t that talented.
    -Zac Brown Band always gets the shaft and they are so incredibly talented. I’ve seen them 6 times and they get better with every show. I love Little Big Town but ZBB never wins anything.
    -Rascal Flatts is still around?!?
    -Brad and Carrie were pretty lame this year. I usually enjoy them hosting together but this year they were pretty meh.
    -Justin and Chris Stapleton’s performance was smokin’. I’m not really a JT fan but he was great last night.
    -My sister and I watched together and died laughing when Luke Bryan was giving his acceptance speech for EOTY. He was thanking his wife and said “Baby…” and the camera cut to Garth Brooks. The timing was hilarious. 😂😂😂 Anyone else catch that?
    -Chris Stapleton is everything.

    • Tiffany says:

      Agree about ZBB. While I have not listen to their albums, their collaborations are always on point. Their duet with Mavis Staples is my abosolute fave.

    • OSTONE says:

      I live in the South so country music is pretty much a given and part of the culture. Everyone was dressed horribly, tacky and cheap, so.. awesome by country standards. I loved Chris Stapleton, and as Lucybell said, Zac Brown is incredible live!!! He came out to duet all along the watchtower at a Dave Matthews concert with Dave and OMG, he is out of this world. So tired of the bro country likes of Luke Bryan (his songs SUCK) and FLA – GA line. More Garth and Chris Stapleton, less Luke Bryan please.

      • Lucybelle says:

        Yep, ZBB’s musicianship is outstanding. Google their performance of Devil Went Down To Georgia at the 2009 CMAs. So much talent. I’d love to play fiddle like Jimmy D.

  7. Ashley says:

    Jennifer Nettles was best dressed,from her makeup,to her hairstyle,she looked gorgeous. It seems like jewel had work done on her face,it look so pulled and tight.

  8. Lucybelle says:

    Also:
    -Ronnie Dunn’s facelift was startling. He’s almost in Kenny Rogers territory. Yikes.

  9. lucy2 says:

    I like Jennifer’s except for the cut out, it’s just too much for me.
    I think Erika’s would look better on someone like Charlize Theron or Rihanna, who can carry a sculptural dress without being overshadowed.

  10. JudyK says:

    Carrie and Brad were outstanding as Hosts!

    LOVED Carrie in the first dress…the stunning red number with her stilettos. Killer. Didn’t care much for some of the others, but, then, I also fell asleep while watching after having been awake since 4:30 a.m.

  11. Antonym says:

    Kellie Pickler “My eyelashes! They’re like tarantulas!”
    She actually said this ^ when she was on idol. It was apparently her first time wearing false eyelashes.

    It seems not much has changed in the intervening years….her eyelashes are still like tarantulas.