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Los Angeles - The US television network CBS may have warned stars not to show too much skin on stage Sunday at the Grammys, but A-listers tested the limits on the red carpet in body-conscious, revealing gowns.
Jennifer Lopez, whose plunging barely-there green Versace gown at the 2000 Grammys provided a red carpet moment for the ages, pushed the dress code to the edge with a daring black dress that covered most - but not all - of her.
“They didn't say anything about leg!” she told presenter Ryan Seacrest on the red carpet ahead of the main event, her toned bare leg and shoulder on full display in her asymmetrical Anthony Vaccarello ensemble.
In an email leaked to media outlets, CBS warned those appearing on the Grammys stage to “please be sure that buttocks and female breasts are adequately covered”.
“Thong-type costumes are problematic. Please avoid exposing bare flesh under curves of the buttocks and buttock crack,” read the letter from CBS's Standards and Practices department to representatives of the stars.
The letter continued: “Bare sides or under curvature of the breasts is also problematic. Please avoid sheer see-through clothing that could possibly expose female breast nipples.”
Katy Perry clearly did not get the memo, strutting her stuff in a skin-tight cleavage-baring mint green dress, saying she was inspired by the retro glam of Priscilla Presley's look in the 1970s.
Rihanna opted for a body-skimming sheer red dress by Azzedine Alaia, with bright red lips to match.
Pop princess Taylor Swift glittered in a winter white goddess gown from J. Mendel, complete with silver accents at the neck and bustline and a daring slit in the front.
In the opening performance of the night, Swift changed into a white ringmaster's costume with shorts and knee-high boots - but no curves exposed.
Oscar winner Nicole Kidman, on the arm of singer-husband Keith Urban, wore a sleeveless gold Vera Wang gown, while one-time American Idol Carrie Underwood opted for a strapless black Roberto Cavalli with a sheer skirt.
Adele, the big winner at last year's Grammys with six trophies, left her usual basic black at home but followed the rules, opting for a bold red floral Valentino dress with long sleeves and a conservative knee-length hem. - Sapa-AFP