Red carpet fashion & Oscar night – my less than secret love

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About this time of year, for most fashion writers the red carpet rot starts to set in. The Golden Globes are done and dusted, the SAG Awards are ancient history…we’re tired from those late nights (the US-based ceremonies kick off at 2am UK time) but we still have the BAFTAs, Grammy Awards and Oscars to come. Somewhere in there, four big fashion weeks also happen, meaning by the end of February you never want to see another glass of champagne or velvet rope ever again (or at least until September).

I’m a bit different. The fashion weeks I could give up – if designers sent me high res photos and a nice video, I’d probably cope without the queuing, judgemental looks and endless rejection emails. But Awards Season is my fashion crack. I look forward to Oscar night the way most people look forward to Christmas. I don’t care that things have got a bit boring thanks to stylists who play it safe and an endless parade of strapless gowns in pale colours with fishtail hems and old hollywood hair. Every now and then, a seriously memorable moment occurs, and I will sit on the edge of my seat at 2am for as long as it takes to happen.

In the early days, red carpet moments, fashion in film and Hollywood glam was down to a tiny handful of talented costume designers. Actresses often wore costumes from their films to the ceremony itself, which of course wasn’t televised. Most of these looks were down to this woman…

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I know what you’re thinking. “No capes!” and Edna Mode was based on Edith Head, at least in looks. And I guess when it comes to success, they share plenty of that too. Edith was the doyenne of costume design, dressing everyone from Veronica Lake to Audrey Hepburn. Check out this incredible pic of her with Gloria Swanson.

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You wouldn’t get Rachel Zoe and Jennifer Garner doing this kind of slightly batshit high drama, would you? But the modern day red carpet is a very different place. First of all, it’s more widely seen, and thus critiqued. A bad dress can follow a star around like a bad smell for years. Actresses play it safe, for fear of getting it wrong. So rarely do you get a risky moment – like Halle Berry in Elie Saab, or Cameron Diaz in floral Escada. But when you do, it makes it all the more special.

For red carpet fans like me, the infographic below probably won’t tell you anything you don’t already know. But if you’re new to this shameless star spotting, it sums up some red carpet facts along with a few 2013 trends in a lovely way and I couldn’t resist posting it.

History of the Red Carpet – Rare LondonInforgraphic provided by Rare London. To check out the original post, go to History of the Red Carpet – Memorable Moments and Fashion Trends.

I’ll see you on Sunday 24th Feb over at Catwalk Queen for the epic all-nighter that is the Academy Awards!