Whilst fashion for us is typically random items found on ASOS, for A-list celebrities red carpet events are often occasions where thousands of dollars are spent on an outfit which will only been worn once.
High status celebrities need to use their platform for good. Media coverage of the event will be all over the newspapers and online. This means that they will be able to spread their message not only to people looking for it but also into the mainstream.
So here’s some examples where celebrities used the red carpet to send a positive message.
Actor and model Megan Pormer attended the Grammys in 2020 wearing a cape featuring both the American and Iranian flag as well as the words “No war Iran” and a red heart. This touching plea for peace came after tensions rose between the previous president, Donald Trump and the country.
She has also been working with doctors to send medical supplies to the country as they were struggling at the beginning of the pandemic. She urged her fans to help support this cause and used her platform to make a difference.
In 2017 actor Amanda Seyfried walked the red carpet for the revival of Twin Peaks. She wore an elegant black dress, with the word equality sewn into the hem. She used this red carpet opportunity to speak up about pay disparity in Hollywood, which she has spoken about previously in a 2015 interview with the Sunday Times.
“A few years ago, on one of my big-budget films, I found I was being paid 10% of what my male co-star was getting, and we are pretty even in status”, “I think people think that just because I’m easy-going and game to do things I’ll just take as little as they offer… It’s not about how much you get, it’s about how fair it is”
The 2020 Oscars received backlash at it’s choice to have all male nominees for this category despite there being many women deserving of the award, Greta Gerwig in particular was a shocking exclusion from the list. Natalie Portman chose her outfit to support those female directors not nominated. She wore a stunning Dior cape with their names sewn into it. When asked about this she said, “I wanted to recognise the women who were not recognised for their work this year, in my subtle way”.
The actress has spoken out about gender inequality in the film awards industry before. At the 2018 Golden Globes when presenting an award she added, “here are the all male nominees”, before listing the nominees.
At the 2019 Emmys, Laverne Cox used her outfit to support the LGBTQ+ movement. She wore a clutch bag which she collaborated on with designer Edie Parker. The clutch features a rainbow pride flag on one side with the words “Oct 8 Title V11 Supreme Court”. On the reverse a trans flag with the hashtag #TRANSISBEAUTIFUL. This piece referenced an up-coming Supreme Court case which would determine whether or not it would be illegal to fire someone based on their sexual identity. Thankfully it was passed.
She then auctioned a replica of the purse in July last year which raised over $1,000 for the Anti-Violence Project.
To learn more about how high fashion brand Chanel is increasing diversity in its brand read here.
Some celebrities chose to re-wear old items. Joaquin Phoenix pledged to wear the same Stella McCartney suit for all award show events that season. The Duchess of Cambridge joined him and re-wore an Alexander McQueen dress she had previously worn in 2012. Actress Elizabeth Banks also wore a Badgley Mischka dress that she had worn to the same event in 2004.
Chanel also supported the idea of re-wearing old items by dressing two celebrities in vintage dresses. Margot Robbie wore a dress from 1994 and Penelope Cruz wore a dress from 1995.
Some celebrities also chose to make their outfits out of eco-friendly materials. For example Kaitlyn Dever partnered with Red Carpet Green Dress. Her Louis Vuitton dress was made from ethically sourced and sustainable materials. Olivia Coleman wore a cape made from sustainable viscose and Timothee Chalamet’s Prada jacket was made from regenerated nylon or Econyl. Saoirse Ronan even had part of her dress re-worked from old fabric which was taken from a Gucci dress which she had previously worn to the BAFTAs.
These celebrities prove that fashion can still be innovative and exciting as well as supporting a good cause.