What might have seemed like an otherwise routine Wednesday night outside Nashville’s legendary Schermerhorn Symphony Center was actually anything but.
Some style highlights included:
Maren Morris’ pant suit was custom designed in Aretha Franklin’s favorite color — pale pink — thanks to the always-fierce Christian Siriano. (She was not, like her song “Rich” describes, in head-to-toe Prada or drippin’ diamonds like Marilyn.)
Maddie & Tae chose their style for the night by finding inspiration in Carrie Underwood’s Cry Pretty album artwork. “Because it’s all about the purple and sparkles,” the duo shared on their red carpet walk. Maddie Marlow wore Jovani, and Tae Dye wore Dennis Basso.
For her tribute to Loretta Lynn, the night’s Artist of a Lifetime honoree, Martina McBride chose a glamorous lace-and-sequin, off-the-shoulder gown that looked like it came right from Lynn’s closet full of Tim Cobb originals. Her performance of Lynn’s “You Ain’t Woman Enough (To Take My Man)” was every bit as stunning as her gown.
When the stars started to arrive, Underwood showed off her baby bump in a short, sequined bright blue Tadashi Shoji dress, Kelsea Ballerini leaned a little on the demure side with her high-neck maxi dress from Monique Lhuillier’s Spring 2019 collection (she called the dress “a dream”), and Miranda Lambert was seriously sexy in a black and gold Jovani Couture jumpsuit with a crossover halter neckline.
Danielle Bradbery made a power statement during the show by turning an oversized blazer into a dress, accessorized with a man’s necktie securing her top knot. “I feel like tonight was the night to dress like this. It’s kind of like a stomp on a man,” she told CMT with a laugh. “It’s a night full of women. There’s something in the air!”
Karen Fairchild shared that same menswear look, choosing a double-breasted suit jacket as a dress for her performance with Gladys Knight and her Little Big Town band mate and fellow honoree Kimberly Schlapman.
From there, the style just kept coming, with the stars wearing gowns to the floor, classy throwback pant suits, sexy shiny jumpsuits, and bodycon crop tops. There were plunging necklines, a full array of hemlines, a wide range of colors, sheer mesh, cascading bell sleeves and delicate flutter sleeves, feathers, tulle, velvet, and sparkle. And embroidery. And sequins. And diamonds. And embellishments everywhere you looked.
All those feminine details made every honoree, presenter and guest look fresh but also classically timeless.