Full disclosure: When it comes to country music, we’re not experts. But we’re familiar enough with its power players (Miranda Lambert, Florida Georgina Line, Blake Shelton…) to get by. In fact, Shania Twain will always have a special place in our hearts. Man! Do you feel like woman today?
One singer that’s approaching Shania status is Carrie Underwood. She’s got a deeply loyal following, and this year has regularly made headlines after returning to the spotlight after an intense recovery from a facial injury. Post-surgery (and pre-surgery, to be honest), Underwood looks gorgeous. Which brings us to Wednesday night, when the household name, 35, hit up the 2018 CMT Music Awards in Nashville to take home Female Video of the Year and perform “Cry Pretty.”
Straight up, we expected her to show up in one of her usual sparkly gowns, most of which feature an insane level of embellishment and ‘80s-like ruffled shoulder pads. While her red carpet dresses are sexy, they’re usually just conservative enough not to upset some of her buttoned-up fans. A great example? The plunging (but angelic!) nude Berta dress she wore for her first major event since the surgery, the ACM Awards in April.
Jason Merritt/ACMA2018/Getty Images for ACM
However, last night Underwood showed up at the CMTs in something we’d expect to see on Joan Smalls, Kendall Jenner, and any and every member of Olivier Rousteing’s #BalmainArmy. No, the French fashion house didn’t hand Underwood a frock, but it certainly looks like one of their pieces with those structured shoulders, long sleeves, sexy cocktail length, and waist-cinching features. The plunging neckline is a must, too.
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Nicolas Jebran designed the yellow spring-summer 2018 “couture” dress, which she styled with gold Jimmy Choo pumps and small jewels here and there. It’s not that we don’t expect Underwood to look good—she’s red carpet gold—it’s just that for a country star, this is an updated, elevated, and cooler outfit.
If you squint, maybe you’ll spot some Rosie Huntington-Whiteley in her.