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Sunday, February 8, 2009

Red Carpets Kill Fashion

I don't like award shows or the typical red carpet shindig that happens just prior to them...but like a being possessed I often find myself trapped in front of the television screen watching them. It's inevitable, just as it is inevitable that by the end of the show I will be irritable and suffering from a vision-induced headache.
Here is basically what I don't like: everyone subscribes to the same style tribe and anyone who steps out of it is publicly massacred. Prime example being the controversy over Angelina Jolie's "backwards" gown. Did she dare to wear a dress backwards, or was she clueless? In the end I found the front of her dress rather sad, but I thought the back did show off her tattoos admirably--and shouldn't we be able to make satorial choices such as reverseing a gown?
It really irks me because people who don't fit into the image that is currently popular are written up by "fashion police," declared to have committed crimes against fashion, and sentenced to death via public humiliation.
To me, fashion should be creative and even fun. Some of the best designers have the most outlandish ideas going through their heads--and a sense of humor! Red carpet events and the "experts" that critique those who dare to tread upon the crimson cloth, kill all that is creative and fun in fashion. Is the point of fashion truly to make us all look alike?
What probably frustrates me the most is: these are the events where haute couture is practical (well as practical as couture ever is...). Yet, will we never see two peacocks nesting on a bodice on the red carpet? Red carpet events also present one of the few opportunities we have to see designer garments worn on "real" figures. To see people all different coloring, shapes, and sizes wear an amazing dress in a way that suits them can be truly inspiring.
Of course, my statements are about the general mood of red carpet events and are more pointed towards those who would seek and destroy originality at said location than those who wear yawn-inducing gowns. There have been some examples of people stepping outside of the box and not ending up dead...and it is perhaps because of these that I still get sucked into these shows.
Images via Getty Images and Style.com

52 comments:

Sarah Edwina Rose said...

I love to look through the pictures too, I think it is amazing how one garment induces judgment on their personality and influences options on them. Very important choice!

Raquel said...

i'm not that into red carpet shows, but sometimes get myself glued to fashion tv, don't know why, but ok.. I still stick with street fashion over haute couture.
hope you have a nice week xx

copperoranges said...

i remember always getting annoyed at joan rivers and her daughter for always praising charlize theron for her classic elegance blah blah blah .. yes! she is gorgeous, but also very predictable and borrrrring!

amen to having fun on the red carpet!

lopi said...

I've always loved Angelina's style. And by that, I mean both her red-carpet choices as well as her everyday looks. I just saw the Max Azria dress in question because of your mention here, and I can't believe anyone would make such a big matter of the fact that she wore in backwards. The woman looks stunning and I believe she made a really smart choice, wearing it like this. The plunging neckline would look slutty on anyone other than a stick-thin model, like the one on the runway picture. Worn backwards, it's classy and shows off her amazing back, tattoos or not.

Brigadeiro said...

I adore Marion Cotillard's dress, and her choices to such events. I do agree that most if the time the choices are quite unexciting, but I am guilty of watching red-carpet and award shows for the fashion :)

Swell Vintage - Frankie said...

I'm in totally agreement with you! It really annoys me when people pick of Jennifer Aniston for always wearing black - let the woman wear whatever she wants to, dammit! Great post, lovely x

Narnia's Closet said...

too true. i find the same thing at prom. we're all young, fresh faced kids, why not take a risk! but everyone (minus a few) chooses the same cut out, bedazzled dress in some miami inspired color. lame...

black tie is so beautiful and theory, but in actuality...

Kay said...

I completely agree with the post - I think the idea of having 'experts' on fashion in terms of the way people dress, particularly celebrities in magazines and on the red carpet, is a contradiction in terms.

Biru said...

I just wanted to say that I liked Björk's swan dress.

AHAHAHA I am probably very sick, but I did. I thought it was so over the top, weird and fantastic someone had to love it!... apparently not! But I did and that's enough for me...

Inside the Cabinet of Wonder said...

of course our labbits can be friends! my labbit is a boy, however i have not thought of a name for him yet!! oops.

oh by the way, your job (the post below) looks fab! beautiful photos.

:)

Emz said...

haha i love seeing interesting gowns on the red carpet too=) But even though Angelina Jolie's backward gown was great, i feel like other than that shes been wearing some really boring gowns.

sammi-lise ^_^ said...

i totally agree.
why, just the other day i was reading OK! magazine at a beauty parlor...that was the ONLY magazine they had :(
anyways, and they had this whole section where they bashed all these people for wearing "fashion no-no's"
while some were horrendously worn, drawing attention to problem areas, others were fabulous. it was sad.

