It was a night to celebrate the best in UK music, but the 2023 Brits was shrouded in controversy. After adopting gender-neutral categories last year, the artist of the year award included only male nominees, failing to acknowledge any women artists. Harry Styles, who won the award on 11 Feb. along with a further three, took the opportunity to acknowledge his privilege and even went on to dedicate the award to the snubbed nominees. “So this award is for Rina [Sawayama], Charli [XCX], Florence [Welch], Mabel [Hill], and Becky [Hill]. Thank you so much!” he said in his acceptance speech.
As the evening continued at a series of afterparties around London, Charli XCX took the opportunity to show exactly how she felt about being left off the list. The singer, who wore a super sheer Ludovic de Saint Sernin gown with Swarovski jewellery on the Brits red carpet, changed into a black patent miniskirt, heeled ankle boots, and a cropped white tshirt with “Real Winner” written across the chest. She then draped a yellow fluffy coat over the top to attend the Warner Records afterparty at the NoMad hotel.
While Charli posted a carousel of snaps from the night on her Instagram, she didn’t directly address the meaning of her tshirt, simply captioning the post with “i just came to have fun”, but it can be assumed the “Hot In It” singer was making a (necessary) point to the Brits panel. Earlier in the evening, she was asked by the BBC about being nominated in the best pop/r&b category, but not for artist of the year. “Great question. I’ve heard a lot of chat about the fact there weren’t enough females in album cycle and that’s why no one was nominated,” she said. “But, I was in album cycle and I had a Number One album [with “Crash”].” She added, “There’s many of us, so I don’t know. You should ask them. We’re doing everything right. I don’t think it’s our fault. I think it might be theirs.”
The Brits red carpet was full of surprises, from Sam Smith’s inflatable jumpsuit to Jessie J’s bump, but celebrities were out in force until the early hours of the morning with a number of outfit changes in tow. Everyone knows the real celebrations kick off after the award show itself as record labels compete with having the best afterparties in the capital. Maya Jama even threw her own party on a boat along the Thames before heading to host “Love Island: Aftersun” just hours later. Now, that’s dedication! From Lizzo‘s leopard print minidress to Jodie Turner-Smith’s cutout head-turner, see all the best afterparty looks ahead.