In Defense of Red Carpet Ceremonies

I know, last week I promised (teased? threatened?) a defense of Seth MacFarlane. And while that prospect is tantalizing, how could I resist the allure of chromatic sequins on neutral bustiers, the constant, strange cries of “Who are you wearing?” and the sheer vocabulisciousness of the red carpet?

Did that ridiculous word confuse you? Trust me, the red carpet reviewers are like walking thesauruses. Fabulous, living thesauri…

“Cut-out accents and peplums appeared in small doses, while embellishments in the form of sequins and ruffles reigned supreme.” – Morgan C. Schimminger,

Peplums? Is that one of the new Pokémon?

“When Jessica Chastain walked down the red carpet just before the 85th annual Academy Awards wearing a pale copper strapless gown with a mesh overlay by Giorgio Armani, her promenade was a two-part statement about the complexity of branding and the perilousness of glamour… For Armani, it was a significant coup.”- Robin Givhan, Washington Post Critic.

I would be proud to work the word “promenade” into a conversation, let alone phrases like “perilousness of glamour” and “significant coup.”

“Naomi Watts wins for Best Australian in a Sparkly Dress. She looked like a sexy cyborg.” Ally Garbs,

I just thought she ran out of tinfoil...

I just thought she ran out of tinfoil…

But enough quotes. More of me.

As a lover of campy vocab, I couldn’t resist defending the red carpet. Sorry Seth. Because, let’s be honest, these people are more fun to talk about. Pop culture effervescence is my favorite topic, and the mobs of overdramatic glossaries are both utterly superfluous and deserving of general scorn. But most importantly, HOW (?) could I ta-urn da-own the oportunichance to write… LIKE… THIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIISSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!


"If you defended me, you wouldn't have written that sentence..."

“If you defended me, you wouldn’t have written that sentence…”

I know what you’re thinking. “Wow, this kid is surprisingly adept at sounding like a homosexual stereotype. That’s pretty terrible.”

“No no,” I reply whilst waggling my finger suspiciously, “I’ve gone mad from reading these insipid fashion reviews. Pa-lus, you’ll notice all of my examples are female! Maybe you need to stop judgmentalizing, hastag TERRIBLE!”

But seriously, they are painful to read. So, so scarring. For more examples, I turn to the “sexy cyborg” authoress herself, Ally Garbs. “The ruffles I’m okay with when I see it from the front,” she muses. “But in the back, I was a little meh. However, because I like you (Jennifer Garner) so much and because this year was generally so lacklustre, you get a pass.”

Look, lacklustre! She’s officially fancy. At least, until this quote about the pregnant Jenna Dewan-Tatum. “There are very few flattering formal dresses available when your stomach is protruding due to a case of “I gots a babys.”

Only I’m ‘llowed ta turn on da’ fake rednecky di-lect, you two-bit ‘scuse fer a horn-tripper! You’n’yur “I gots a baby”… ‘diculous.

Anyway, back to the high-brow fancy. Or, in the case of Erin Gates of the Elements of Style blog, pure, unadulterated cattiness. “Jessica Chastain did look perfectly gorgeous. She did. I just am not loving the nudes on the red carpet on pale girls. It does nothing for me. Especially redheads who look SO SO amazing in emerald green and navy!”

“Amy Adams looked like she was about to burst into tears when walking the carpet- maybe it was her makeup? Or perhaps she’s still upset about Downton? Either way, did not love the dress.”

“Melissa McCarthy who did this to you becasue (sic) I want to hurt them!!! The hair and the incredibly ill fitting dress were just horrible. HORRIBLE.”

I didn't say she wasn't right...

I didn’t say she wasn’t right…

Also, when talking about Halle Berry, she coined the phrase, “Holy shoulder pads.” I swear, I will be working that into as many conversations as I can. Mark my words.

Due to all the “essence of couture” and “perfection” used as a sentence and dramatic ALL CAPS, it’s easy to make fun of red carpet ceremonies. Like, really easy. However, I need to reach beyond all of that and defend these campy, insipid wastes of time. Hashtag ugh.

Let me make one thing clear. I am not dissing fashion. I understand it is as an art, and I know most of it goes way over my head (like peplums). In fact, I’m wearing pajamas and a slanket right now. Gasp away. What I don’t understand is how anyone could obsess over what celebrities wear to an over-glorified promenade. Got it in.

But you know, Oscar night wouldn’t exist without stars. Stars wear clothes. The public likes to look at good-looking people wearing good-looking clothes and shiny doodads. I defended the ceremony last week. I understand the psychology of the affair.

I have more of a problem with the thesauri people themselves.

Well, have people half plastic.

Well, have people half plastic.

Why does the coverage have to be so ostentatious? In my research, I found one site that listed what each celebrity wore, gave a picture and summarized a smart opinion with brevity. No flamboyant snaps, no mean-spirited retorts, no grandiose comparisons to waterfowl. Just fashion. I’m forced to wonder why it can’t be that way all the time. The cattiness cheapens what should be a high art. It’s just not really worth it.

I understand why people want to see celebrities before the show. I just don’t think people should encourage bargain bin judgmentalism. If we remove that element, I have no problem with the Red Carpet. Then again, if you keep the thesauri, I get to write scathing, catty entries like this. So for me, win win.



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