A small intro to the red carpet:
It is noted that the red carpet stems back to thousands of years ago. The story goes that there was a warrior named ‘Agamemnon’ who previously sacrificed his and his wife, Clytemnestra, and his 15 year-old daughter to the gods for help in battle.
Whilst the two are apart they find separate lovers, and once Agamemnon returns home he brings his new girlfriend with him. The wife was not amused despite her own adultery and she laid down a red carpet to him “inviting him to his death.”
A dark story indeed.
The phrase ‘red carpet’ stems from back in 1902 when the first ever rail service between Chicago and New York was opened. To let passengers know which carriages they were going to, a red carpet was laid down. This was now known as ‘red carpet treatment’. The red carpet wasn’t actually affiliated with celebrities until 1922.
Why is the carpet red?
Red symbolizes wealth and royalty. This can be seen throughout history in Renaissance paintings where the colour red would often appear, whether in the format of rugs or clothing. Scarlet red was a very rare and expensive dye, therefore meaning only the wealthy could obtain it – hence why throughout the ages red has been seen as that bold, important colour that just stands out.
The red carpet is now days used for many things – the Oscars, the Baftas, and movie premieres. However the carpet is more traditionally used to signify someone of great importance such as heads of state on ceremonial and formal occasions.
However, you do not need to be considered a VIP to use the red carpet. There are many party ideas out there that are red carpet themed.
The whole point of the red carpet nowadays is supposed to symbolize glamour, wealth, popularity and nowadays just to feel somewhat important or famous. You can never be too overdressed when you are on the red carpet. The more bold the better. Especially if you want to make a statement. However some celebrities may have taken it a step too far…
Three of the best unique outfits on the red carpet:
Lady Gaga shocked the world in her famous raw meat dress. When she first began her music career, she was certainly unique compared to the other ‘Top 40’ singers that that time. The early 2010’s was a time for experimenting with different looks and images for musicians. But Lady Gaga went straight to 100 and we all loved her for it. The singer wore the infamous dress at the 2010 MTV video music awards – the actual dress itself was completely fabricated out of raw meat and made headlines for weeks.
Who else could make bathrobes look so good? Rita turned up to the 2017 MTV EMA’s wearing nothing but a bathrobe and towel. The only appropriate footwear could only be high heels. To add to the iconic look the singer was of course covered head to toe in gorgeous dazzling diamonds that were estimated to be worth $7.8 million.
And finally, purely just on outfit choices. Jared Leto at the 2019 red carpet Met Gala. The actor, who is now more popularly known for his role playing the Joker in ‘Suicide Squad’, wore a beautiful long turtle necked red gown designed by Gucci, with a jewel encrusted chain that dangled across his chest. But the piece that really tied it all together was the fact that instead of a handbag, the actor had a fabricated version of his own head in his hand. Yes, that’s right! He carried down the red carpet a man-made version of his own head. Jared went all out for his camp-themed gala appearance.
What was the first red Carpet like?
In 1961, the red carpet was first used at the Academy Awards Santa Monica Civic Auditorium. Then in 1964 the famous carpet was then moved outdoors for celebrities to walk on for their grand entrance once they left their limousines.
Barbra Streisand captured all the eyes on her first red carpet event when she wore a beautiful sequin see-through garment with long trousers to match. Although the actress and singer did later reveal that she did not know that the lights would shine through her outfit.
How celebrities used the red carpet to bring up social issues
In 2018 at the Golden Globe Awards, there was a sea of black dresses on the red carpet as a group of Hollywood women came together in a statement against sexual harassment and gender inequality against women. This statement took place in the midst of the #metoo movement and had some big Hollywood names involved such as Reece Witherspoon and Emma Stone.
Celebrities do not always have to make as big of an impact to make their views on social issues known. For instance actress Issa Rae turned up to the 2018 CFDA awards wearing an outfit designed by all black designers as she hosted the event. The outfit she wore was designed by Pyer Moss who uses its designs to celebrate black culture and promotes issues that are outside the industry.