MTV Awards a mixed bag of rocker rags


LOS ANGELES Any awards show that manages to mix the Partridge Family with 2 Live Crew and Magic Johnson with Madonna promises to deliver a parade of fashion eclecticism.

The only fashion theme missing from the 1990 MTV Awards, last week at the Universal Amphitheatre, was old-fashioned elegant, glamour. In a kaleidoscopic jumble of color, flash and fashion, performers and presenters proved that this is indeed an increasingly visual medium.

Clearly, broadcast rock is changing the standard sight, sound and spectacle formula of rock 'n' roll and giving spectacle the lead.

Madonna may not have taken home any personal awards for her shelf, but she takes unofficial honors as the most outrageous dresser. She simultaneously spoofed Louis XVI period French royals and her own "Vogue" video with overdone get-ups. Think of Marie Antoinette or "Dangerous Liasons" gone camp, and you've got the picture.

In contrast, Sinead O'Connor may have swept away three statuettes for her trophy shelf, but can't take honors for her attire. Looking like a cross between a Hare Krishna and a Manson follower, it was hard to pinpoint exactly what was so bad her trademark bald head? Her shapeless white silk, waistless smock? The black halter bodysuit under it? Or maybe, the Doc Marten thick-soled Army boots underneath? Still, O'Connor's stark beauty takes her from fashion victim to fashion statement.

If you didn't recognize faces, it was easy to tell who was a rocker and who was a Hollywood hanger-on. Rockers don't tend to follow trendy fashion.

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