One of the main draws of the Grammy Awards over the last few years has been the possibility of the absurd. The ridiculous, over-the-top grandeur that only pop stars and their stylists can dream up. Want to arrive in a giant, human-sized egg carried by pallbearers? Fantastic. Have a priest as your plus one? Why not? This is the Grammys.

In comparison, this year’s sartorial landscape was a flop. How many glossy black Roberto Cavalli creations can one award show entrance hold? (Three plus, apparently).

Those expected to be impeccable were. Florence Welch was daring in Givenchy. Beyonce was flawless in a black and white Osman jumpsuit.

Rihanna looked modelesque in a custom Alaia.  

Janelle Monae stuck to what she does best in a hat and play on a tuxedo, but turned it up a tad in a Moschino jacket with a brilliantly detailed lapel.

Adele was regal in a floral Valentino.

Taylor Swift, once queen of all things sequined, was striking in a Grecian J. Mendel gown.

Estelle deserves a nod for a playful gown of her own design, and the members of The Lumineers seemed to nail their kitsch-folk style in an award-show appropriate manor. Same could be said for Gotye and Kimba, whose dress was offbeat with random swatches of blue tulle but seemed fitting.

That is where the excitement seems to end. Unless, of course, skin-barring numbers constituted excitement for their apparent rebuff of CBS’s toothless authority on garments. Katie Perry and J. Lo were happy to oblige in this game. Perry’s mint custom Gucci was so tight it began to ruche as she walked — and the cleavage issue is hard to even address.

Her date, John Mayer, resembled a sullen vampire in blue velour.

Jennifer Lopez looked like she might have realized her dress was a disaster part way through her red carpet duties — possibly when she had to hold her clutch in front of her legs to prevent unwanted shots while placing her nails in E!’s waist-high mani-cam.

But perhaps the worst offense was the sheer unimaginative parade of dark dresses that came from Carrie Underwood, Carly Rae Jepsen, Faith Hill and Miranda Lambert. Will this be one of the first times the Oscars red carpet is more inventive than its musical cousin? We can only hope.

Photos: Grammys Red Carpet

Grammy winners and performances

At Grammys, rock takes center stage