Pretty Little Pictures said...

I'm a sucker for watching whats parading down the red carpet - i can't help it!!

LJ said...

I agree.
In fact, when I was younger, I alway made a pact with myself that if I became an actress I would wear what ever the hell I wanted on the red carpet.
It honestly is the only occasion where you can go all out and not look like a muppet.

(Encyclo)lydia said...

All very well-said! Who's to say those silly people on E! (who have absolutely zeeeero say in what they wear on TV) are fashion experts all of a sudden? I wish there was some blogger-esque channel where we could applaud all the fashion daredevils out there.

Flashes of Style said...

Wow I love the dress in the first photo. Such a vibrant print.

Lauren said...

I always end up looking at photos from red carpet events, but I just hate those Fashion Police segments on TV. It seems as though those who take risks usually end up on the worst dressed list. Fashion isn't fun without taking risks.

Winnie said...

You know I have thought about this before. I've flicked through magazines and hate the best/worst dressed sections. I just think, wear whatever you want because Fashion is meant to be fun and incredibly restricting if you stick to certain fashion rules. Plus I think it's great that Angelina thought out of the box and wore her dress backwards. Bravo!

Divinity Avenue said...

I agree. As much flak as people like Angelina Jolie and Bai Ling get for going "out of the box" at red carpet events, I think they are the ones who are really enjoying couture and being creative in their styling. Most of the ways people wear dresses at events like that just make them glorified prom dresses.

♥ Chloe said...

Oh, you are right. I am an example of this- I hated Maggie's Lanvin gown because it wasn't "pretty". Well, what's pretty? So it wasn't the floaty frock all the other actresses were wearing- she had boldly stepped out on a limb to wear something different. But in my brain, I automatically went, "ACK! SHE DOESN'T LOOK LIKE THE REST! BAD! BAD!!!"

It's amazing how easy it is to get brainwashed into it!

You're right- it would be fun to see them wear couture. Perhaps the only time we really get to see stuff like that is at the Met Costume Gala. But even then, more celebs stay away from the theme (like last year's "Superheroes") than follow it. Fear of the "Worst Dressed" list, I'm guessing.

Anthea said...

Hmm you raise an interesting point. I never thought about it that way. I guess it's true though..it's too bad it seems like most of those marvelous and crazy couture gowns just get put in closets and stored in archives. I wish more stars would wear crazy things too..but then I guess it wouldn't be Hollywood right? It seems to just be the way it goes.

Deborah said...

I wish celebrities wore extravegant dresses and haute couture on the red carpet as well. You're right-when else can they be worn??

-Deborah-
http://nonrambfromdeb.blogspot.com

KD said...

I agree!

Ambroisine said...

I never watch those shows, blogs are much more inspiring ! The last blue&black dress is lovely..

Dee said...

That's why I hate websites like go fug yourself. They stomp on any actress that shows a bit of originality or independent, fashion-forward thinking.

WendyB said...

Well, you know I agree a thousand times over!!!
http://wbjewelry.blogspot.com/2009/01/no-really-you-want-me.html

Amelia said...

I totally agree with you. The dresses they wear to those events are just glorified prom dresses. It's so ridiculous. I would love to see real couture walking down the red carpet.

Trisch said...

I browse through the pictures, they all start to look the same. However, there is always bjork's swan dress to give hope :)

Sushy_h said...

I adore all the gowns in this post. I am so with you on this, it's ridiculous how they can rave about someone wearing the same old slinky plain dress over & over.Give me fun & creative over 'elegant' & 'timeless', please!

lisa said...

Great post. The dumbest thing with the fashion police is you can't win no matter what. If you take risks, you can get slammed for them, and if you play it safe, you get sniped for being a yawn. I liked how Hilary Swank chose her gown the year she won an Oscar for Boys Don't Cry--she picked the one that made her husband gasp. If only more celebrities would dress to please themselves and those they cherish instead of their stylists...:)

Emily said...

I loved the dress Marion Cotillard wore at last year's Oscars.

Denishabeybeh said...

yeah, i agree.
like when they say stars should take a risk or try something new, but when they do they will be the source of scrutiny the next day. I love actresses who takes on the different path when it comes to fashion. it's just that some "expert" are just too dull to appreciate.

UberOriginal said...

