“Fashion goes beyond fabric; it is the attempt to manifest art on a breathing canvas… collaborate with the artistic community as we celebrate this diversity of creative vision.”David Dixon
Many people are often intrigued by the exclusivity of Red Carpet events, originating back to 2,500 years of history. With formals made for the seemingly most important, fashion plays a big part in this expression, showing sophistication and social status through clothing worn to these occasions. This leads to an idealisation from the audience towards icons, which overtime has resulted in the term ‘the Red Carpet treatment’.
However, with the rise in social media and influencers gaining a mass audience, the focus has shifted over to incorporating their presence into the picture. Therefore, should Red Carpet be more accessible to a wider range of people? Does the increase on influencers attending to such events reduce elitism and exclusivism of fashion events?
Digital presence on Red Carpet
An example of an iconic Red Carpet event is the Met Gala, which has been known for its extravagant looks since 1948. Gaining a significant amount of international attention annually, it shines a spotlight on various celebrities and fashion designers. Months of creative work goes into creating elaborate designs for the one moment. However, there has been a controversial discussion of the rise in influencers, such as James Charles, Lilly Singh and Liza Koshy, making an appearance in Met Gala in recent years. With many who criticise the situation, differentiating influencers from the A-list celebrities in the public’s eye. This brings about the question of what determines who can attend these events?
Red carpet events bring attention to designers’ names, brand and masterpieces, presenting fashion as an art. To showcase creative freedom in self expression through the details of the garments. Hence, with the global digital marketing industry rising in the past few years, the market is up to the worth of $340 billion in 2020. So, the use of influencers is becoming more common and it plays an important role in publicity and creditability in fashion industry. This goes as far as CGI influencers on Instagram, such as Miquela, featuring in Times Magazine. Using digital imagery to represent designer clothes and attending red carpet premieres. Therefore, on the one hand, it is allowing different creators to come together to celebrate the art of fashion through taking advantage of technology. On the other hand, its main goal feeds into capitalism and consumerism of fashion.
Impact of influencers
The concept of restricting access to fashion events is a form of gate keeping. So, exclusivity is a play on psychology, which increase people’s obsession with the branded names and the role model theory. That is all a part of fashion and business industry for marketing to main stream culture and mass majority. The increasing use of influencers and social media to promote makes it more captivating to the audience. It sets the tone as the middleman communication to what seems like royalty and the common public. As a result, more and more people, especially younger generations, aspire to become influencers. Some chase status, while others use it as an opportunity to address and bring awareness to important social matters.
There is a debate on value as this search for the next representative for fashion brand becomes more common. If fashion events, such as Red Carpet and Runway, have easy accessibility, critics fear the loss of its speciality. This leads to devaluing of brands and losing high positional interest. However, there is a further emphasis on utilising involvement to increase engagement with the Met Gala moving to online live stream during 2020. The trend of #metgalachallenge flooded the month of May as it created anticipation towards the reopening of Metropolitan Museum of Art in October. Although not an access into the event, it was inspirational to creatives and made a huge impact in the artistic community to have their involvement and their take on previous iconic looks. Ranging from artists to architects, young and old. Whether you were a creative or not, it made a lasting impression in media.
Inclusion and Involvement
All in all, the main aim of Red Carpet events are for the exposure and public relations to advertise. Therefore, the means of being able to access the events, does not impact the value or aesthetics of fashion statements and pieces. It would only create a bigger significance on the event with more people expressing their interest in this aspect. Reducing the concept of exclusivism. It accentuates celebrating fashion as not only daily wear, but an art form suited to the individual’s silhouette. This also encourages people to have more confidence. With the engagement, being able to experiment with their own style and design, they can use it to find their own speciality and identity. Shifting the mindset of social status in fashion to community.