So I make no secret that I am a fan of the red carpet, I love the fashion, the glamour, the drama and seeing such gorgeous women showcasing exquisitely crafted gowns that I could only dream of wearing. Is that so wrong?
I have felt a change this award season, social media has become more critical of the red carpet, as well as its fans, and it seems that actresses are also tiring of the experience, mainly because they want to be treated like their male counterparts, as more than what they are wearing. Which, I have to be honest I am totally on board with, as I can understand why women are looking to be treated seriously and not just pretty faces wearing a gorgeous dress.
I’m sure if anyone has been watching this award season you will have noticed that they are asking the men who they are wearing, but to be honest once you’ve seen one black tux you have seen them all, women’s fashion is much more diverse, I know Jennifer Lopez seemed to be wearing the same dress as Robert Duvall’s wife but that is very rare. But you can bet that everyone on the Oscars red carpet was asking who Jared Leto was wearing, a baby-blue Givenchy tux if you care, as it was different from the norm and he has been known for his red carpet style.
I’m not against the #AskHerMore campaign, which Reese Witherspoon was championing on Oscars night, I actually think it is a great idea, but I just want people to get this into some sort of perspective – the red carpet isn’t an evil, sexist trap, I really think actresses get a lot from getting glam for the red carpet. It helped Lupita Nyong’o snag a Lancome deal so quickly after breaking on to the scene, and Jennifer Lawrence’s popularity, in part to her stunning red carpet appearances, must have aided her lucrative contract with Dior. She is beautiful but a model could have fronted that campaign for a fraction of the price, the House of Dior wanted a movie star, someone who epitomises glamour, which in turn comes from those appearances on the red carpet, as it gives the stars a chance to let their personalities shine not just their characters.
Let’s not forget those incredible expensive gowns they are all wearing, for free, to give you some idea on the price tags, Lupita’s pearly Calvin Klein has been quoted as costing $150,000 dollars, so why shouldn’t they have to give out the names of the designer as payment for the loan? I have to say when I have been given something as a gift or a loan so why shouldn’t actresses on the red carpet – also isn’t it just good manners as well.
I also feel that “who are you wearing” is a conversation starter, and in nearly all circumstances the presenters move on quickly, to discuss their film, the awards etc, plus the star can also steer the interview, they’ve all had media training, all have publicists, if they have a charity they are working on then they should speak out. That doesn’t get in the way of who they are wearing.
Or maybe the solution is that they use their own spin machine, social media or carrier pigeon if they so choose to announce who they are wearing, then us fashion obsessed will still know, the designers will still get their moment and then they can be asked more.
But what is it you want to know? I was thinking as well as their next projects, what sort of movies they would like to do, and who they would like to work with, how about the last book they read or the best burger they’ve ever had, on no sorry food is also off the table as well, as Ryan Seacrest was criticised for asking Naomi Watts about her frittata. I also think we have to remember that the coverage of such red carpets is generally for entertainment purposes, light-hearted is generally how the interviews are going to go, I think deep thoughts are going to take longer than the 1 minute 30 seconds they have with each correspondent.
I think it is an interesting debate, but I think everyone also needs to realise that the red carpet has been very lucrative over the years for movie actresses, the rumoured sums that they get paid just to wear certain designers is unreal, and I’m sure if those endorsement deals start to dry up they will be more than welcoming to being asked who they are wearing.