When the red carpet is rolled out for events, often it is the walk across it that steals the limelight for fans and followers around the world. With more and more viewers tuning in each year for events such as the Grammy’s and the Oscars, even more celebs are devoting time to sending messages with their fashion during their five minutes of fame.
In recent years, the desire for change has only grown and with this constant desire to improve modern society; celebrities, public figures, and influencers are speaking up in the hopes that they can open the minds of the public. Hoping to rally the support of the people and remove ignorance about controversial topics. It’s not always large statements that are made, but also smaller ones that are just as impactful, supporting specific people or paying homage to their cultures and heritage.
From commissioning designs which incorporate their message, to wearing pin badges showing support, many famous figures are using their influence for something more. But why do they use fashion to do this? Why wait for their red-carpet moment to share their message?
Making a Statement
Red carpet fashion has become just as large as the events they attend with celebs showing themselves in a range of outfits, from glitz and glam to outright outrageous. Often paparazzi are more interested in the ‘best’ and ‘worst’ outfits on the carpet instead of the actual award winners and nominees themselves. It’s no wonder that with all the attention on their apparel that celebrities choose to express themselves through fashion.
By sharing their messages at large international events such as the Oscars, many celebrities increase the influence they share and it’s not just actors and directors using their influence, but also music artists like Billie Eilish, Katy Perry, Mon Laferte, Lady Gaga, and more.
Through their influence and following, their voices carry further at red carpet events, particularly with the rise of social media where all eyes are on them. This is precisely why many use it as a time to advocate for chosen causes, even if their message is only conveyed through their clothing. A little can go a long way, especially for people with the power that these famous figures have.
Some of the messages from last year’s Oscars can be found below.
Natalie Portman arrived dressed in black and gold, her dress accompanied by a black cape with the names of many female directors in gold along the lapel, “Wang” and “Gerwig” being some of these. Her cape attracted the attention of many and was a choice made by Portman, who aimed to show support for underappreciated female directors who had produced outstanding work that year.
Nominated for her film sharing her life in Syria during the war, Waad Al-Kateab paid homage to her heritage and culture by wearing a standout pale dress printed with bold Arabic letters. When translated the poem reads; “we dared to dream and we will not regret dignity.” Not only is this a celebration of culture and heritage, but a symbol of optimism and resilience through her choice of words.
Actor Timothée Chalamet arrived in a suit that was entirely sustainable. Made from Prada’s Re-Nylon, a material created from materials such as ocean plastics and textile fibre waste, he proved that sustainable fashion was just as good as any other suit or dress at the event.
Chalamet was not the only one to show support for sustainability. Many other actors and actresses such as Joaquin Phoenix and Jade Fonda also reused outfits, adding to the growing desire to be conscious about how clothing can impact the environment. Elizabeth Banks appeared in a Badgley Mischka dress she had from 2004 and proudly shared this fact on her social media, aiming “to bring global awareness to the importance of sustainability in fashion and consumerism”.
After the horrifying death of Kobe Bryant in early 2020, Spike Lee paid homage to the late basketball star through his custom-designed Gucci suit, sporting Bryant’s number 24 in purple and yellow. With all the chaos that 2020 wrought on the world, Lee’s suit was a reminder of the other incidents that occurred during such an uncertain year of crisis and a reminder to not forget all that had happened.