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The question of what the red carpet would become in a Covid-19 world was answered Sunday night at, of all places, the 2020 MTV Video Music Awards. And it was answered by Lady Gaga, The Times’s fashion director, Vanessa Friedman, writes.

Held live around New York City, socially distanced but without an audience, the V.M.A.s were the last of the summer award shows and the first to attempt some semblance of old-days pizazz. Keke Palmer hosted, and she both acknowledged the tragedies of the day — the death of Chadwick Boseman, the shooting of Jacob Blake — and engaged in multiple-dress modeling.

Not everyone wanted in. Taylor Swift accepted her prize remotely. So did BTS. There was a space where hosts and performers could pose on their ownsome for arrival photos. It was nice to see them make an effort. But it also felt as if something was missing, like a hot-air balloon slowly deflating.

But then came Lady Gaga. She puffed it back up.

She accepted her many awards in person. She performed. She…

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