Photos by Kevork Djansezian and Frazer Harrison/Getty Images


go behind the scenes at the mtv vmas with tori kelly

a fashion diary

by nylon

A lot happened at last night's MTV VMAs: Kanye announced he's running for president, Nicki Minaj called Miley Cyrus out, and 31 drag queens took the stage. And while Tori Kelly's performance certainly wasn't the most controversial, it was still very major. Before she took the stage and sang a stripped-down version of "Should've Been Us," Tori and her stylist Karla Welch let us go backstage with them. Click through the gallery to see what it's like to prep for one of the year's biggest awards shows.

Get More: 2015 VMA, Artists.MTV, Tori Kelly, 2015 MTV Video Music Awards, Full Episodes


What are your pre-show rituals? Do you do anything for good luck?

I always have to warm up my voice before any performance. I also love doing a prayer circle with my team. 

Dressing for the stage and dressing for the red carpet are clearly different. What is a key rule for each? 

For the red carpet, I like to experiment a little and maybe go out of my comfort zone to dress it up. The stage is where I feel the most comfortable and the most confident, so I like to let my clothes reflect that. 

What is a trend you would love to try, but isn't totally your thing?

I've always wanted to try crazy things with my hair, like dying it turquoise or rocking a completely different cut. But right now, I'm still digging my curls.

What do you do the day after the VMAs?

I'll probably be on a plane, but hopefully I will find time to process the night. 

What makes a good VMAs date?

I'm bringing my best friends, so we'll be able to just be ourselves and have fun.


Dressing for the stage and dressing for the red carpet are clearly different. What is a key rule for each? 

For performances, there need to be the elements of functionality and full-on impact. Tori is such a huge talent—amazing on guitar and vocals—and she needed a look that could work with a simple performance, something that elevates but let's her shine through. Enter, our rad sparkle suit!

We hand-painted the boots gold. For the carpet, we wanted easy and simple—show off those legs! You can't add rock and roll—you've got to be rock and roll.