I am always interested to see gowns on so called 'real' people. I love those who dare to stand out a little and be fashion forward at these events who have fairly traditional views on fashion. x

Savvy Mode SG said...

i am not really into red carpet shows. so sometimes celebs don't pick the best choice but if that is what they like, why not.

yiqin; said...

Brilliantly written. Fashion should be FUN! People are way too critical! If they don't dress up, people will say tey are boring. But if they do, they will look like a horrid mess or what. Sigh

muchlove said...

I admit I get sucked into watching red carpet awards too, but those "fashion police" critiques irk me too. Many times it's the ones they "criticise" is the ones I love.

I'm not an Angelina Jolie fan, so I'm being honest when I say I loved her "backwards" look that showed off her tattoos.

Alecca Rox said...

ah.. red carpet... the price of what is worn on it each year could feed a small country in Africa for a year or two.

and i don't really think it's got anything to do with the stars personal taste anymore. it's just another chance for designers to show off their work and mutually support their image.

fashion police can say whatever they like, i watch those shows on mute and then read blogs:)

*they marc jacobs stuff on my post were not on sale.

catherine said...

good choice of tittle, red carpet is the vitrine of couture and haute couture is the luxury rare garment.

AlicePleasance said...

Yes!
I proudly admit I adored Drew Barrymore's hairdo at the Golden Globes! Though almost everyone hate it...!

Anna Pope said...

I completely agree with you. It always saddens me when I see such bland looks get praised and the ones that stand out to me are the ones that get butchered by so called experts. Don't get me wrong, I really love the dresses that are usually praised but most of the times they're things anyone can wear to a normal cocktail party.

I always thought the red carpet to be a place where couture would fit just perfectly and god knows that if I were a celebrity and could afford all those looks I'd be rocking McQueen and Lacroix every chance I'd get!

Parapluie said...

I don't like the idea of those "fashion polices" - where do they take the right to judge over other people's aesthetics?

Jimena said...

To be honest, I'm not into red carpet shows. Not for the shows themselves or the fashion. It always seems to me like its a parade of look alikes.... And usually when I ran into red carpet awards posts I just scroll down. Yours, however, got me hooked. As usual, it is great to read you.

petrushkabiel said...

Great Post...I like Angelina Jolie very much, I believe that people who think out of the box is the people that will got all the success. Agree with your write, always fun to read yours ;)

Couture Carrie said...

Insightful and thought-provoking (not to mention GORgeous!) post, CH. I think the point of fashion IS to step outside the box . . . haters be damned!

xoxox,
CC

megan said...

I often get frustrated at the red carpet critiques. I remember Nicole Kidman wore a beautiful long red dress, and was deemed a failure because it had a big floppy bow on one shoulder... for shame!

megan / http://mallratcouture.blogspot.com

bellefantaisie.net said...

I agree! I hate all these silly celeb magazines slating dresses because they are a bit different, a bit daring even! It seems people just love t pick out people's individuality and stamp on it.
I'm all for wearing things that show o your personality, however crazy it is!
xx

Brittany Noel said...

It really is rare to see something extraordinary on the red carpet (haha first typed "rex", perhaps that's more appropriate?). There is nice hair and nice dresses and nice blah blah, but there is a problematic lack of spectacular. Shame on E! and others for putting down creativity. Celebs need to be praised for taking advantage of their situation and taking some risks!

Liz Blair said...

Did you watch the Grammy Award red carpet last night? I agree with you in some respects. I do think that some of the gowns are too simple and boring and it probably is the fault of the "fashion police." On the other hand, I think that some stars are not very good at being original in a way that flatters them. I have seen several people like this on "What Not to Wear." They want to be unique, but they seem to be doing it in a very unflattering way. I don't blame people for being safe if they don't have the talent or personality to carry off a unique look.

dapper kid said...

I always try to steer clear of criticising looks on my posts. Fashion is wholly subjective, what I hate, someone else might love. And it's one of the few times people get to really dress up, so I think we should just let them have fun and look amazing. With regards to couture, the sad thing is that most will wear dresses straight from the runway. The real women who buy couture have the look edited and changed to their tastes and bodies.

ambika said...

I can't watch red carpet review shows for this very reason--people are so snide and judgmental and half the things they harp on about, I absolutely love. Besides which, because of their harping, so few people actually take risks anymore.

Fannah said...

I agree. If there'd be a Fashion Blogger Carpet, it'd be overboard and that's why I can't wait for it. We should totally make that happen :D

Mode de Rue said...

Wowo, I could not agree more!

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