Fashion + The Red Carpet

The Guidebook of Absurd and Impractical Red-Carpet Clothing for Dummies

Congratulations! To be requiring guidance on suitable attire for a red-carpet event, you must be a person of great importance! *fanfare* There is arguably no other situation when fashion is most important (excepting fashion shows), and it is imperative to get right. You don’t want the big ‘who are you wearing?’ question to become ‘what are you wearing?’, after all. So, below is a list graciously compiled of what not to wear on the special day accompanied by short, hypothetical stories of what could go wrong if you do.


#1 Balloons

Wearing balls or other spherical objects has definitely been done before. But balloons would be a whole other world of complicated, although an ‘Up’ moment would be cute.

Picture this…

You’re looking bubbly and reminiscent of halcyon childhoods. Your favourite celebrity tells you you look adorable. Flattered and touched, the two of you lean in for a hug when- *POP!* You didn’t notice the little sharp metallic broach they were wearing. Whoops. Now you both spooked yourselves and it’s going to be forever awkward between you.

The logistics of wearing balloons are also less than ideal, with you unable to put your arms down so they jut out. If you wear them on your posterior, you’ll shift in your seat and in the exact, most solemn silence at the event, your balloon’s pop will echo. It just will. Plus, balloons sag after they pop so whatever you wear will just look… sad afterwards.

#2 Candles

Inspired by Katy Perry’s chandelier outfit for the 2019 Met Gala, I saw it and wondered… what if she had actual candles burning?

Picture this…

Well, you would certainly illuminate the room, but tilt one way, laugh too hard, or even just move and wax will certainly drip on you all night, and no one will want to be near you. Ouch.

Worse case scenario is that some curtains catch fire and you set the whole venue alight. One way to prove you’re a hot topic, I guess?

#3 Body paint

Body paint is genuinely art. I’ve watched enough episodes of ‘Skin Wars’ with my housemates to know that. You could wear a jaw-dropping design, and potentially at a budget, but it’s a risky choice if your whole outfit is just paint…

Picture this …

You’re dressed… well, not really dressed at all, but looking marvellous, being careful not to get paint everywhere in the car on the way over. You arrive, *snap snap* go the cameras when- *drip drop*. Uh oh. You forgot to check the weather forecast and the heavens suddenly pour and wash away everything on your, um, canvas.

Or alternatively, it’s a hot day, you’re a bit nervous, surrounded by so many big-shots, and you start to sweat the paint off.

Or someone pours a drink on you by accident.

Or somebody throws a bucket of water to put out the fire caused by candle-wearing person and they accidentally splash you. Hey, if it happened to the witch in Wizard of Oz, it could happen to you.

Regardless of which outcome occurs, you’ll expose yourself more than Rose McGowan did at the 1998 MTV Video Music Awards. But at least she pulled it off, and intentionally.

#4 Chocolate

Honestly, this is applicable to all foods really (though that didn’t stop Lady Gaga and her meat dress at the 2010 MTV VMA award), but I specifically home in on chocolate for a number of reasons. One being that we’ve all (or most of us have) seen that ‘Lynx Chocolate’ advert. Like the body paint, you’ll be naked by the end of the night, crying “MY OUTFIT IS NOT PART OF THE BUFFET TABLE!”.

The story of the prince with a chocolate palace in ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ also didn’t inspire much hope with regards to the issue of melting. I’ve been jaded with reality ever since…

The last reason being that I have a chronic obsession with chocolate so I too need to discourage myself from the appeal, to be honest.

Picture this …

You are decked out in your glorious chocolate look and by God, not only do you look great, but you smell it too. You get all the customary photos taken. The camera flashes, all the lights, the sun beaming down… you start to feel really warm. As your dress turns liquid and slides off you, you’ve got an order of hot chocolate, and the paps have gotten the front-page money-shot, leaving you in a sticky sitch. Yikes.

#5 Live animals

Wearing animals has been a thing for a long time *cough* fur coats *cough* but that’s not what I mean. If you were to wear live animals, you would also certainly be blacklisted by animal rights activists. And me too, I would certainly judge you.

Picture this…

I mean… depending on the animal, there are honestly a multitude of ways things could go.

If wearing insects, when taking photos outside, birds may come swooping. You could also crush them by accident and get bug juice everywhere.

If wearing crabs or some other snippy-snippy critter, prepare to get nipped.

But, no matter which animal you pick, it is almost guaranteed you will be trying to have a decent conversation with another celebrity and your speeches will be punctuated by a ribbit, a squeak, whatever sound your animal makes, and it will make things very awkward.

Bjork may have looked… interesting in her fake swan dress at the 2001 Oscars, but at least credit her on being smart enough to not wear a real one.


All jokes aside, while red-carpet attire can be silly and superfluous, making us chuckle at the questionable taste of some, what people decide to wear matters because political statements and examples of sustainable fashion items have been displayed on the red carpet, putting important issues front and centre for all to see. It is a good way of visually compelling onlookers to listen while the outfit tells a story, so next time you see the glamourous photos, try to tune in!

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