fashion

There was a strategic reason behind Kim Kardashian's 'low-key' MTV VMAs outfit.

In a sea of feathers, ruffles, sequins, sheer trousers, jackets-without-bras and countless ‘naked’ style jumpsuits at this year’s MTV Video Music Awards, there was one person who stood out.

Kim Kardashian West.

It’s not because she combined all of the above into an outrageous, OTT, bum-baring, paparazzi-magnet outfit that was impossible to ignore as you might expect. Quite the opposite.

Image: Getty

Dressed in a simple, sheer mesh LBD, delicate gold jewellery, strappy heels and with just-stepped-out-the-shower wet-look hair, it was the most 'low-key' we've seen the TV personality EVER, never mind at a red carpet event.

Yes, it's still overtly sexy, we know that, but it was also minimalist. Which is exactly why Kim knew it would deliver maximum impact.

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Image: Getty

It's true that the 35 year old didn't even decide on an outfit until just a few hours before, even taking to Twitter to conduct a poll on whether fans thought she should dress in a "dressy sexy look" or "casual chill look". After more than 33,000 votes, dressy sexy look won by four per cent but Kardashian West appeared to opt for a hybrid style of her own ,"casual sexy look".

When you break the outfit down (the dress looks kind of like a stocking with a run down it or a throw-over beach slip), it shouldn't make sense. But somehow on her, it just does.

Make no mistake though - this was no last-minute haphazard decision or a 'miss' by going comparatively under-dressed compared with attendees like Beyonce and even four year old Blue Ivy. (Post continues after gallery.)

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It was a very strategic, carefully-calculated move by Kardashian-West and her style team to prove just how influential she really is.

While everyone else was opting for blinged-up, daring outfits, Kardashian-West went the other way on purpose. Why? Look back at her red carpet outfits from the last few years and you'll see she's 'been there and done that' when it comes to fashion trends.

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Feathers and embelishments? Nailed at the Met Gala 2015. Mini dresses with plunging necklines? The VMAs LAST YEAR. And the sheer, cutout or naked dress? Kardashian-West basically pioneered, if not, invented them.

Having already frocked and shocked countless times, she moved onto the next thing - leaving the previously showstopping trend looking a little predictable and tired. (Post continues after gallery.)

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She did the unexpected, chose not to follow the crowd, and ended up delivering the biggest style shock of the night. It was something different that still managed to stay true to her style - figure-hugging and a little flesh-flashing.

Those that squeezed themselves into nude coloured spandax or battled with cumbersome and extravagant accessories might've looked on with envy.

Despite the fact she's graced plenty of high fashion magazine covers including US Vogue, regularly sits front show at the top shows at all the major Fashion Weeks, has Balmain's Olivier Rousteing on speed dial and practically every other designer begging to dress her, it seems that most of us have looked down on Kardashian-West as almost "unworthy" of style icon status.

Happy Birthday the chicest man I know! @riccardotisci17 xoxoxo

A photo posted by Kim Kardashian West (@kimkardashian) on

As she made her ascent from Juicy Couture tracksuits and bandage dresses to straight-off-the-runway looks and bespoke designer creations, many in the industry looked on with a smirk, tolerating but waiting for the spotlight to move on.

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Her style may not be for everyone - budget or aesthetics - but the kult of Kardashian ensures that any outfit or accessory she's spotted in will be immediately snapped up, copied or emulated by millions of women around the world in a matter of hours.

Step up in this bitch like....

A photo posted by Kim Kardashian West (@kimkardashian) on

It's an influence even powerhouse Vogue can't ignore. Earlier this year, despite explicitly stating she wasn't a fan, fashion critic Nicole Phelps wrote a piece arguing that Kardashian West deserved to win the Council of Fashion Designers of America's coveted Fashion Icon award. It ended up going to Beyonce. Still, it's progress.

Still not convinced? While Kardashian-West may have had to work her way up to high-fashion, let's not forget another style influencer that was once considered too trashy for fashion - Victoria Beckham.

With her designer bags, pob haircut and over-sized sunglasses, Beckham fought hard to be taken seriously in the industry. Now she runs a successful business, shows at Fashion Week and has won several style awards.

So rather than looking down on Kardashian-West, it's time we at least looked TO her - at the very least to to see what everyone else will be wearing next.

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Image: Getty.

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