As the guests arrived at the ceremony Sunday evening, it became clear that many were out to turn heads. The Staples Center in Los Angeles came alive with bold shapes and statement pieces, alongside more elegant tailoring and paired-down chic.
Among the more outlandish looks, Cardi B's iconic dress from Mugler Couture's Fall 1995 collection stunned the crowd. Resembling a pearl emerging from an oyster, the star shuffled along the red carpet with the help of a sizable entourage.
Elsewhere, Janelle Monáe arrived in a breathtaking Jean Paul Gaultier couture dress with pointed shoulders. She completed the dramatic, angular outfit with a wide-brimmed gold-and-white hat.
The Grammys red carpet also proved, once again, to be more political than its film and TV counterparts. Singer Joy Villa turned up in a dress scrawled with the message "Build the Wall" (complete with a spiked metal head piece and rings of barbed wire), and Ricky Rebel attended in a similarly blunt blue jacket sporting the messages "Keep America Great" and "Trump 2020."
But, by and large, the fashion statements were playful, and the overall tone more refined than at previous Grammys.
K-pop sensations BTS opted for a clean, classic look, with the band's suave tuxedos offsetting a veritable rainbow of colorful hair. The group used the global spotlight to showcase the work of South Korean designers: Six of the band's members wore JayBaek Couture, while the seventh, rapper J-Hope, appeared in an outfit by designer Kim Seo Ryong.
A brief history of the red carpet
And there were plenty of other understated looks on display. Awards host Alicia Keys arrived in a plunging, figure-hugging red dress by Armani Privé, which she paired with elegant Bulgari jewelry. Camila Cabello also wowed in a glittering floor-length magenta gown (also by Armani Privé), before opening the show with a performance of her hit "Havana."
Lady Gaga took a similarly sparkling approach, although her dress was modest compared to recent red carpet outings.
Snubbing the British Academy Film Awards in London (where she won an award for her role in "A Star Is Born" in absentia), Gaga arrived in a stylish silver dress by Celine's artistic director Hedi Slimane. She added to the shine with more than 100 carats of diamonds by Tiffany & Co.
Scroll through the gallery above for some of the night's best fashion on the red carpet.
CNN's Oscar Holland and Stella Ko contributed to this report.