Awards season fashion? Expect to see a lot of bland full-length gowns.
As Oscar season approaches, it’s worth remembering that the red carpet is to fashion what Twitter is to reasoned discourse – it dilutes it to a series of easily digestible and forgettable hits.
“Look forward to”? I’m sorry, Samantha, I think you must have mixed up your letters and sent the one intended for In Style magazine to me and vice-versa. Someone at In Style is doubtless now wondering why they were sent a letter full of sarkiness and references to 80s movies.
Unlike you, Samantha, I’m afraid I hate the red carpet. The red carpet is to fashion what Twitter is to reasoned discourse: it dilutes it to nothing but a series of quick, easily digestible and instantly forgettable hits that will be endlessly discussed within the shouty echo-chamber of commentators, and then repeats the whole process at the next awards event ad nauseum.
And just as Twitter reduces reasoned argument to a series of playground insults and point scoring, so the red carpet diminishes fashion to a series of full-length bland gowns designed purely to make the wearer look thinner and to keep her out of the dreaded “Worst Dressed” column in magazines.
That in itself is fine. Boring, obviously, but fine. All of you actresses want to dress in long beige dresses? Hey, whatever floats your boat, or yacht, I guess, in this case. What makes it not fine is the importance the fashion industry then places on the red carpet, which is depressing and hilarious because not very long ago it was the other way around.
All of, ooh, about 25 years ago, before the internet existed, and before celebrity fashion was deemed so important that it merited at least 27 weekly magazines devoted to this subject, red-carpet fashion hardly existed. Oh sure, celebrities wore nice clothes to events, and sometimes these clothes were so amazing they became famous in themselves (three words: Cher/Bob Mackie) – but neither the celebrities nor the designers saw the clothes as anything potentially career-making or breaking.
Things began to change in 1996 when Sharon Stone, of all people, wore a Gap polo neck to the Oscars (along with some other clothes, presumably, although with Stone you never know) and the store promptly saw profits soar. (Stone, always attuned to what gets attention, repeated the trick two years later when she wore a white button-down shirt from Gap to the Oscars.) The inevitable then duly came to pass.